Writing is hard. Creativity is hard. It isn’t hard like being a doctor and giving someone bad news, or in a I’m-saving-lives-firefighter way; but it is hard. Maybe because we make it hard. (Of course, by ‘we’ I mean me.) The struggle gets me down. Then I remember I am not my thoughts, I don’t even have to listen to my inner jerk wad.
The beginning or even deciding to start is fairly awful. You have to convince yourself maybe you can do the impossible. You can put those words down on paper in way that makes people feel, imagine, change their minds, or make the world a better place. You have to convince yourself this story you have inside you is worthy enough to be seen, read, and dare I say, even published. After that, you have to convince yourself what people say doesn’t matter. You put everything you have mentally, in word form, into that story and you put it out there for people to see. Have you seen the shaming and judging in the world today? Are you ready for that? Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. Oh, that doubt gets you every time. It’s like when you leave the house and keep thinking you didn’t shut your garage, but worse. Or you can just put words to paper and come what may.
There’s been way too many years I’ve spent trying to be anything but a ‘writer.’ I’ve dabbled in and mastered many types of writing; advertising, web content, newspaper reporting, they all have a wonderful place in the world, but for me it was just another means to use my writing in a mode that was considered “approved” and less risky. Guess what? It wasn’t a substitute for a good old fashioned creative story.
Writing is also something you do alone. You’re born alone, you die alone, you write that story alone. Sometimes it’s nice. Sometimes you get tired of hearing yourself compare the words ‘light’ and ‘not heavy’ to see which has a better flow with your story.
My kids know I’m now trying to accomplish something with my writing. There’s nothing better than the belief and support of elementary aged kids. They have such faith in me it makes me cry. I’ve never had my own cheering section. Part of me wonders what they will think of me if I fail. I suspect better than if I didn’t try at all. Part of me wonders how I could fail with them in my corner.
There’s also a little, squeaky voice inside me that says if I just let all this other stuff go, everything would be fine. I may not be a king of production like Jame$ Patter$on, but I could make it.
There’s a documentary from Dave Grohl called Sound City. There’s a part where he is writing and recording music with Sir Paul McCartney in his studio. Paul and Dave are rocking out and Dave says something like, ‘Man, I wish making music was always this easy.” And the ever-wise Paul McCartney says ‘It is. It is.’