My Muse, the Bitch

My writing is the one constant relationship in my life that never fails me. 

I’ve even questioned God. For a brief period, I didn’t feel God at all in my life. 

And while there are times I’ve felt ambivalent about my writing, it never deserts me. It’s always there, just waiting. Sometimes it gives me “space” and is respectfully dormant– other times, it becomes jealous and provocative. If I ignore it too long, my writing starts harassing me for attention.

It’ll distract me at work. Prevent me from sleeping. Interrupt the conversations I’m trying to have with ideas that I feel the need to scribble and begin somewhere. 

Maybe it’s time I give my writing a name– since it’s definitely a Muse. And not going away.

I feel that my Muse is a woman. 

What about yours?

I feel that all my life I’ve been fighting against my nature to avoid this calling, because I don’t want to surrender to the consequences of a Writer’s Life. I don’t want to be enslaved to this need to create. I don’t want to be that vulnerable, and bare my secrets to the world to be judged. I don’t want to deal with internet criticism. I don’t want to hurt the feelings of people in my life. I hate the expectations to continue achieving at a high level– when the currency is my own self to fuel those achievements.

I chose journalism because it’s a structured path which allows me to interact with others and write about real people– not fiction. But time and again, I feel more called to narrative writing. To talk and write about myself and my own experiences. 

I don’t want this. It’s too intimate.

I don’t want to publish poetry or write a column. I don’t want to do creative-non fiction. 

But fighting it is making me more miserable than anything else. Most of my writing has been personal and unpublished. Thus far, I’ve been content to simply vent on this blog, in a journal, or in e-mails or letters to friends. I’ve kept my old school assignments, and am surprised at how good they are. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever have the vagina to start writing for national publication, or if I should try returning to newspaper journalism.

Maybe try writing feature stories again, or profile stories. I have a knack for those. 

My main problem is I can’t make up my damn mind WHAT KIND of writing to do. 

I’m too worried about sabotaging a future corporate career, which I need to pay off my bills. How can I land a good gig with those corporate trappings if I embrace the creative life fully?

Maybe I should pray more, and give it to God. 

Don’t envy us artists. Whether it be writing, music, photography, or myriad other modern forms of art– we create because we have no choice. We feel stifled if we repress it. 

At times I’ve wished to be a normal person without a compulsive need to write and publish. But this is a skill and a coping mechanism more cathartic and marketable than any other.

I’m gonna get a handle on this tempestuous need, and make it work for me. 

You can only fight your identity so long. 

And dammit, I’m a writer.


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