Friday, April 20, 2012

Why write?

[ Optima typewriter ] by shexbeer
[ Optima typewriter ], a photo by shexbeer on Flickr.
My day job in casting is ending in a month, and I've no idea what I'm doing next.

Which, if you know me, is not unusual, but as I edge closer to my 40th birthday, it becomes more clear that I want my doing to align with my being. Last night, my dear friend and housemate discussed my future. He sprawled on the futon, a hold-over from poor post-collegiate days, I sprawled on the couch opposite, a plate of cheese balanced on my stomach and a glass of red in hand.

I reiterated that I don't want to take another casting job (and now I'm publishing it!) - it's too easy to let a year pass without pursuing what I really want, and as much as I enjoy my current casting gig, NO other job is like it. Instead you have a small budget, an even smaller staff, with high expectations to cast unicorns (Ivy-league smart AND stripper-hot women who want to be on reality TV!) for an unknown, untested, unchartered show.

I want to write. To blog about life, about living in Los Angeles without a car, the community/communities you encounter when you engage with the city by sidewalk, bus, and train. To talk to people on the street, to record their stories and bring their lives into focus, to recognize neighbors across the multiple neighborhoods that make up LaLa Land. To, as Walt Whitman wrote in the preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass "love the earth and the sun and the animals. Despise riches. Give alms to everyone that asks. Stand up for the stupid and crazy. Devote (my) income and labor to others, hate tyrants, have patience and indulgence toward the people ... (to) go freely with uneducated persons and the young, and with the mothers of families."

Anyone hiring for that?

"Why write? How justify this mad itch for scribbling? Speaking for myself, I write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies. I write to record the truth of our time as best as I can see it. To investigate the comedy and tragedy of human relationships. To oppose, resist, and sabotage the contemporary drift toward a global technocratic police state, whatever its ideological coloration. I write to oppose injustice, to defy power, and to speak for the voiceless.

"I write to make a difference. 'It is always a writer's duty,' said Samuel Johnson, 'to make the world better.' I write to give pleasure and promote aesthetic bliss. To honor life and to praise the divine beauty of the natural world. I write for the joy and exultation of writing itself. To tell my story."

~Edward Abbey, from "A Writer's Credo"


2 comments:

Unknown said...

There are plenty of us out here who are more than happy to hold you to this! So...what are you doing and what are you writing???!!!! Becky

Rebecca Snavely said...

Thanks Becky! Right now, it would help for the accountability, if you want to check in every now & then on FB or e-mail to ask what I'm working on. Miss you -- Rebecca