There was an email in my spam box just now from Polina. Polina asks in her subject line, "Hey, why do you not write?"
Well. That's a very good question, Polina. Why DO I not write? Because not writing is what I do.
I watched a film called Finding Forrester a few nights ago. The film stars Sean Connery as William Forrester, a reclusive writer who published one critically acclaimed novel, then disappeared. Forrester reluctantly takes under his wing a young black writer, Jamal Wallace, whose talent blossoms under Forrester's mentorship.
One of the scenes that stayed with me was when Forrester tells Jamal that "you write your first draft from the heart, and the second draft from your head."
My problem seems to be writing from my head too much. My head is full of critics who don't want me to write at all. It's funny; the critics think everyone else writes beautifully. The critics believe I have nothing important to say, and above all else, nothing interesting or entertaining.
This is why I do not write, Polina. I could give you a hundred other excuses, but I have given you the most valid reason. So stop emailing me.