I have always wanted to be a writer. Really, this has been all I have ever wanted. I am a writer. I do write. But I am not a writer. I have no published books. I make no money from my writings. Everything I write I write for free. I do something else for money. Something that restricts me. Something that puts me in a kind of straitjacket. I know this to be true because when I am finished with work for the week and have the next several days off I feel this feeling of being unleashed. Of being set free. I can feel the straitjacket being pulled off. The things we do for money. The things we do for money are often the result of not doing the things we really want to do for money. So the things we do for money are not us. Or they are kind-of-us-but-not-really-us. We try to make the things we do for money us. It is like fitting into a pair of jeans which barely fit. You can get the jeans on but the jeans are restrictive and uncomfortable. They effect your breathing and movements in the world. I lost my train of thought. My wife knocked on the door and asked me a question. What was I thinking? She knows not to do this. I have told her again and again that when I am ruminating on the toilet to please not bother me. But she did it again. “Honey, do you know where the car key is?” And then I lost my train of thought. Why can’t she find the key on her own? The house is not that big. It frustrates me because I was the last one to have the key. I put it down in a specific spot and remember thinking, “This will be an easy spot to remember where the key is.” Now I can not remember where I put the key. What is happening to my mind? Is this why I am not a writer? I mean I am a writer but I am not a writer. To be a writer requires a specific discipline and focus. A certain sticking with it. Maybe my mind has never had what it takes to be a writer. My mind is not able to focus enough. It is not able to stick with it. I am too scattered and anxious. I am too all-over-the-place to do the kind of work that the published book demands. Maybe it is my anxiety that has cheated me out of being a writer. Maybe I have smoked too much pot over the years. Maybe I just do not believe in myself enough to become a writer. I do not know what it is. But I have always wanted to be a writer. The kind of writer that makes other writers want to be writers. The kind of writer that constructs truth out of words. The writer is no longer valued. No one seems to care about writers. You do not see writers on the news or in the papers in the same way that you do in Norway. Because the writer is so undervalued in America it is up to the writer to motivate themselves. It is like walking in the dark. Not even those closest to you will help you move forward as a writer. They will forget that you are a writer. They will take no interest in your writing. You will have contempt for them because of this. So you must write on your own. Push yourself by yourself. This makes being a writer almost an impossible accomplishment. But I have wanted to be a writer for almost all of my adult life. I am nearing fifty and want to be a writer just as bad as when I was twenty-seven. To be able to sit alone and work. To be able to make money from thoughts and ideas turned into words on a page. To be able to express myself. To be able to exist mostly in isolation and not feel bad about it. To be able to be of the world but not in it. To not have to work with other people to make money. To be able to be myself and not have to fake it for a buck. This is what I have wanted. This is what being a writer means to me. Writing is a kind of final frontier. A freedom from the norm. A freedom from the corruption of other people. You do not have to see or meet your readers. What a wonderful career, perfectly suited to my temperament but yet it still escapes me after all these years. It is the work. The sitting there at a solitary desk and working on words hours a day, day after day. This is the discipline I lack. This is the discipline a writer must have.
Zev Bauhaus 3 Minutes
Published by Zev Bauhaus