Something From Nothing
I’m glad I’m not a writer. That is, I’m glad that I write. In fact, I love writing. I do it six days a week. I’m doing it at this very moment. But you see, I can only do it for about three or four hours a day. If I were a writer, if that’s what I was, then the moment I closed my computer I would disappear, for I would no longer be writing. This is why I’m glad I’m not a writer. It’s picayune, I know, but the possibility exists that one day I will wake up and no longer want to write anything. The possibility exists that this path which looks from here to be all about writing will wend its way to a field that cannot be sown with words on a page. Since it was the path I so loved, must I not follow it, writing or no?
I say this having spent years muttering, “Writer,” when people asked what I did. I felt obliged to answer the question because it had been asked, knowing full the inevitable follow-up question, the answer to which was, “Nothing yet.” Which meant I wasn’t. No matter what I did every day, I hadn’t, so I wasn’t.
Who wants to be nothing? Don’t we all feel like something? Don’t we wake up and think, “I am something, God damn it. I look in the mirror and there something is. You can’t deny something is there. Only what?” Writer was such a lovely answer to that question. Such a friendly answer: Someone who inspires and entertains; someone who moves and amuses.
All of which can be done without ever writing a word. But write I did—happily most times, miserably some others—until I realized no one actually cared about the answer to that question. I was, and always had been, the man standing before the one doing the asking, the man standing there talking and not writing. I was something, all right, but I was finally wise enough not to bother giving it a name.
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You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com