Wednesday, June 17, 2015

False Expectations

Cats, of course, are indifferent to everything.
I don't have any demands.

My goal is to be a writer. I've achieved that. I write all the time. Some of you read my stuff whether here or at the Confabulator Cafe or maybe you bought one of my books at Amazon. I'm a writer.

I've been paid to do some writing. While I don't make a living as a writer, what I've made qualifies me in some small sense as a pro. At conventions I write stories for people based on two or three words they give me. They approach my table, I pitch the idea to them and they give me a prompt. I suppose that qualifies me as a pro.

In some circles, anyway. Even if it's only in my head.

But I don't demand anyone else think of me as a pro writer. I never will. In my mind I will always be trying, always striving to reach that level that makes me feel like I might one day be considered with writers I admire.

Yes, there are famous names on that list. But there are names you may not know too. None of them matter because it's only for me.

I have no expectations. Well, at least they're low expectations.

Really, what I want is for people I don't know to read my stuff and have a response. Good or bad doesn't matter. I don't hope for a bad response but it's happened. The only expectation I have is that my writing will engender someone to fume with rage or frustration or alternately give me some sort of praise.

Then I'll feel like a real pro.

For instance, when I go for my now semi-daily walk, I often encounter strangers walking along the same path as me. I almost always nod and say hello to them. Even if they have earbuds in. I expect nothing in return but I'm always pleased when someone nods back or even acknowledges me with a 'hi'. Something quick, nothing committal at all. Just a word that says, "I see you exist".

That's what I want as a writer.

To know that others, people I don't know, to acknowledge my existence. I don't expect it, but it's a goal.  I don't demand it. I work for it.

As my life settles back down I'll go for daily walks. I have to get this weight off. If I pass you on the sidewalk and say hello, I hope you'll nod back.

That's all I ask for. (Edited to add this:) But if I don't get it, I'll keep walking. And writing.