I wrote this on my birthday in 2014 and didn’t post it. I took some of the ideas and put them into a different post a couple weeks later. While looking over lost threads I found this again and decided to put it out there in its original form…changing the title from “51”, my age at the time, to a vague reference to area 51—for no good reason.
Area 51 and Ingrate Writers
America hates its writers. Not exactly a revelation, I’ve always known it on some level, but recently I got new insight on the reasons why people push writers out of groups and leave them to be on their own. I’ve faced this my whole life, but the negative aspects of it have probably never been worse than they are right now.
A smart person who I like recently wrote me this (paraphrased): it’s your insecurity and incessant need to keep picking apart my personality, my behavior that makes me not want you around.
As much as I might like to defend myself or protest this characterization of me, I must admit it is the most succinct assessment of my personality anyone has ever provided. It also explains the way many Americans feel about writers. I am an incessant person, and I do touch on people’s insecurities by sharing my own. I pick people apart and reconstruct them, as if they are characters in a work of fiction. My bad.
I try to keep my insights to myself or be gentle about them if I speak up, but after so many years of watching the level of openness in our society drop to ridiculous lows, I feel an urge to speak up more than ever—to shine a light on the deeper person and poke at them in a good ‘I get you’ way. And yet I know if I do so too incessantly, I will be cast out into the wilds alone—that place where writers thrive and die.
I can’t help myself sometimes, especially when I see a shine of spirit so bright that I am drawn to the light. I am a slave to my personality, cast out from the cages of the domesticated.
Another year ticks away on the calendar today, and I will spend it by myself at Grand Canyon or somewhere recharging. I know that I have good and negative aspects, and those are intertwined. Like everyone, I try to let my spirit light shine through the bars of my ego cage and not blind people with my insights or cast too many shadows. Mostly I fail, but I hold out hope the world will find a place for ingrate writers again sometime soon.
November 26, 2014