The year my dad died, I was taking writing classes at University of Chicago. I was twenty-two and I wanted to be a writer. But let me clarify. I didn’t want to write. Writing was hard. Writing meant sitting alone in my apartment, something I already did more than I wanted to. But being a writer — being responsible for the pages clasped in the hand of readers as they run off to catch the bus or to find a quiet nook where they can thumb through the pages and pick back up on listening to this new intimate, this writer, this voice in their heads. I wanted someone to take in my words with the same longing and satisfaction that I felt when I read Hemingway or Austen or Tim O’Brien. I wanted to be one of them, only I wanted to do as little as possible of the actual writing. Every time I wrote something in those beginning years, it felt like the most dramatic triumph. Up to that point, not writing was what I knew. I didn’t know anything else. . . .
Read the rest at Bleed.