I find myself caught between “I want” and “I need.” Let me explain. There are things in life that people want to do. Goals they have set and checked off with the same exhilaration they might feel crossing milk and cheese off their grocery list. I see wants as those bucket list items that people feel compelled to accomplish before they, well, kick the bucket. They include also sorts of things: wild, adventurous, outrageous things. Places to see, people to meet, things to try. Like skydiving. How many people add skydiving to their bucket list because they really want the thrill of jumping out of an airplane (and hope the shoot opens), or is on the list because it gives them some sort of bragging rights? Would their life feel incomplete if that item never gets crossed off?
Then there are needs. Needs won’t let you rest. They continually nag and tickle the back of your mind, like a young toddler crying “Me Me Me!”. Some call it passion. Some call it desire. Lusty words descriptive of a relationship that maybe was never meant to be, but one that you know you can’t let go of.
And that is where I am caught in regards to writing. Do I need it, or do I simply want it?
You might wonder what’s the difference? I can almost hear your voice saying, if you want to be a writer, be a writer. Quit trying to figure out your motive. But motive is important because I’m afraid that if it really is a need, then maybe I will end up chasing after a dream that has no intentions of every being caught. Like a young girl who is so infatuated with the cute boy in class that she misinterprets every word or glance as a signal that he too loves her. Only to be caught up short when she realizes that he has a girl friend who is prettier, smarter, perfect.
If writing is simply a want, then maybe I could stop feeling bad that I haven’t been writing. Yeah, I was chasing you but you no longer interest me. I’m seeing someone new, someone who is not quite as desirable but not so picky either. It’s like wanting a double-dip banana split with a cherry on top but being willing to settle for a single scoop of vanilla. In the end, its just ice cream.
Its not like I have a lot of stories swimming around in my head, looking for an outlet. Isn’t that the real sign that you are meant to be a writer? Lots of people who call themselves writers say they have so many ideas that they can’t get them all down on paper. I have story ideas. Its just I can’t seem to fall in love with any of them.
So here I am, trying to sort it all out. Trying to figure out if I am more afraid of success or failure. If I only want to write, then no matter what I do, it will OK. I can take it up or put it down, like tennis, which I am not very good at but like to play every once in a while. But if I really need to write, then I am doomed to chasing rainbows with the hope that maybe someday before I die I actually get kissed by the handsome prince, wake up and live happily ever after.