I am not a writer

Glasgow, May 20, 2015

I have often found myself sitting by my keyboard, paralysed.

I do not suppose that writing is for everyone. But I am only just now beginning to realise that writing has never been meant for me. I have, as always and forevermore, so much to do, so much so that coming to this little space where I can be as hypocritical as I please is the only thing I can think of to do.

I usually write long word documents filled with my angst at the world (in the ways it never serves my selfish desires.) But somehow, coming here and clicking the publish button makes it feel like an achievement. Not that anybody reads it, but just knowing that I completed it and was happy enough with it to throw it in the deep and obscure waters of the internet makes it seem like an achievement.

But to go back to my initial point, I have often sat facing my screen with a blank page and nothing to write on it.

I have also, on numerous occasions, found myself thinking of how great life would be once I became a writer. I deluded myself into thinking that I really, really, wanted to write. For the sake of it. I have always been comforted by the distant idea that someday, something, somewhere over a rainbow will meet me and throw me into an imaginary limelight, shower me with success and happiness. Over that rainbow perhaps? Into that rainbow? I will never know.

A great many things have become clearer to me as I grew older: I was never going to be a designer, illustrator, photographer. I was never going to work in advertising (anymore). I was never going to become a singer (the Britney Spears I wanted to become when I was 10). I was never going to be projected into stardom just by being my very magnificent self, walking down the street, full of a greatness that the world was just so mindless of.

But now, I know one more thing. I was never going to be a writer. I am never going to be writer. That kind of false humility is exactly what most writers are made of, though, isn't it? It is. It is. Of course. But, I do not want to be a writer anymore. Truthfully. I was never meant to be a writer. I cannot remember the last time I looked forward to wanting to put a story into words on a page. Not the last time I had an idea that I followed through and made something out of. Not the last time I felt productive and satisfied. Not the last time writing made me happy and did not feel like a tedious, tiring task. Writing, at some point, transformed from something I actually enjoyed doing, to a romanticised idea that I so often began to avoid.

I still like to write, clearly, as demonstrated by these short bits, self-absorbed and personal, meaningless and futile. But I no longer want to label myself as a writer. Somebody who creates worlds and characters and lives and stories. I was never capable of being that somebody and it would be hypocritical to claim that I was.

The other day, I walked into the local Waterstones, up to the contemporary fiction section and was struck by the amount of books on display. There was shelf upon shelf of books of all colours, tastes, titles, selling lines. And for the first time in my life, I felt incredibly uncomfortable. Not because I was never going to be reading these books, but because I just was not interested. I was jaded at what publishing, something I seemingly always wanted to do, appeared to be. Just another business. Books were written to be sold, so that people could make money. These were the bestsellers on a list, the recommended books, the pulitzer, booker, carnegie medal winners. These were the silly romances and the neat mysteries and chilling thrillers and the family dramas. Categorised in this fashion, they wore their gendered helmets and posed for pictures and for grabbing. But as I walked by the shelves, these books made me angry and sad and frightened and bizarre. I wanted to hate them, these words coming out at me from a million cover pages. Shut up, I wanted to scream. Books, for the first time, made me feel hollow. I who had loved everything about books for as long as I can recall. They seemed to me instruments of deception, of fraud, a little bit like advertisements. And that broke my heart.

I think I soon snapped out of it, though. Because I ended up walking out with two new books in my bag, and a whole lot of happy in my head. I just knew one thing: I did not want to be a writer. I did not want to write. And I am not a writer.

Okay then. I suppose that is all.

So long, writing. So long, Marianne, it's time we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.



Popular Posts