Writing was my way of having fun. It was as habitual as brushing my teeth. It was what got me through my adolescence. For a long time it was a secret I guarded almost shamefully. It was how I created a perfect world, a place I could live in, that was superior to the reality I was plopped into. At the same time it was how I understood the world I was actually living in. Writing has been my most constant constant.
In my far-flung fantasies I let myself dream of becoming a writer. Now I realize I was a writer all along, even before anyone knew of my "cute little habit", before I got paid for it, before I had a book published. Back when I was a precocious teen, I was feeding myself on books and authors I admired. Studying them and copying them. I clutched tightly onto "The Catcher in the Rye" and "The Great Gatsby, half in love with Jay Gatsby and completely besotted with Holden Caufield. Being a published author was my idea of the greatest heights of success.
Part of me believes that I willed being a published author into being. All those years of concentrated scribbling and inveterate dreaming and never missing a chance to wish on a shooting star or my birthday candles. And my other part just feels like a lucky little girl. But now I want more...isn't that just like a human being? Wanting something so bad, making it into the be-all-and-end-all, the top of the mountain from where you can contentedly view a vast vista believing that once you get there then you'll be happy, satisfied, successful. Only to realize when you get there, it's nice and all but you want to get to the next mountain-top that is even higher and has an even better view from the top.
I try to remember the Lionel Richie Theory when my all-too-human desires start to sabotage me. Lionel Richie in an interview recounted how all through his career he ardorously worked to get to the top of Mt. Scintillating Success, and once he got there, breathless and worn-out I'm sure, he realized that there was nothing there. Nothing. Getting to the top of Mt. Scintillating Success was what it was all about. I'd like to test that theory out...