I am certain I am not the only writer who feels all of the sentiments contained within the above blog title.
It is of little comfort.
In an effort to rectify the situation, instead of sitting down to write only when I am inspired or feeling the need to get something out of my head, I am going to schedule a healthy block of time once per week devoted solely to practicing my craft. If I manage to sneak a bit of wordsmithing in betwixt the day job, parenting, and exhaustion so much the better.
Returning to the title of this entry, what is the good of a writer who does not write? I am of the opinion that as a practitioner of a craft, be it an intellectual pursuit, artistic pursuit, or physical pursuit – the simple of act of doing is virtuous in the traditional sense. I do not claim with my words or by my actions to be a consistently virtuous human being, but when it comes to writing, or even reading for that matter, I attempt to be that classical champion of virtue.
Imagine the shame felt of having left my sword to rust! All of the reasons I gave myself held hints of validity, but as I examine them in retrospect they ring hollow.
A writer who does not write is not a writer. It is as simple as that.
I have no problem being known as, and even embodying, a husband, father, brother, son, friend, and those myriad other designations we as humankind ascribe to ourselves and have ascribed to us by others.
But what else am I? What am I known as aside from the obvious? What is my purpose? Does it even matter? These are the questions I ask myself consistently.
I am a writer of words. I am a writer of words!
No matter what else is bouncing around inside of my cranium, that is the answer that bubbles to the surface time and time again.
The jury is still out on whether or not that is my penultimate identity or being, but aside from my family and friends it is the one pursuit and practice that sings out to my innermost self.
Whether tapping away on a keyboard or scribbling in my notebook I feel completed when creating words that express feelings or ideas.
Even if no one ever reads them the act of bringing them forth into existence outside the confines of my own brain gives me a completeness I do not otherwise feel. That sense of completeness is how I know I am following a good and true pathway.
I am of the opinion that we all have an innate sense that can guide us throughout our lives once developed. Some are more aware of it than others. Others deaden it through various distractions to the point that it may be difficult to call upon for guidance in times of need. Many willfully ignore it outright.
To continually strive for completeness is not realistic for most human beings. Mundane life tasks, physical or mental limitations, and a host of other barriers tend to obstruct the way. Some of these obstructions represent parts of my existence that I cannot see myself living without, but others must be excised in order to make room for the goodness and truth that comes out of practicing my craft.
That is my challenge going forward. My quest!
I must shed the detritus to create space for the completeness that comes of writing words.
Additionally, it is my sincere hope that by reading these words it may at the very least, provide a sense of solidarity in knowing that you are not the only one struggling when it comes to practicing your craft, whatever it may be.