A to Z Challenge 2013

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blog Chain On A Friday

Michelle has kicked off the chain this time around with a rather interesting question:

Do you choose what you do because of who you are? Or is who you are determined by what you do?

Sandra put up her response yesterday, and Kat will be following me tomorrow.

There have been lots of different perspectives on this topic from the members of the chain, but my immediate response when I first read it was....hmmmm...well, I don't know. Please bear with me while I work through it.

Part of me hopes that I'm not determined by what I do, because my day job is being a computer geek in a network admin shop. Without telling everyone the long boring details, I basically fell into it because the pay was good and I found I could do it without too much trouble. As the years go by however, I have come to realize that it's not really what I would choose to do if I had all the choices in the world available to me.

Writing is something I have sporadically done throughout my life, albeit with huge gaps between each moment when I was writing. I enjoy it and hate it all at the same time. Breathe, fellow writers....Breathe. I know I'm speaking heresy, but let me explain. Yes, I hate it sometimes. It's not the writing that I dislike. What I really don't like is my own inability to write as effectively as I wish I could. In the end though, I realize that I choose to write because it is something I enjoy, particularly when all the planets are aligned and the words are flowing like sweet honey.

In contrast to so many of you, I do not feel the "bug" to constantly write - or maybe I've ignored it for so long that the muse no longer tries to yell at me. Either way, I don't feel a deep empty loss if I'm not writing. I honestly don't know what that means, and sometimes I worry about it.

I guess the final answer is that I choose what I do - which right now is writing - and so I'm a writer because of that choice. I'm envious of those of you who are chosen, for whom the bug is an innate part of your soul. And perhaps with training on my part, I'll learn to listen to my muse and stop closing my ears to his rantings. Who knows. Stranger things have happened.


Kat Harris said...

I'm thankful to see someone else admit their love/hate relationship with writing.

It can be frustrating at times. Great response!

christine said...

Nice post...and I would bet more people fall into that category - the category of choosing what they do.

B.J. Anderson said...

Great post and very honest. I think it really does boil down to choice.

Michelle McLean said...

I think we all have a love/hate relationship with writing - tis the way the muse flows ;-D

And I was the same way as you for a long time - I've always written, even was I was little. But I didn't feel driven to constantly write until a few years ago. I think once I decided I would try to do this "for real," would try to get published, it was like I opened a door to this insatiable creature that wants me to constantly write. Because before, I'd write a poem or short story or part of a novel here and there, and then I'd put it aside, sometimes for years, before taking it up again. The stories were always in my head, but I didn't always bother to write them down.

But now, I've got new stories knocking their way out of my brain before I've got the one I'm working on finished. And I can't imagine stopping now. I slow down or take long breaks every now and then. But stop, nope, I just can't see it now. Maybe in a few years :D

Great post!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Yep, I vote for love hate too. I'm thinking you're right under the center of the bell curve, Eric.

I'm now retired, but have an interesting two career life. As you know, I spent twenty years in the Army flying helicopters…best job in the world. Then, 20 years working for the Federal Department of Transportation. While the money was fair to good in this last job, I had the world’s worst boss. It was terrible, but, for retirement and money I stayed. I was not happy. Do I regret it? No. Not much I could do about it and it allow me to do what I do now. Which is…not sure? Goof off mostly. Ha.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oh, I totally know what you mean about the love/hate relationship with writing. And I honestly don't think I have the "bug" either. Most days writing requires me to force myself to stop already with the procrastinating and just write already. I think that's why, for me, I settled on the "what you do" end of the equation for this question, because it's only when I make myself do the writing that I really consider myself a writer.

Mandy said...

I think we all have those love/hate moments, but what counts is that after all of the hair pulling moments--you choose to stick with it!

K.M. Weiland said...

Making a conscious choice - instead of just passively allowing the world to shape you - is an admirable thing. Inevitably, to one extent or another, we *are* what we do. So why not give ourselves the power to choose?

Rebecca Knight said...

I think that's exactly why the phrase "butt in chair" exists. A lot of us have to force ourselves to do it or it just won't happen :).

It's like exercise or getting up on a Sunday morning when my bed is toasty warm to go to church. I'm grumbly getting started, but then I'm always happy that I did it.

Sarah Bromley said...

Interesting perspective. As someone who's driven to write, it's strange for me to encounter another writer who perhaps isn't. However, as a painter, I only paint when the urge strikes. That makes me no less of a painter.

Johanna said...

Interesting topic. I don't think I was chosen to write so to speak. I don't have an itch 24/7. But I do find that I am called to write certain stories. I'll see a person on the street that just reeks of a story to be told...or I'll hear of a topic that just resonates with me and I have no rest until the story is spun.

Cole Gibsen said...

I can agree with you that I have times when it pains me to write. There are times when I'd rather go to the dentist than write. But I find that I feel the same way about it as I do exercising. I hate starting - but once I've finished I feel great!