In my post on my virtues, I left one out: obsessive. I think of myself as “moderately obsessive” but “moderately” is of course a subjective term: one person’s “moderately” is another person’s “mildly” and still another’s “extremely”. So I had better call myself “obsessive” tout court.
Things I am obsessive about include email clients, text editors, pens, wallets, mobile phones, cats, silver rings and writing. I enjoy writing, expressing my thoughts, ideas and theories, telling stories and anecdotes, putting words together and marvelling at the unexpected games they play. I have written poems, short stories and one-act plays and started several novels, none of which I have finished.
And what have I published? Apart from a fun piece in an electronic magazine and letters to newspapers and magazines, nothing at all. I have made a couple of unsuccessful attempts – once with poems, once with a sci-fi story – and left it at that.
Why have I failed to be published despite my love of writing? Perhaps I lack talent or the nous to impress a publisher. Perhaps I am still waiting for my lucky break. Or perhaps it is the fault of another so far unmentioned virtue of mine: indolence. (Most people say “laziness” but I think “indolence” sounds more me.) It is one thing to complete the draft of a first chapter in a rush of enthusiasm, quite another to persevere with discipline and determination, day after day, until the project is completed; one thing to show one’s work to friends for their captive admiration, quite another to tout it around the publishing houses until someone deigns to read it.
Perhaps I should regard my current state of “resting from work” as the ideal opportunity to sit down and at last put my pen, or word processor, where my mouth is. Having changed into comfy clothes, brewed a pot of tea and, metaphorically, sharpened the pencils, will I be able to produce the goods? Time will tell.