I wrote this a few years back, but it never hurts to remember these things. One of the best aspects of writing is the window it provides to the person we were, rather than memory’s warped representation of the person we remember being. This was written over four years ago. . . and I haven’t been a runaway success, but I also haven’t crashed, burned, and given up.
I like writing poetry. I am good at writing poetry. Poetry, to me, is more natural than speaking normally, because when we talk to people we have to use common language. We sacrifice internal truth for broader comprehension. Poetry is simply the act of removing that secondary filter, and saying what we want to say the way we would say it to ourselves.
However, I avoid the title of poet like the plague, and I don’t write much poetry anymore. It doesn’t sell well, it’s not technically challenging in the same way, and even the very best poets rarely manage to achieve their goals. As well as for more practical reasons, like how among my circle of friends this would nearly double the number of headlocks I’d have to break out of regularly. Trust me, that number would be significant enough to be bothersome.
This brings me to the finally-solid concept which has been sticking its nebulous tentacles into my subconscious for days, now: Sacrifice. Why am I a writer?
I was, until recently, a chemist. I had the degree, the job, and the secure future that went with it. I was working my way through grad school, and I was absolutely miserable with the whole affair. Hundred hour work weeks leading to nothing but failure finally broke all resolve and desire to be an academic. My biggest fear became this idea that I would spend the next few decades as a well-paid prisoner of my degree. Worse, by far, I had no time to write, and no indication that was going to change. I didn’t realize how much that would matter until I lost it.
Flash forward to now, I live in my car, with no steady source of income, no security at all, and a very large question mark next to a scribbled out bit that used to say, “Bright Future.”
And I am happy with the choice, because I knew there would be sacrifices; there are always dues to pay on the road to where we want to be. Now, for a change, these sacrifices are for something I want. No matter where I end up down the road, or how long I end up there, I will be there with one goal on my mind: To get back to writing. Whether I’m flipping burgers, doing odd jobs, or back in a chem lab, I will be a writer.
I am Connor Rickett, and that is why I am a Writer.