Has anyone seen Julie and Julia? It's a lovely movie about a woman who blogs about cooking her way through Julia Child's cookbook. Sam and I watched it last year, and today it was on sale at the store for $5, so I bought it and watched it again today. It's the kind of movie that makes you want to eat a lot, so basically I love it.
The first time I watched it, I told Sam, "Julie is me! Someone's made a movie about me!" This may have been true if I was really into cooking, but I'm not, and the truth is I'm just narcissistic. As it is, I'm proud of myself when I can put together a simple meal of mustard greens and sweet potatoes, which is what is for dinner tonight. But other than the cooking, I completely related to the main character. I love that about movies. It's what I love about all forms of art - books, movies, songs, paintings - that I can relate to and be moved by something someone else has created. With that recognition comes the relief of knowing I'm not alone in my struggles, and that others deal with the same perceived character flaws that I do.
The main character is a writer - or rather, had every intention of being one. She is surrounded by successful friends and finds herself in a dead-end job after giving up on writing, even though she's written half a novel. She is nearly thirty (dear me, I will be twenty-seven in less than two months), and laments that her life is not where she thought it would be. I understand that feeling. Apparently, in her prime, others assumed that she would be successful, because she had promising talent. I don't know that any of my friends ever thought that about me, but I know I certainly expected that of myself. I imagine my friends, family, and all my old teachers are so disappointed in what I've done with whatever talent I have, or used to have. There I go being narcissistic again, assuming all those people are worried about what I've done with my life. I realize most people are more concerned with their own lives, not mine. And yet, whenever I saw my old principal in Starbucks, I wondered if he walked away thinking about how sad it was that I was a college dropout serving coffee. When my middle school English teacher saw me at Starbucks, he said, "So have you published a book yet? I'm waiting!" Me too, Mr. Haas, me too. I'm waiting for that moment when everything will finally click and I'll figure out how to do what I'm supposed to be doing.
Well, friends, I'm tired of waiting. I want to do something for myself, rather than simply talking about it. "Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table." (Proverbs 14:23) I can talk all I want about writing, but the truth is, I'm rather lazy about it. I say how much I want to be a writer, but then I barely even update my blog. Well, Julie (from the movie) finally commits to writing, and I want to as well. The character admits that it's necessary she set deadlines for herself, and I think that's a really good idea.
For now I have this little blog, and I admit that sometimes I feel silly updating it, especially when it's not really about anything in particular. I wonder if anyone really wants to read about my life or my thoughts, or if I'm just suffering from delusions of grandeur. (I'm inclined to believe it's the latter.) So again I must remind myself that I write for me. I need to stop worrying about my audience (or lack thereof) and what they'll think of what I write. As Anne Lamott says, no one else cares if I write or not. I must do it because I can't not do it. It becomes paralyzing when I worry about what others will think of my writing, or my silly blog, so I simply must write as if no one in the world is reading it. That's when my writing is real and honest, and that's exactly how I want it to be.