The Selfish Writer
When I was younger, I lived my life in expectation of the person I would someday become.
Someday I would gain better control of my mouth so I didn’t make comments that sound stupid.
Someday I would no longer feel like an awkward ugly ducking and would transform into a beautiful swan.
Someday I would be so accomplished that people who had hurt or discouraged me would say, “I know her.”
As I grew older, I was no longer concerned with such somedays. Others might attribute the change to the natural process of aging or to the fact I grew more comfortable in my own skin. Maybe they are right.
Those somedays I’d imagined were about what other people thought of me rather than the type of person I was capable of becoming.
I wish I could say I no longer worry about what people think of me or that my intentions are always humble and selfless, but I can’t. I simply traded my somedays for the immediate gratification of writing.
Writing provides an opportunity to share my thoughts without interruption or disagreement. Writing allows me to arrange and rearrange words like a florists puts together a beautiful bouquet or a musician composes a haunting melody. And writing offers me a stage on which I am the star. In other words, writing lets me share the best parts of myself in a venue and in a manner that I choose.
That makes me feel good about myself and helps the somedays disappear. Even though people tell me I am simply using a God-given gift to share information or to make people think or to entertain, I know that’s only partly true.
I also write so people better understand me. I write because people read what I say and give me attention. I write because it provides a way to share pent-up emotions and frustrations. And I write because I simply enjoy the process the way some people enjoy cooking or making crafts.
In other words, I write because I am selfish.
But if my selfish acts also encourage others to thinks differently or to smile a bit, I’m not going to feel guilty.
Instead I’m going to keep on writing while the wishful somedays fade into my distant past.