Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Demon slaying

Something has been bothering me the past week or so, and I thought I'd just get it out there... see how other people react to what I have to say. Maybe I'm over reacting, but I'm so over that right now...

If you know me very well, you probably know that since I was young I have wanted to be a writer (also, a vet, a dolphin trainer, a horse breeder, a dog trainer, a  missionary, ... this list could be long). But seriously, I started creating stories in elementary school. I have a love for literary escapism that is seconded only by my love for my husband and the life I'm making with him... and it's a tough battle for that top spot. :)

About a year ago, Noah took a job that has allowed me the liberty to practice the craft I've been so eager to spend every waking second on. I really can't mention enough how amazing that is... to be given this opportunity to just be and to pursue my dreams... to figure out what those dreams are, even.

The thing is, it's been hard! The most consistent work I have done towards that dream of being a writer happened in November. November was a fantastic month (NaNoWriMo) when I got a LOT of copy written on a novel idea I've had since High School. (No seriously, I have the original spiral notebook, complete with pencil sketches) But it was tiring and frustrating as it was motivating, because I realized some things about my original manuscript, and about my own personal character that have made this particular work a challenge (no, sorry, not going to detail either of those realizations). I am determined to complete it, though... if for no other reason than to put it to bed and move on.


Someone tried to poke a hole in my ambition the other day by telling me that maybe I just wasn't suited to writing because it takes too much effort. And... that really bugs me. Because, as an American I've been raised to believe that I can do anything I put my mind to... in some ways I don't actually agree with that tenet of our society. If we could all be famous or geniuses at something we would all be ordinary... a self-defeating tenet it is that... But! If the journey is the object, then I think anyone willing to fail and try hard to do something they love or deeply desire to do should be encouraged to reach for their dreams.

Ok. So. Writing is not so easy for me right now. I don't wake up brimming with ideas and passion so searing that I have no choice but to sit down and pound out my innermost thoughts, creating fantasy and/or real worlds that I can't keep inside any longer. I think it's a flaw in my own character. A flaw that has made me somewhat reticent... which is not good for my writing mojo.

image borrowed from here.

That said, just because it's super hard for me right now does NOT mean that I should not be doing it... that because it doesn't come easy for me it's not what I'm meant to do. I refuse to believe that! I refuse to let go of the dream. Sure there are other things that come more easily to me. And instead of sitting here in front of a blank screen with a blinking cursor I will spend time on those things as well... to try and face the demons from an oblique angle. No point in beating my head against the wall.

But don't tell me it's just not for me... don't insult me by pointing out that my star is not shining as brightly as the rest. Because, baby, it's Shining. Period. And I'll make do with that for now.


  1. Amen, sister. If writing was easy all the time, everyone would be a writer! I've found that a lot of people say they want to be writers, but don't put in the time and effort. It's one of those things that everyone thinks they can do, but they never sit down to do it. Most every writer that was ever successful doesn't just sit down and spit up brilliance. They work at it. Every. Single. Day.

    I don't know if I could do what you do: write all day long. It's very impressive. Keep at it!

    And thanks for signing up for my blogfest :) I look forward to hearing your goals!

  2. The title of this post: Demon slaying. Exactly. And what this someone said? "... that maybe I just wasn't suited to writing because it takes too much effort." Hello!?! Uh, what, are we only supposed to do things we *don't* have to work for? That is ridiculous. Part of what writing *is* is hard work. And if you're passionate about it, it will never let you go. You know?

  3. Lots of my friends are writers -- and they all seem to think it's hard work. That's why it's so satisfying when you finally get done with a project.

  4. Someone who truly believes that you aren't suited towards something that takes too much effort has probably never had a true passion for anything. The way I see it, being suited for something doesn't mean that that something comes easily for you. It means that despite the fact that it doesn't, you love it anyway, and you work hard to improve at it.

  5. Thanks folks. I thought as much as well...

    Now I'll get down to some more of that hard stuff... and maybe one day have something to show for it.

    Hugs to all of you.

  6. Hey Elisabeth, by the way, there's an award for you up on my blog. Just thought you'd like to know. :)

  7. Sorry I am late, but I have to say that of all things worth doing, most are hard. As we say in crystallography, "Anything easy has already been done!"

  8. Be what you are and you will excel. The postulate that you can achieve what you want to through diligence is wrong. A writer writes.


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