This is just a really good post about being a writer. I’ll just quote this bit:
And growing up I watched [my mom] struggle with the difficulty of telling people she was a writer at cocktail parties and having them ask, “Have you written anything I have read?” and having her crumple inside as she tried to come up with a breezy cocktail party answer to something that cut her to the quick. Man, that’s brutal stuff. I don’t think most people understand how personal good writing can feel, and how much doubt there is when you put something out there and don’t get a response.
I did my best not to want it for myself, because life is a lot easier if you have an answer like, “I’m a lawyer” at a cocktail party. People don’t further question your success or credentials. You don’t have to doubt every day whether you’re good at what you care the most about being good at, or whether anyone will ever acknowledge what you’ve done.
This is so true.
After going through law school, I have a theory that there are three kinds of lawyers: the ones who are in it solely for the money/prestige, the ones who are in it to “change the world” (includes both social justice types and academics), and the ones who are really writers. Surprising how many people said to me over the course of the three years: “But I’m really a writer.”