Most of my life, I've wanted to be a writer. When I was 8, I wrote a very bad story about a turkey who didn't want to be Thanksgiving dinner. My grandmother read it at the holiday table and said in her Texan lilt, "Amber, you should be a writer," and a writer was born. I'm glad she didn't say, "Amber, you should be a Walmart greeter," so impressionable was I.
In middle school, my desire to write wandered into the realm of dreamy and melancholy poetry, involving leafy meadows and a lot of pre-teen angst. In college, my writing wandered into the realm of "stark," "true" writing, en vogue in universities, which really means pretentious, depressing crap. Post college it wandered into "Christian" writing - Bible studies and deep thoughts and whatnot. Now it meanders all over in the nebulous and scattered world of blogging.
Throughout all, the deep desire to write something has driven me. But a common thread is that I have never had any desire to write fiction. I've made a few half-hearted attempts to see if I'm "good" at it. Which were always answered: "No."
Thus, in the past I've always said that I don't write fiction because I'm bad at it. Or because I can't come up with plots. But I'm discovering (as I read Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft) that I don't write fiction because I don't want bad things to happen.
All story necessarily involves conflict. There's no story with no conflict. Whether it's a psychopath in a Stephen King novel, or a petty gossiper in a Mitford book, bad has to happen. In my own writing, I can come up with place and characters, but I prefer them to stay in misty blissfulness. I don't want to hurt them. I want the world to be a nice place. There is enough bad in the world without me writing more into it. This is my own immaturity as a person, my desire for niceness.
Many times, I think I shouldn't push it. Just write non-fiction. But it saddens me that my own Pollyanna-ishness denies me the richness of story. I will never write a book about a psychopath torturing others. And I'm annoyed by the petty conflicts of gossips in the Anne and Father Tim series. But reading King's book, I'm once again beckoned by the finger of fiction. That tease. The desire to create stirs. I ask myself, "What is the point?" But in writing, it never begins with a "point." It begins because I simply must do it.