Sometimes, I get the greatest compliments on my writing on here, which I LOVE. Not all that often, and mostly from my dad, but still. I find some satisfaction in writing, but it takes effort and the occasional accolade keeps me going. I used to write a lot more. All kinds of things: magazine article proposals, adult fiction, even some children's stories.
I liked writing fiction, sort of. It felt like the stories were just coming out of the ether, into my brain and out onto my computer screen. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. Then, when I found out what was going to happen, the writing all of a sudden seemed like a lot more work, and I didn't always finish the stories.
But the coolest part was how the stories magically appeared. I can force words onto the page, too, but usually that leads to some sort of plot disaster I can't write my way out of. I really thought the stories were divine inspiration. This idea was reinforced when I heard a famous songwriter say almost the exact same thing about how the songs just came to him. Songwriting is a talent that really impresses me, by the way. I do not get how someone can write poetry and match it to music that doesn't exist yet.
When I was in college, I took a literature course and read a quote from Toni Morrison. I'm paraphrasing here because I can't remember the exact wording and I'm too lazy to look for it. She said something like: 'You have to finish your work all at once, or the seams start to show'. At the time, I thought it was very strange and I didn't get why you couldn't just drop a project and come back to it later, like a sewing project. But now, I totally understand it. So, here I am, with my magical gift and on the same page with the great Toni Morrison. I'm so special! Or so I thought.
Unfortunately, I was forced to change my mind about the divine origin of the stories a few years ago after I heard someone else say the same thing about the stories coming to her from out of nowhere. I read her stories and they were truly awful. I wanted to say, 'Sweetie, God did not give you these stories. I don't know who it was, but you need to give them right back.' I didn't say that, of course, because I'm a nice person. Instead, I said, 'Hmmm, those are something else all right!'. Not dissimilar to what I hear about some of my posts, now that I think about it.
Clearly, logic dictates that if her stories aren't God-given, mine probably aren't either. I guess I'm just a hack, after all. But a hack with a nice father.
UPDATED: I have become what I have sneered at.
11 hours ago