The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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On Writerly Ambition (Or Lack Thereof)

I often get suggestions from many friends and well-wishers who ask me why I don’t submit writing pieces to magazines, websites, blogs, etc.

I think of a good response, then another… and because I am a good writer, I can give a nice-sounding explanation. I think they walk away convinced, believing that that I have a solid reason why I don’t submit my writing to other outlets.

Actually, here is how I think about this.

I am a lazy writer. I believe in inspiration. I believe in writing hard and fast, as rapidly as I can…. before the genius sprite flits away. I will do all that I can, give it my top best shot, write and edit, write and edit, be a willing servant to the creative spirit, put my fingers and words and typing to good use.

But something within me rebels at the idea of getting feedback. No, I am not terribly enthusiastic about placing my writing before an audience and getting their comments, and “improving my writing,” so to speak.

Does that make me an arrogant writer? Perhaps.

It’s just that I write for myself; I have always written for myself. I am positive that there are fabulous mentors out there who can help me, and who can guide my writing to a truer, clearer, more beautiful place.

But I have to find that one mentor. Or rather they have to find me. Because I am not looking, really.

For me, writing is life. In life, I have pretended to take guidance from others. Actually, I have taken guidance from others. But now, it has all come back to me. The inner voice is often timid and shaky, sometimes unclear… But it is there. She is there.

Similarly, I have always looked within to gain insights about my writing. Perhaps this makes it seem like I write in a vacuum of sorts, my own little cocoon or bubble.

Are all writers like me? (I am sure the answer is No.) Am I the only arrogant, so-called writer with an attitude problem?

I don’t know.

Do I need to “grow up,” mature as a writer… seriously think about improving my craft?

It is so darned difficult!

As I said, I am such a lazy writer. I answer to no one’s call except my own. I heed no other’s suggestion except mine. Does that make me arrogant? Or utterly and totally self-validated?

I don’t know!

Last year I attended a writers workshop, thinking that I could (or should) learn from fellow writers who, like me, traverse the path of part-time writing and a full-time job/other responsibilities, etc.

I came back uninspired.

(Really, what IS wrong with me?)

It feels like I am a solo player when it comes to writing. I will happily cheer for others but I am not particularly interested in playing with them.

I think it is simple. Writing is immensely soulful for me. I am not the least bit interested in anyone else’s critical feedback. For me, what comes naturally is referring back to my own voice, my unique creative process. This process is still a great mystery to me. So my endeavor has always been to seek and find my own voice, write it, then again, and again.

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That Kind of Love

You fall in love with a place, a person, an animal
A painting, a piece of music, an actor, a movie.

You fall in love with a moment, a point in time
A place of quiet, a space of meaning and significance

A recipe, a piece of clothing, a book, a flavor of ice cream

And so it goes.

And then it so happens that one day a flower blooms within,
A ray of light seems to emerge straight out of you
A fountain bursts forth into radiant, shimmering jewel tones
Spraying music and light and fun all around.

And then it dawns: You have fallen in love

With life.

And now it is all covered, nothing left out, no one remains untouched
This is the loveliest love of all.

It is never alone, it spares not a soul
It starts pouring out generously, dissolving the worlds and stars and skies and oceans and you.

And that’s the awesomest love of all.

Talk is Easy

“Don’t you feel that there is such a lot of chatter going on all the time?”
“Like you are surrounded by a bunch of chatty folks all the time?”
“No, it isn’t just that.”

Talk is easy, quick and cheap
You can talk through the day until the sun sets, and then all night long.
Start the chatter and careless banter as day breaks,
Then there is TV and talk radio, interviews and people holding forth endless opinions,
And the grocery store and yoga studio, salon and gym.

It is on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr,
We all have something to say, our voices count, our opinions matter.

Even when the voices have died down, the talk continues.

Unceasing, relentless, changing and evolving, yes.

“Let me speak, I have been silent so long
I want to share too, I have been quiet for years,
I would like for someone to hear me too.”

I wish it was quieter, I really do.

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