Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Being a writer, the person I truly am

Today I spent at least six hours writing an article on the UK energy infrastructure, and after listening to journalists comments on CNN about good journalism, I started wondering whether I am a good journalist. I always try to research as much as possible an use all the available resources. If I can go to the spot I will, if I can track the info for weeks before actually writing the article I will, and I have files on people and cases I follow so I always know who is who and what is what. However, I never see myself as a journalist. It could be due to the fact that I consider myself a writer not a journalist, I write for newspapers and magazines about the things that interest me, I try not to sell my soul and write about things I completely dislike, but I can not deny it, it happens sometimes, I am human and my family and I need to survive.

So anyway, I am often wandering, what kind of writer I am, playing with the ideas of writing this or other book, short story, even a poem, at some point I even considered a screen play but I decided that my hand is too weak for that. I am building up a small experience and a package of skills for this profession, but I am still wondering where I should be heading from all this. Should I rewrite the book I wrote almost four years ago? There are so many works of mine, just sitting in the hard drive waiting to be used, will I ever have a courage to actually do something with them? With articles it's so easy, I research I write and when I am finished I write a short e-mail to my editor attach all the files and send it off. That's it, where with my written work, I am always so indecisive.

This is one of the reasons I picked up the Alchemist when I was returning some other books to the library. I love libraries and the quiet environment they provide I enjoy the peace in them and the soft voices of the librarians, the mountains of books, for me a library is like a friend where I can stay for hours without doing much but thoroughly enjoying myself. So this time I returned with Alchemist in my hand, and once home, I placed the book on my desk. I intend to go out tomorrow and read it while outdoors.

I chose this book because three months ago, my husband suggested to me reading it again, I have read it and it was a very involving read the first time, but I know this time around I will notice things I did not see before. I always enjoy the second read of a book that I liked the first time around and I know exactly why my husband suggested I read it again. The first time around it directed me to my true me, it assured me that I really am a writer, that I should never be embarrassed of who I am or where I come from, but this time around this is not the lesson I am meant to learn. It's about finding your fortune right there, where you did not expect it to be, because it was always under your nose in your own back yard. It is obvious what my husband attempted to achieve and I haven't read the book again yet, but I already know what I am going to learn.

This move back to Lithuanian, no matter how annoying, has taught me a lot. It let me get rid of all the past shadows, and open up like a flower like my friend's father once said I would. I am more of a writer these days than ever before and there are talks of me having my own page in one of the newspapers I am writing for. OK it is not an achievement of a lifetime, but it's a move upwards on my career ladder. I know I will not struggle for ever, I know I will be able to relax someday, but at the moment, this environment that keeps me on my toes, is helping me to manifest as a writer and as a person.

Today I made a deal with myself to try and write a post on my blog everyday until school holiday is over, I know at times I will be too lazy or too tired to do this, but it is more than achievable, after all, my blog is the only decent outlet for me to practice writing in English. As you are aware I want to be a writer and I want to write in English not in Lithuanian, because one day I want to reach a much bigger and wider audience than Lithuania, because I don't want somebody else translating my books into English, because whether I like it or not, I feel English therefor I am English, and that is why I one day I will write books in English.

Also during this lovely and busy holiday I intend to spend more time with my lovely family, I really do hope to have time to go for long walks with my dogs and just to lie in bed and cuddle up to my husband, time to read books, time to be me while still working hard to try and stay on top of it. It's going to be hard, and I suppose the house (or the cleanliness of it) will suffer yet again. That is one thing that always seemed unattainable for me - being a good housewife.

However I keep reminding myself I am human I can't do it all, and there are things that I can do but other people can't.

After finishing with this post I am left wondering; am I a writer or just a wannabe?


Richard said...

You are not the only one who suffers from lack of pro-activity. I too want things to be better, or imagine I can do something better. I have to work really hard to convince myself that whatever I do is the best I can do at the moment and I shouldn't sweat it. It mostly doesn't work. Somehow we imagine that those who do things, must, in some way, be highly skilled at what they do. I know that a lot aren't some are painfully unskilled / inexperienced, others it takes a little more time to discover how superficial their skills / talent is.

My advice is to just go for it and not be hesitant or timid. (Granted, I am not one to speak so authoritatively, since I have yet to subdue my own demons of self-doubt.)

Ah, that label thing. I would say call yourself whatever you do to make money. I probably should call myself many things: carpenter, handyman, painter, electrician, gardener, etc, but since I don't do any of those things for a living, I feel awkward about doing so. Notwithstanding that people / society tend to look unfavourably at people who attribute titles to themselves, but don't earn their living by that title. Some organizations (like doctors and lawyers) are very protective of their titles.

Personally, I prefer to just be me, a person who does things like write (well, dream about writing), cook, photograph, etc.

Oleksandr Solomakha said...

My advice is to always make a fair and decisive action. Do not be a spoof.

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