February 22nd, 2005
Nuts and Bolts

I was thinking the other day how I get a lot of the same questions about writing that I used to get when I was a flight attendant. People always fall into two different camps. There are the ones who can’t believe you actually ‘fill in the career title here’ for a living and the ones who say they’ve always wanted to do/be ‘fill in the blank’.

I suppose I could understand the ‘glamour’ of wanting to be a flight attendant. Mind you the glamour ended back in the seventies, then it turned into a hard job. I didn’t become a flight attendant until it was in the latter category, so when people asked me if my job was fun, I had to fight not to cackle maniacally.

This brings me to writing. I’m never sure how to respond to someone when they tell me that they’ve always wanted to write a book. My knee jerk answer is to say, then do it. Trouble is I know that’s not very compassionate.

I guess my problem is I’m the type of person, who with the exception of one career, has tried EVERYTHING I’ve ever wanted to do. I know that’s a bold statement, but it’s the truth. I wanted to sing in rock bands, so I did. I even went as far as moving out to California to pursue that goal. I worked in a record company on my days off from the airline just to learn the business. I wrote songs, recorded demos, and even ended up on an independent album. I did all this until I realized that as much as I enjoyed music, it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I followed the same path with acting for a while. I took classes, which I still think was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done. I shot enough pilots (Not the kind that fly the planes, although some probably deserved it.;) and commercials to realize that although I enjoyed acting, it wasn’t my passion.

This brings me back to writing. I took creative writing classes on and off while I lived in California. The writing was something I was passionate about. I didn’t have to work at achieving that feeling. It was inside of me. So when people come up to me and say that they’ve always wanted to write a book, I know it’s lie. I’m not saying they’re deliberately lying to me. I don’t believe they are. I think what’s happened is they like the ‘idea’ of having a book on the shelf. (Kind of like I fancy the idea of being a dancer. If you ever see me dance, you’ll know that’s not going to happen.) I believe their ‘true’ passion lies somewhere else. Somewhere they haven’t tapped . They just don’t know it yet. If it was really in writing, they’d be doing it already and not just talking about it.

14 comments to “Nuts and Bolts”

  1. I agree with this. LOL I couldn’t NOT write even if I wanted to. It’s compulsive, an obsession.

  2. I hear you, Sylvia. Now it’s back to rewrites. Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.

  3. For me, too. Almost no control over the “need” to write. Between the compulsion and the voices in my head, it sounds remarkably like I have multiple personality disorder, but I try not to dwell on that. I have enough issues without adding more 🙂

  4. Great post Jordan. I love writing. It keeps me sane. And the voices will not be ignored.

  5. I so agree with you. I’ve tried many hobbies but when I picked up writing again after starting a book over a decade ago, I ‘knew’ that I’d finally hit on the one thing that I had a deep passion for and I was finally mature enough to go the distance on it. :o)

  6. Patrice,

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you were finally mature enough to go the distance. I’d tried writing on and off over the years. Always enjoyed it, but could never stick with it until a few years ago. Ah, maturity…I’m glad it’s good for something. LOL!

  7. Helen, It’s when you start answering that you have to worry. Stop that! I didn’t say anything. Liar! Excuse me while I back out of the room. 😉

  8. Sheri, I’m not sure if writing keeps me sane or makes me crazy. I think it’s a VERY fine line.:-D

  9. Ah, thank you. I just had a major fight with an online friend who oft talked about wanting to write but she doesn’t have the “time” to write. The famous “if only I had …” I was so frustrated and annoyed that I wrote a rant about it [it’s my belief is if you want to do it, do it. No excuse. If there is an excuse, it’s you.]. So it’s a happy coincidence that you blogged about this as well. It’s a lot better [and nicer] than mine, so I deleted it. So thank you. 🙂

  10. Maili, You’re welcome, but I don’t think you had to delete your rant just because of my entry. Sometimes it’s good to rant. (evil grin) Loud and proud!

  11. If I had a dime for every time someone said to me, “I’ve always wanted to write a book” I’d be in the Bahamas right now.

    What is that? If you want to do something, DO it, whether it’s write, go to the moon …

    Just my .02.

  12. Jill, You and me both.

  13. I feel you. With exception of a few things, I’ve done nearly everything I’ve wanted to do over the course of my life. I think that’s why most people don’t take the plunge into doing what they’re meant to do because they haven’t gotten those “for-a-time” careers or interests out of the way in order to settle down.

  14. Evangeline,

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂