Writing, two stories

Last week, my therapist complimented me on my writing, then asked me, “Do you want to write a novel?  What is it, exactly, that you want to do?”

“You know, it’s funny,” I told her.  “When I was a kid – through high school, maybe a little into college – I used to think I was going to be a famous writer.  But then at some point, I realized that making money by writing was very unlikely.  It’s such a gamble.  And it would be stressful: I’d worry about not having anything to write about; I’d worry about it not being any good; I’d devote a ton of my time to it, trying to get published or find an agent, and likely be met with rejection.  And therefore no money.  And then I wouldn’t enjoy it any more.”

“As far as writing is concerned,” I went on, “I’m doing exactly what I want to do.  I’m writing.  It’s affecting people, eliciting a response in them; I’m making connections.  I don’t need to get money for it, when I can get money for my work at the grocery store, and keep writing as something I enjoy.  And then I kinda figure, maybe it’ll just fall into my lap one day.  Maybe I’ll make a connection or someone will read something I’ve written and want to help me along the path to making it a career.  And if not, I’m happy with what I’m doing right now.”

“Wow,” she said.  “That’s a really great way of looking at it.  You had all these expectations, and then, once you realized that they wouldn’t be easily met, or would be met at a cost, you dropped them and decided to just go with it.  Maybe you could try applying the same line of thinking to your loss and your grief and your healing: trust that eventually, everything will just fall into place?”

She paused, smiling a little as though she already knew how I was going to respond.  Remember, I’d just been blind-sided by the realization that there isn’t a magic formula for my healing.

“No,” I said.  “I don’t like that idea.”

She laughed, and told me, again, how much she loves my spontaneity and honesty.  She always seems to be so charmed by me, so involved – as though she’s the one who’s supposed to be having revelations in there.  And I like that about her, that she shows her emotions and her human-ness too.  It’s way better than a poker face and a notepad.

* * *

I went in to work the other day, and as I passed by the girl who’d asked for a love story, she gasped and clasped her hands together.

“Marie!  Come over here!” she said.  Her face was visibly lit, but this isn’t out of the ordinary for her; she’s usually passionate and excitable.

I walked into the kitchen, and she gave me a hug.

“I started reading your blog.  It’s wonderful.  I’m only in August, but it totally kept me from my homework.  I kept telling my friend, ‘You have to read this part, you have to read this part!’  And she was like, ‘Ok, but we’re supposed to be studying.'”

“Oh.  Thanks,” I said, a little embarrassed.  Another one of our coworkers was staring at us, wondering what we were talking about.  I could feel myself blushing.

“And I’m so sorry,” she added.

“Thank you.  I’m sorry if it’s not exactly a love story…”

“What are you talking about?!  It’s a beautiful love story!”

And then all I could think was how I’d get to tell Doug I told him so.  But then later, I realized that this was the point I’d tried to convey to my therapist with regards to my writing “career”: if it’s affecting people, if it’s eliciting a response in them, if I’m making connections…  I am happy just where I am.

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3 Responses to Writing, two stories

  1. Amanda says:

    Speaking of making money for writing…I totally have a proposition for you 🙂

  2. Joanna says:

    You are eliciting a response with your writing, and your story. I only commented once before this, but I often get chills or am moved to tears from reading your entries. (I’m an emotional person!) Sometimes from sadness, and sometimes from joy. I don’t have an opportunity for you but just confirming that you are making a connection. 🙂

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