Confessions of A Creative

27 Jan

I fell in love with words before I knew what they were. Books were my best friends and I demanded that The Three Little Kittens be read to me so many times that my long-suffering mother hid the book from me. I cried to a neighbor, who bought me a new book. My mother just hung her head.

Before I could read or write, I wrote novels. I even called them novels, and who the hell taught me that word? I don’t remember.

I don’t believe that we have callings in life. I don’t think I was called to be a writer. But I do know that from the moment I could make sense of it, I wanted to tell stories. I’m good at it because I’ve been doing it my whole silly life. Because my family communicates through loud and hysterical tales at the dinner table, over the phone, across the country.

I was not stupid enough to think that I would make money doing something I was good at. People are good at all sorts of things and it does not pay the light bill.

But then the worst thing happened. I start making money doing what I’d been doing my whole pathetic life. For nearly 10 years, I was paid to tell stories. And oh, the subject manner was absurd. I have written passionately about zoning ordinances in bedroom communities, the pearl button capital of the United States, and the Miss America pageant.

It felt like dishonest work. It felt grimy to do something that was, for the most part, effortless. It wasn’t hard, maybe because I didn’t make it hard, but it was…heavy. Creating something new each day in exchange for money is a kind of First World dilemma. Every day I had to the leave the world more full of words and wit than it was before. People who do not create will not understand this. That’s okay.

All of this to say: I was lucky enough to be given very good money in exchange for something I have loved to do my whole life and I fucking hated it. I hated being a writer almost every single day.

I hated picking ideas out of the ether and submitting them to a boss who plagiarized her college papers and used the word “frock” to describe her hair. IT’S A DRESS.

I hated editorial meetings where words like “edgy” and “fluffy” were given to me to describe the same piece.

I hate clients who were angry that I wasn’t another writer, or worse, clients who were angry that they weren’t writers.

Mostly, I hated that I hated it. I was ungrateful and it was mortifying. I was ashamed that my salary, very nice laptop, and office with windows weren’t satisfying.

I had fantasies of being a secretary, a farmer-basically, fantasies of honest work where my hands might get dirty (for the love of god, please) and I would have something to show for myself at the end of the day.

It’s over now. My writing career is packed up in a banker’s box and in all those back issues of weird trade magazines. I am not sad that it’s over. I’m just sad that my dream wasn’t as beautiful as it seemed.

 

 

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One Response to “Confessions of A Creative”

  1. srdailey January 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    THIS.

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