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Friday, May 29, 2015

A Writer’s Apology


I want to begin with an apology, one you’ll rarely hear from me or other bloggers, authors, reporters, and people who practice the art of writing.  

Whether writing is a hobby or a profession for you, you know that writing can come easily to you when you are passionate and knowledgeable on what you write about.  You may write about controversial topics, such as political, sexual, religious or life-death stuff.  You may require courage to brandish a particular viewpoint and even risk your job, finances, safety or relationships to get your words published.  But I realize now that though writers can be visionaries, leaders, and cultural heroes, I think we may be nothing but philosophers, entertainers, therapists, or worse, mere rodeo clowns, distracting the world from what really must be done.  

I am guilty of this, I’m afraid, of being a writer with conviction and heart, but not one of action and deed.

I instruct others, but what do I really do?

I give advice, but don’t always take it.

I analyze and see both sides, but sometimes fail to choose one.

I raise questions, but don’t always give answers.

I am a voyeur and commentator, a thinker and a debater, but I am not a person of action.

I feel like a hypocrite, a sideline bench-warmer, a never-was, and a never-will-be -- unless I take action to give form to my words.

Now, you may be kind and say that I’m too hard on myself, that my words can inspire action in others, that my writing isn’t just a meaningless exercise.  I would be inclined to agree, even champion such reasoning.  But it’s not enough.  

I’ve failed to rouse myself to live in the real world – to take risks, to bleed, to cry, and to get hurt.  I’ve deprived myself of a chance to make it big, to take a leap of faith and cross the line that divides those who live in a world of paper words, and those that live beyond me, the real people who take chances, are made of blood and guts, and who commit themselves to do or be something.

I feel like a cartoon character, drawn to amuse others but never allowed to leap off the screen to be real, to be touched, to be lost or discovered.  I am like a video game, living in a world with rules and rewards, but none of them are in my grasp, as if they lie just outside my reach in another dimension.

You may be thinking: “Oh shit, what is he talking about?”  I’m not depressed, nor angry, nor going crazy.  I’m merely doing – again – what I and writers do best – write, analyze, contemplate, and hypothesize.  

At the end of the day nothing happened, nothing changed.  My world still exists in my head and the rest of the world remains untouched in any concrete or discernible way.  My pathetic rant, apology, and whinefest is just another day for this writer.  I write to live but I never really get to live beyond my words.

Perhaps I’m being too tough on myself.  It’s not like I’m in a box at home with no one to share my life with.   I have a family, friends, coworkers, and clients.  I do things other than write.  But I feel like something’s missing.  I’m simulating a life, but not fully living it.  I’m going through the motions.  I need a change.

Will I resort to a mid-life crisis and cheat on my wife, party six nights a week, buy a fancy car or do something wild?  No.  Will I suddenly take to shoplifting, getting into fights, or randomly curse at people on the streets?  No.  I’m not Charlie Sheen or a disgraced athlete.  But I know it’s not enough to just continue on my course of meeting obligations, being responsible and accountable, always writing and never really tasting life firsthand.

I apologize for writing and not acting, for raising ideas but never marrying one, for debating issues but never setting one, and for dreaming of better days without trying to live them.

It’s not too late.  

As much as I adore the acts of writing, reading, researching, and marketing, one day I will take action and feel amongst the living.  Until then, please accept my apology.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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