The Fault in My Stars

I am a writer who doesn’t write, and I’m trying to figure out why.

I’ve just watched “The Fault in Our Stars” and it’s brought me to that place deep inside that we don’t often get to, the place that makes us feel more deeply, makes us want to be something better than what we are. And I’m sitting here on a Saturday night feeling sad rather than being out with friends who are about to have a good time and I wonder why.

I am here, watching movies On Demand and silly Christmas movies rather than being on the writer’s retreat that many of my writer friends are on, this being NaNoWriMo …not that I can ever remember what that stands for, or why November has been chosen to be the month that calls writers to produce as much work as they can. And I wonder why them, not me? Why do they hear the calling that I’ve become deaf to?

Yesterday marked my mother’s 80th birthday and it made me think about life and all that we are supposed to do with it, and I wonder why I’m not doing with it what I should, and why most of us don’t. Is it a fault in our stars? In our DNA?

My brain tells me that some people just have more energy than others, that they wake up every day with the goal of accomplishing something they haven’t accomplished before, and I wonder why I never wake up with that feeling. In the world of writing, I have accomplished things I never dreamed of: I’ve won awards, been a successful journalist, written a popular column in a local paper. I even became a writing teacher and am now an editor. But none of this did I ever dream of during those years when we dream our dreams…and my heart wishes that I’d pursued the things I was dreaming of, but I never did.

And maybe that’s why I don’t do what so many others are doing. Maybe I don’t pursue that goal because it was never a goal of mine. I backed into a writing job and made it a career that I’d never wished for. Sure, it’s been great, but I guess it’s not what I really, really wanted, and maybe that’s the answer.

Are you working towards what you wish for? I know a lot of people who are doing that right now, who do that every day. Me? I’m waiting, but I’m not sure for what. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be sure, because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped dreaming.

As this sad movie ended, I reached for my computer and my blog, the place where, when I do feel something, I write. It doesn’t make me any money, but I love it just the same. It’s small–I’m just sitting here on the couch, typing a few words that a few people might read–yet it’s huge because it’s worldwide and maybe will reach thousands of people. Who knows? That’s the cool thing about a blog; I see the stats, I know that people all around the world check in every now and then. I don’t know them and they don’t know me, but it’s cool just the same because words touch people, as the words in this movie touched me.

You know who the bad guy in the movie is? The writer! He’s written one book and quit, I think because that’s all he had in him. He had that one story, the story of his daughter’s death, the one he couldn’t help but write, and then he stopped because writing probably became too sad. And then he drank, because that’s what writers do when they can’t write anymore.

It’s all very tragic.

But it doesn’t have to be. Perhaps we do what we do–or don’t do–because we are fulfilling destinies we are unaware of. Perhaps one person’s blog will fuel another person hundreds of miles away to pursue a dream, ask out a girl, paint a sunset.

And maybe I will pick up that novel that I never finished…or submit one of the many things I’ve written in the past, or start something new. Because writing this has inspired me to stop being such a wuss and do the thing I may not have dreamed of, but have the ability to do nonetheless. I am a writer who should be writing. What should you be doing, before it’s too late?

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8 thoughts on “The Fault in My Stars

  1. Holy cannoli! I love this. Of course you know it sure does speak to me. But it’s your honesty that makes this so moving. I’ve given up writing for money (after yet another very long wait for a check). I’m trying to pay more attention to the distinction between dreams and ability. …And I’m getting happier day by day. Miss you.

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