I write neither often enough nor seriously enough to be considered a writer. Or a “real writer.” I’m not even an accomplished reader. And yet, when I read other writers, especially when they describe the way in which they write, or how they write, or why they write, I feel a distinct connection. Like somehow I am part of that community. I’m starting to feel this way amongst doctors; this is both pleasant and expected. But doctoring itself does not often lend itself to personal expression. (Or at least it shouldn’t. There must be some sort of ethics statement by the AMA about this.) Sometimes I feel traces of this around earnest musicians, but when they become excited, again I become an outsider.
I enjoy reading fiction most of all, but I find it incredibly difficult to write. I can’t be bothered to stick to a same character or plot for any length of time. I think it would be good for me to try, but because I can’t sit down and systematically do it (at least, not with the real life schedule that I also must consider), I’ve started collecting things to eventually use in a bigger piece. They’re mostly nonsense things: word combinations that I find amusing, descriptions of objects or events that stick in my head, poignant couplets, or thoughts that deserve further exploration. Yes, I’m writing a novel, haven’t you heard? It’s going to be terrible, and it’s never going to happen.
I went to a bookstore the other day and raided their three dollar shelf. Half the books I bought were ones I’ve already read, but either I didn’t own it or I was getting it as a gift. Potentially. A potential gift. I seem to have a compulsion by which I always buy a copy of Franny and Zooey if I find it. I’m well aware that Mel Gibson’s character in Conspiracy Theory has the same affliction, only it’s with Catcher. The situation isn’t serious enough to cause me financial distress (only because it doesn’t happen on each of my daily visits to Amazon.com), so I don’t think I need to seek help just yet. Plus I eventually end up giving away all (but a couple) of my copies. So I feel the purchases are ultimately justified. I also picked up The House of Sand and Fog. My roommate tells me it’s a fantastic movie, which is intergalactic code for “the book is even better.”