Half Full, I Tell You, Half Full!

If you asked me half full or half empty, I think I’d answer half empty.  But the other day I was thinking about this and realized that I’m actually more of an optimist.  A cautious optimist, perhaps, but nonetheless, an optimist.

Yeah, gotta say this was ASTONISHING.

See, in a nutshell, I’m kind of a paranoid freak.  You know, the kind who pays attention to the airplane emergency exit procedure on EVERY flight just in case, who is always planning on what I’ll do in a worst case scenario, who won’t get too close to bears or tigers at the zoo because fences DO. GIVE. OUT.  Everything indicates that I’m a pessimist, but au contraire, my friends.

See, I also have this unwavering faith that if my plane does actually go down, I WILL SURVIVE.  That if the fence gives out and I find myself in the crushing grasp of a tiger or bear, my adrenaline and quick planning will enable my safe escape.

I know, WARPED.  But, what can I say?  Uh, really, what can I say? *twiddles thumbs and whistles*

Anyway, I was thinking that this optimism (in all its freakish forms) is probably what has kept me going as a writer.  Because most of us may fit that dark, brooding, antisocial, misunderstood stereotype, but here’s the thing:

You..We…are all optimists!  No crap!  Really.

Why else would you keep going when you start hating your story, or when you get yet another rejection from yet another agent, or when you’re on your second or third round of submissions?  What else keeps you writing contemporary lit when it doesn’t have enough commercial appeal or hook to sell, or paranormal when your sweet, sweet, vampires, werewolves, and zombies are “so out,” or steampunk when it’s been called *gasp* just a short-lived trend?

Think about it.  If you didn’t really believe in some corner of your little writer’s soul that one day your manuscript might be published, that others might read it, would you be doing all this?  I know, I know, some of you are going to tell me you write because you have to.  I get that, because I have to also, but…you hope others will read it, too, don’t you?  You hope your manuscript will catch the eye an agent, and then an editor, and then multiple readers, right?  If we didn’t, would we even write?  Maybe we would just let our characters live in our heads, allow them to live different versions of their own story, but we don’t.  We write.  We put it outside our mind in tangible form.  And that is done mostly because we hope it will be seen, read, interpreted by others.  At least, this is true for me.  Sure, I love art for the sake of art.  But I also love art because it’s communication; because it’s the sharing of ideas with others.

Anyway, I figure basically this unrelenting hope, this unwavering determination, well it’s either optimism or stupidity.  I, for one, opt for optimism.  It’s brought me this far anyway.

Follow me on Twitter @jetchez

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13 Responses to Half Full, I Tell You, Half Full!

  1. Wonderful sentiments! I never thought of myself as an optimist before, but now I shout it loudly (even though my hubby will probably laugh himself silly)

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  3. You are soooo right! 😉 It’s exactly what keeps me going.;)

  4. Ah–I needed this little hug to my writer soul. 🙂 Optimist…who knew? Here, I thought I was a stubborn masochist! 🙂

  5. erikamarks says:

    Oh, Jenny–I am a hopelessly, STUBBORNLY optimistic person and always have been. I simply don’t see an alternative. Love these sentiments.

  6. Love this post, Jenny! I have always been an optimist to counteract my husband’s extreme pessimistic side. I’m certain this attitude is what’s kept me from quitting writing completely at different points in my career. Glad you’re seeing that you’re a half-full girl, too!

  7. Ghenet says:

    Great post! I’m also an optimist when it comes to writing. You kind of have to in order to be a writer, especially nowadays when it’s hard to get published. You have to believe in yourself and your work’s potential. I agree that if you don’t think there’s a chance you’ll get an agent or book deal, you’re probably going to quit when it gets too hard.

    Now, if only I could get this optimism to carry over to other areas of my life! 🙂

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