Today I planned to write a short piece of fiction and post it online, but instead of braving the blank page and my deep insecurities and sharing the (inevitably inferior) fruits of my creativity, I braved the scowls of nearby sober people and had three drinks at a birthday celebration tonight. I am of no use whatsoever at the moment and really need to go to bed. It took me three tries to type “whatsoever.”
Although I make my living as a writer, I have always wanted to write “real” stories, the kind that keep me up past my bedtime to finish reading. But I have never really given it a solid effort.
I always give up when a Pulitzer Prize-winning idea doesn’t come to me immediately (no pressure). Despite what I have read about the creative process for writers, I judge my early efforts more harshly than cigarette warning labels discourage smokers these days. Have you seen the label with the diseased lung? Or the corpse? Talk about bravery.
Fiction writing is something I need to pursue, if only because the desire for it has been with me for so long. It may not go anywhere. I may never write any fiction I am proud of. But I can’t keep ignoring this ambition just because I am a scaredy-cat (and way hypercritical).
Boy. Alcohol worked for Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, countless other literary giants. How did they all stay awake long enough to write anything?
Next day update – My friend who was with me at the “birthday celebration” last night pointed out that I gilded the lily a bit. Yes, both of our husband’s birthdays are this week. Yes, we toasted to them and wished them many more happy years. But if I am completely honest, we used our husbands’ birthdays as an excuse to drink cosmos and not cook dinner.