To be, or not to be

Nicole Daughhetee

Nicole Daughhetee

Life As I Know It

By Nicole Daughhetee

I don’t go to movies too often, and I’m not certain why, because I enjoy the theater experience: freshly popped buttery popcorn, surround-sound enveloping the larger-than-life screen upon which the film unfolds, holding the hand of someone I love in the darkness.

Perhaps one of the reasons I don’t see movies in the theater very often is the exorbitant pricing. Once tickets, popcorn and a soda are purchased, I think to myself how I could have waited for the movie to come out on DVD and watched it in the comfort of my own home, which includes the ability to pause the action for a bathroom break.

With the girls at their father’s for the weekend, mom and I rented The Words — a film I had wanted to see in the theater but for whatever reasons didn’t. Without spoiling the movie for those who haven’t seen it, the plot essentially tells the stories of two writers (three depending on one’s interpretation) and their relationships with words.

Obviously, this is merely a skeletal rendition of the film. There are fabulous storylines packed and interwoven throughout the center, and the meaning was so poignant for me that it provoked the first column I have been able to write in the last few weeks.

My dream, though I was always only subtly aware of it until recently, is to be a published writer. True, I am published in the Courier, but what I long for is the type of publishing that takes place after meeting with an agent in some fancy office building in New York City high above the bustle of traffic below.

Words. I love words. I love the way they sound. I love the powerful meanings they possess. I love their potential to evoke passions like anger and sadness. And when the precise words are artfully crafted together in masterful sentences and paragraphs, words are amazing.

Some writers have a true gift and talent and shape words into beautiful and poetic structures. They are able to use words to capture the human experience — to give life to thoughts and feelings that would otherwise remain ethereal — floating without an anchor to a more solid foundation.

As of late, I really question my abilities as a writer. I’m a good writer. I’m a decent reporter. But I don’t think that I am gifted. I do not feel like I have the talents of those writers I have always admired. Jack Kerouac, Zora Neal Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ayn Rand, Adrienne Rich, John Keats, Ralph Waldo Emerson — these men and women are masters of the writing craft.

Trying to become a successfully published writer is akin to trying to become a famous Hollywood actress: I would have a snowball’s chance in Hades. Writers are, after all, a dime a dozen.

Profound personal changes and upheaval have forced me to take stock of my life recently. In so doing, I can’t help wonder if becoming a writer is a dream I should abandon. Love them as I might, maybe words simply aren’t “my thing” (for lack of better word choices). Perhaps a writer is not what I was meant to be.

To be, or not to be: that is the question…