I am reading eat pray love and I have mixed emotions about it. Most honestly (and shamefully) I resent people like Elizabeth Gilbert and Julie from Julie and Julia and a thousand others who have turned their thoughts and drivel--that, while well written, is mostly unexceptional (as is mine)--into a published book.
I read their words and recognize something I could do. They are not really more talented or better at transforming their daily internal detritus into language than I am.
But I think I have come upon a defining difference: they have hit a crisis of identity and confidence that has demolished them. They have had to, for lack of a better word, fabricate an imperative--an impetus--a justification--for their incessant, self-indulgent inner monologue that they must spill out onto paper (or, in this digital age, a computer screen).
DISCLAIMER: This whole theory could just be an extravagant line of defense (and comfort) created by my seemingly over-developed sense of identity and confidence to distract myself from the fact that I just haven't wanted it enough to completely devote myself to one imperative that will result in a book deal.
I feel, most of time, quite content and engaged in my life. I enjoy living it--having a glass of wine on my patio by candlelight; taking myself out to dinner; reading, reading, reading; soaking in the tub; laughing with my friends; laughing with my daughters; watching my girlies become themselves quite spectacularly.
So, whether my underlying reason for not writing Julie and Julia or eat pray love is really a sort of contentment combined with an undeniable imperative to provide a certain life and presence for my children or an inflated and quite eloquently devised self-delusion barely masking a paralyzing fear and doubt, I somehow know that my self-indulgent memoirist tome will not be fully realized or penned until I have (for lack of a better word) nothing better to do.
I find it quite amazing that I truly feel that there is nothing better that I can do right now then exactly what I am doing. And, if Erma Bombeck could use little more than being a woman, wife and mother as fuel for her rapier wit and gift for storytelling, then that is all the reassurance I need.