This debate is heating up in the comments, where he who has been (albeit ever so briefly) mentioned here took issue to me not posting his whole email for you people to look at. Gee, I respect privacy. I’m such an evil wench. Check out the comments for more fun-filled flamethrowing.
So, I got an email on a dating site that really pissed me off. It’s from some reader who found me through my Craigslist ad way back when.
See, he’s reading me rather religiously, whatever, and has sent me some longwinded emails saying he feels “guilty” for reading me and “sorry” that I spend so much of my time writing blogs.
So, lemme just clear this the fuck up right now.
I type fast and I write even faster than I can type. Writing is not hard for me. I’m not being arrogant, just stating facts. It means I let a lot of crap go that I should probably be more selective about when I’m editing. But I don’t care.
See, if I edited more, if I took it slower, you’d get less content, but I’d also have less of a life. I don’t instant message people. I don’t send long, meandering, ponderous emails to people. I don’t surf the net. I don’t read blogs, even. What I do on my computer is WRITE. That’s all. The rest of the time, I do what I do.
And, no, I’ll never be Little Miss Social. I’m not built that way. I can certainly work a room, but I need my alone time, too.
For some of us, writing is like breathing. We have to. We must. If we don’t, we wither and waste away. I know what that feels like — I felt it for six long, hellish years — so I grab tenaciously at this gift of writing now, and I’m never, ever letting go.
You want to feel guilty for compulsively reading? That’s your prerogative. I don’t give a shit. I’d like to hear from readers, but I’d be writing even if no one was out there. Because I simply must do it.
There is a quote I can recite by heart without even blinking. It’s on my wall. It’s tattooed on my brain, really. “Writing for a living is a privilege, not a god-given right, as the opportunities are few, though sought after by many. Years of rejection serve as a crude winnowing process, after which those left standing are those who simply must write.” Richard Ford.
I must write. But I don’t need to accept pity. I don’t need to spend more than one moment longer than I wish to doing this. And believe me, I don’t.
I do this for me. Luckily, I’ve allowed you all along for the ride. The same gift of luck is extended to you by any blogger whose work you love. We do it for ourselves, and when we find ourselves with an audience, it makes us smile simply because we discover that through our voices we have somehow tapped into the universal condition and found an echo of familiarity among others.
I’ve been writing some guidelines for the dating masses, having been peer-pressured into it, and having realized I do have a thing or four that I think are applicable. I’ll get that up next time. Had to get this off my chest. ‘cos, like, I do it for me. ;) (This took me 12 minutes, for those with enquiring minds.)