What Does a Wayward Writer Write?

My life hasn’t gone how I planned.

Who can say differently, though?

When I was a know-nothing kid, I thought that things would align easily. The teachers made it seem like things would, so long as you behaved and got good grades, though. Everything will just fall into place. So I made an age-marked goal list: graduate high school at 18, get married then (my grandparents had at 18 and so had my parents), go to college, graduate by 22, be a famous author with book tours and bestselling sales, and have children after.

I’m 30, married at 22, masters degree at 30, and two stepsons who I know as my kids and boys. A few self-published works with only a few pennies back from Amazon to show for it (I need to find a new platform for this).

My writing career has dwindled, as I needed “real” jobs that pay. I’ve come to learn I am very spoiled and enjoy materials; I love a good hardback book from the shop, though I try to use the library for the most part, cosmetic and lush pampering items, a nice appointment at the hairdresser to dye my hair as red as autumn, and the occasional big expense item (a tattoo appointment is looming in the near future!). That doesn’t mean I quit writing; I constantly journal and use this blog for short stories, poems, and excerpts, but as far as my “sit down at the table and write a manuscript for a novel” days, I find myself…almost fearful.

I don’t know why, so don’t ask. There’s nothing to fear once I get down and started. Eventually, the words flow out, and I’m typing a scene or conversation between characters as if watching them for real and recording everything I see and hear. It’s the getting started part that seems awkward and even uncomfortable.

But if I want even a slim chance of accomplishing what I want as a writer, no, a professional writer, I have to embrace the discomfort.

But what do I write?

I always want my big projects to be fantasy, mostly young-adult audience-focused. And I finally have an outline for my latest idea!

But I want to write continuously, not just on that one project that may never take off (like several other would-be projects). But anymore, I question my genre, my area of topic matter, even whether I want to do prose at all or poetry.

I can’t seem to find my footing in poetry. Every poem I submit anywhere is met with rejection and criticism of being “deep” or worthy of being called a poem. When I read the poems that are selected, I suppose I have to say they seem so nonsensical and even confusing. Perhaps poetry is a genre too foreign, despite having taking a course in my undergrad.

So what else do I write? Do I try a random new genre each week? Short stories or flash fiction bites?

I have many colleagues who write, what i feel, are change-inducing topics. Gender studies, topics on racism, cultured subjects, and even comics and their political satires. All of my fantasy stories seem so…unimportant. Though I know overall that isn’t true; it was fantasy books that got me into reading and later writing. I hope my writing can complete the cycle by passing that trait on to another reader, even if I never know about it.

But until then, I’m waiting, I’m writing what I can through keyboard or pen, and I feel utterly wayward as I go on blindly.

2 thoughts on “What Does a Wayward Writer Write?

  1. Are we the same person? I feel this hard! Do what you can, as I am. Writing for me has be now a place to keep me sane. If I get anything posted that a plus but to writing the things I really want… no time. We’ll get there! Hold on to that dream!

    Liked by 1 person

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