Seriously, I have been reading and listening to nothing but theories on doubles for the last several weeks. And all of this is happening just as I finished the self-publishing process of my book.
Yes, I am (someone, amazingly, miraculously) a published author. I mean, I've been published (blogging counts, right?) but now my fiction work is published... which is very, very hard to get my
The honest answer is: I don't really know. It just felt right. Margaret Atwood has a whole great list of reasons why writers write and, while most of them are relevant to me, it isn't something I really consciously think about. Why do I write? I don't know; why do I do half the things I do? I've been writing stories since I was eight or so and it's just something I grew up doing. However, it's something I haven't really expressed about myself very much until here recently. When people in high school or in the first few years of college would ask me what I wanted to do with my life, writing stopped being the first thing I would say. I convinced myself that writing was something I did on the side, something that probably wouldn't be a viable career option and maybe something I was really good at, but needed to go along with something else. And so I stumbled around many other things - music education, psychology (music therapy and clinical therapy), television and film work, a career in academia, evading the very fact that what I love doing most is writing. Finally, in the last two years or so, I realized that I want to write books - not films, not television shows, maybe plays - I do like writing dialogue - but really I'm focused on books. And I should stop trying to find something to do to occupy my time until I get published because... well, okay, I am published (still sounds weird). But
Yet part of the struggle with admitting one is a writer is being held accountable for one's words. I wrote my novel in a very short period of time in a very particular state of mind, one that I'm not
Writers may never quite be who they seem. And how are they meant to appear to their readers? Atwood considers this, stating beautifully, "Should the god of the artist be Apollo, the Classicist, whit his beautiful formality, or Mercury, the mischief-maker, trickster, and thief? Should you invoke as your inspiration the Holy Spirit, as Milton did in Paradise Lost, or a Muse of fire, as in the Prologue of Shakespeare's Henry V, or Harry Houdini, the hocus-pocus man?" (Atwood 105). The answer is that we're all of this at once and yet none of it. We sit solitary in front of our computers or notebooks, spinning stories, but I don't find it a solitary act at all, needing to be around people to bounce ideas off of and feel inspired and motivated, and for God's sakes to tell me synonyms for certain words. We are inventors and thieves and both invisible and visible in our writing. You can see why double start to become a good symbol for writing.
I could prattle on about theories on writing and being a writer forever, but that would be tedious for you. Instead, I'll say a bit about my book here. It's called First Light and can be purchased here.
So, if you have $5 you feel like spending, I would be happy to have you purchase my book. I get all royalties (ah, the perks of self-publishing) so if you trust me with your money, then go for it. However, as long as I'm out here writing for free (which is for the infinite future, as far as I'm concerned), I'm not going to twist your arm to pay to read my writing. But if you do choose to read it, let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your input!
Margaret Atwood. Negotiating with the Dead. Anchor Books, 2002.