why i still want to be a writer, even though scholarship makes me perfectly content

So I still cannot stop myself from reading. That is why my 2011 reading challenge looks like this

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
hannah has

read 33 books toward her goal of 150 books.

hide

but my novel word count is only 9892. Still, that’s more than last time I updated my blog with a word count, and even though that means nothing since it’s not like I blog every day, I’m going to pretend as if that’s significant. Because that’s only counting the real chapters, not the random notes and bits and pieces of dialogue I sometimes come up with. I’m determined to write this one chronologically if it kills me. Clearly I don’t finish things when I write out of order, so it’s worth a try.

I wrote this post a week ago, and as it always goes in my life, I found myself wondering if I could love two disciplines. This has constantly been my problem with studying both music and literature, or both music and writing, or both writing and literature. I suppose that will always be my problem.

But anyway, I read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares today, and like any book written at least in part by Rachel Cohn, I ate it up. For all the times I’ve been to New York, I’ve never been to the Strand. But I’ve been to Bookman’s, which is the Tucson equivalent to the Strand or Powells, and even not having been to those places, I can understand the culture of a used bookstore, the intellectual snobbery and one-up-ery and sincerity that goes with being a really earnest lover and lurker of a place like that. I’m also on goodreads, and I love that there is a virtual community that lacks the pretension or obligation of facebook and yet is still a strange, 21st century, fascinating new thing that revolves around not just reading, but love of reading and respectful worship and awe of authors. And I volunteer in an arts therapy group that tends to attract as its mentors social workers, teachers, counselors, and writers, and being around those writers who are lucky enough to be called authors as well is so warm and reassuring. I love that they encourage me in a way that’s not condescending. I might not have published in book form yet, but I am their equal because I am a slave to language. And I’m also a member of the Blue Boards, another place where I know that just because I haven’t yet finished my novel doesn’t make me less smart, less dedicated, or less worthy of a writer, critic, or person.

And those are the reasons why that, even though I am happy being by myself much of the time, even though I purposely cancel outings with friends if I have had too many social outings recently, even though I don’t like to find myself in crowds of any kind, I want to continue to strive to be a writer, and eventually to become an author. Because for all of my social ineptitudes and awkwardness, and for all my wanting to be by myself, I love the community that I am afforded when I identify myself as someone who needs words to live. It’s the best community of all.

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