Rachel S. Heslin
Thoughts, insights, and mindless blather

False Pretenses
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I have a confession to make.

I was introduced to the weblog (sorry; the hip "blog" is too inelegant an abbreviation for me) community by Kirsten Hagleit, Aaron Vanek's other half, when she mentioned that Greg had an online journal and that you could buy stuff with Greg's face on it. I'll be honest: I only knew Greg as a casual acquaintance, someone who moved in the same social circle that I'd run into at parties or games and whose stories I always enjoyed when they appeared in our little club zine, Enigmata (well, with the possible exception of Li'l Scat, although that may just be my personal difficulty with accepting a turd as protaganist.)

Then I started reading his journal, getting to know him and liking what I read. Then I started meeting people through the Comments exchanges, and I liked them too and started reading their journals. Soon, I found myself feeling like I'd found a new set of friends who were interesting and creative and stimulating and quirky and whole bunches of other positive adjectives. One of the binding elements of this circle was a shared ambition to write superlative speculative fiction, become the next eventual Old Pros of science fiction/ fantasy/ horror/ slipstream/ non-wave/ whatever. They talked about what they were writing, what they'd submitted, how they felt when their stories were rejected, and what they hoped the future would bring. I loved feeling like I was part of it, except... except....

I'm not a writer.

I enjoy writing. I love words: the sounds, the cadence, semantics and semiotics of communication on all levels -- but writing is not my passion. Sometimes I don't know if I have a passion, although when I reach a point of centeredness and internal clarity, music transports me. I can sit at the piano, and the world disappears. Perhaps that's what passion is.

Nevertheless, I had come to value the opinions of this group. I wanted them to accept me as one of the family, and I was afraid that, if I admitted this fatal lack in my character, they would smile politely and I would become a mere observer. I didn't want that to happen, yet I felt awkward, as though part of me were pretending to be someone I'm not.

So here is the confession:

I do not have a driving ambition to become a professional writer. I would like to see some of my work in print, but even at that, most of the things I write aren't spec fic. I do sincerely enjoy the company of interesting and creative and stimulating and quirky et cetera people. I like ideas. I like emotions. I like people who understand the difference between treating something seriously and taking it seriously. I like debate and openmindedness and a willingness to explore alternative possibilities. I like honesty. I like friendship. And I like being able to be myself.

I feel much better now.

: )

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