Thursday, July 17, 2008

What's Your Specialty?

When people ask you what you do for a living and you respond, "I'm a writer," the question often follows, "What's your specialty?" Nice girls respond with nice words like, "I write copy!" or "I review movies!" or something, anything, other than what I say.

Someone asked me recently, and it was all I could do to keep the word "Addiction" from flying out of my mouth. I actually choked on the word, stuffed it back down my throat, and responded with something like, "I write personal essays..."

Addiction: it's become my area of expertise. Specifically, I'm quite knowledgeable in writing about heroin addiction, and even more specifically, my husband's addiction to heroin. If there were only a job that would pay me well and give me benefits to write about my husband's addiction to heroin, I'd be a great candidate. I bet I'd get a promotion quickly.

I'm trying to diversify a bit, to expand my writing portfolio to include subjects that lie outside the circumference of my own asshole. I'm not good at getting outside of my comfort zone. Or more accurately, I prefer to stay within my discomfort zone. My life isn't comfortable at all. It's comfortable in its discomfort, and it's what I like to write about. Other subjects seem kind of dull, lackluster.

I don't know where I learned that pain is exciting and glamorous, and I don't know how to unlearn it. I guess it's getting better, and I'm getting better at taking care of myself and pursuing healthy, loving activities and people in my life. Still, though, sometimes all my recovery hoohah and spiritual blahblahblah kind of makes me gag.

I don't know.