The island me. Surrounded by not-there, not doing.
Waiting happens. It’s what writers go through—a kind of lying fallow to replenish ourselves; a waiting for the story to happen. I understand it. I don’t have to like it.
In the emotional stall that is the search for an agent (a combination of day-job demands and inertia born of the outright, consuming, paralyzing fear of non-acceptance), one observes and one wonders:
Where is that line for defining what defines a writer? Where does our creative identity live? How do we find ourselves between the hairline cracks that lay between want-to-be, need-to-be and absolutely-is?
Those hairline cracks are fissures, sometimes. Chasms. Without the writing (or painting or sculpting or poetry writing or musicmaking or dancing or acting), what are we? Do we exist at all? Or are we just fooling ourselves?
A self-condemning stealthy fear waits to ambush us; tells us that a writer without readers is a failure; a mere wanna be. And that wanting is never, ever, ever going to be enough fuel to take us the whole way to is.
The need to write churns and prods, sometimes more, sometimes less…but is that need a legitimizing worthy of the claim I am a writer?
Perhaps the asking is a kind of answer. Recognition of need is, in itself, a confirmation of need, a pointing to a place in our natures that wants filling. But how do we get the rest of the way?
Is-a-writer is achievable only by the actual doing. And when one is gathering straw for the story’s brick, when one is waiting for the one agent, the one publisher, to see one’s voice as unique and worthy, that affirmation is a faint voice crying in an inner wilderness. We’re back to the uncrossable gap between is and want; to the self-fulfilling, self-defeating oroboros of wondering whether we’re truly what we’ve spend hours and years telling ourselves we are.
Why wait for that acknowledgement, that approval? The fact is, we do—no why about it. The most magnificent operative voice in the world wants an ear other than one’s own. We sing/dance/write for our own pleasure, but a creative effort without an audience is an effort half complete. We tell stories. Tell. Tell to someone. Without the someone, the story is just a magnifier of doubt. A self-indulgence. An unfulfilled and perhaps frivolous desire.
And that razor line? It’s the one that cuts through our hearts. Cuts our souls in two.