One of the most distressing comments ever made to me was uttered by my second wife when we were on the verge of calling it a matrimonial day (not at all a good time), when she said: “I often had the impression that you thought I always had one foot out the door in our relationship. You’d be right about that.”
So yes, I have intervals of insecurity. Those intervals include most of my sentient hours, and some even sneak in when I am sleeping and awaken me fraught with anxiety.
Anyway, that incident was long ago and far away and I got past it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still harbor insecurities. One of my biggest revolves around what I do, which is write – just like I am doing right now. My biggest insecurity in this regard is that I have lost my mojo; that I no longer do it as well as I at least thought I did in the past. A huge mistake for me is to look at earlier writings in my collection of blogs. An even huger, gargantuan mistake is to look at my former published writings – you know when people actually paid me for this shit.
And as I ponder columns and op-ed pieces freelanced to assorted publications everywhere from London to Vancouver and Victoria, I wonder if I could still rise to that occasion. Rising to an occasion of any type becomes a distressing thing with age, and writerly occasion rising is just as threatening to the ego as is failure in that other realm that I semi-smuttily alluded to, if you caught my drift.
What I am saying is that some of my age-old stuff was quite good. Good enough to actually earn me a few awards and also to give me a pay-cheque on a regular basis.
So if writing distresses me and makes me insecure, why do I persist in doing it. The answer is simple and complex at the same time, but mainly it’s because writing is what I ‘do’. I have no choice in the matter. Like eating meals or going to the toilet, I also have to write. It saddens me that visiting the potty is sometimes more productive.
Of course part of my inspiration for writing stems from the fact I read. And I read good writers. And in so doing I only increase my insecurity. Douglas Adams and Bill Bryson piss me off because they are (were, in the case of Adams) so blessedly accomplished, and so droll, and so inspiring and so frustrating. Even if I go for a detective yarn I am inclined in the direction of the likes of PD James. Even in her late 80s she was turning out prose that was sans pareil and too erudite for the crime genre in which she wrote.
Anyway, this puppy is going to be posted as a blog. Hope y’all read it and maybe even like it. I am always open to compliments. And I will try not to think about the two manuscripts that sit with a couple of publishers about which I have heard nothing for months and months and months and months.