Friday, December 11, 2009

On Julie and Julia and Writing

I saw Julie and Julia last night and since I've become so much more interested in cooking and homemaking since the baby, it was great on multiple levels. But the thing I want to hold on to here is how I cried when there were all those phone calls from editors and agents from having appeared in The New York Times. That part was any writer's dream come true. And the important part for me to remember here is that I'm a writer, even when I can barely tell, having not written anything for ages. I can always tell I am a writer (or that the writing dream is not dead and buried, at least) because of how I react to such tales.

Maybe I'm really supposed to outgrow the childhood dream of writing and settle into being a professor and thinker. But that's so sad. Even if it's true, I don't think it hurts anything for me to hold onto the dream. I don't know. Of course, I'd stop kicking myself that I don't write and feel I don't have time to write (which I'm sure isn't completely true, if I could just use those couple minutes a day) if I just gave up. But the thought of giving up fills me with grief. Maybe I'd get over it and live a more contented life. Maybe, but I doubt it. I think I would feel as if I betrayed the only thing I ever wanted to do, even if it was something I'm not suited for. I think I'd regret giving up.

In any case, I'm not ready to tell myself I'm not a writer. Instead, I don't want to lose the sense that writing, even if I'm not doing it now, is still important to me.

1 comment:

Ink said...

I SO feel this! All I've EVER wanted to do was write novels. And I am not doing it. Why? Because, my therapist would say, I put myself last. I do the stuff that my job requires (namely, literary criticism). I put all the rest of my energy into teaching. But I don't honor the fiction writing space for some reason.

So that moment in the film when she got all those calls affected me similarly to what you describe. Amazing.

I loved, too, how the writing of both women changed their lives (the one that made me weepy was when Julia was going "It's from Knopf! They want to publish my book! Wait, is it Knopf? Or Knop? Who cares!").