Last night was a night away from all responsibility as I went out with some high school friends in celebration of the lot of Lancers achieving the 'golden' status of turning fifty years old. The older members of our class are doing so this fall, so we decided an impromptu mini-reunion was in order.
In so doing, we ventured out to listen to music, drink, laugh, tell stories, drink some more. So, it was like a bunch of writers getting together! Somewhere along the way, though, I made a grammar correction in conversation with someone who we 'adopted' as an honorary member and the topic of reading, hence writing, was broached by the woman.
And this is where the extrovert in me meets the introvert. As I have said many times, I consider writing an art in the same vein as painting or any other art form. We write because we feel compelled to let out those inner voices that haunt our minds with their words. While it might be thought that we would all be satisfied by standing back and admiring our work, I also think it is somewhat disingenuous to sit here and say 'I am satisfied with my work and I do not care if no one ever reads it.' To that I say horseshit. We would not belong to writers groups, we would not seek out whichever publishing options we do, if we simply wanted to sit and admire our own work.
And yet, with all of this bluster, we are reticent to talk about ourselves when we meet strangers. We become hesitant, downplaying what we've written. we try to excuse whatever flaws we feel might be exposed. We minimize ourselves. This, I think, is our biggest impediment in so many ways. Not just as writers, but as sentient beings.
But so it was that I found myself talking with this stranger about my work. She was interested enough to ask for a copy of my latest book in its beta form.
I want to sell books. I want to have my writing respected. Most of all, I want to be read by people outside my family and friends. Not because I need their affirmation, but because I want this passion of mine to be shared. Words are passion. When others take time out of their lives to read my words, I find it refreshing. My passion to write is fulfilled by words on a page, but my passion for literature and the written word to continue, to be important, that is something I want to be shared outside of my own mind.
I have spent the better part of the past three weeks marketing my book. A little bit of headway. I hope with each new person that they share the work with others. Will it make more than a drop in the bucket? Maybe. Maybe not. But in the end, a passion shared and appreciated is worth all the effort.
My dreams were quite vivid, lucid dreaming the doctors called these almost hallucinations. They were terrifying at times and benign at others. Benign dreams made for the best nights. No fear, no sweating, no night terrors. There were not enough nights of normalcy. Dreams of beautiful girls. Summer. Cars. Anything but these night sweats. There was a lonely sort of irony to the juxtaposition between days of glory and nights of terror. Everything around me during the day was new. I explored. I listened. Every conversation. Every bird. Every barking dog. It was a thrill to rediscover those things I most surely must have known before. I hated going to sleep. But I needed those dreams. I needed to find myself through the terrors.