I thought of the idea to write this, had it all planned out in my head and then hesitated. I wondered if anyone would feel the same or even bother reading it. After attending a writer’s group recently, after too many months of isolation, the consensus was that writing is personal. That you need to dig deep and then sharing it is like putting your soul out for the world to judge. I get that, I do write personally, I just rarely put that stuff out to be judged. I write fluff instead. And book reviews.
So then I took a step back to regroup. To wonder for a moment if I need that deeper connection to gain more readers, to see more interaction both through Social Media and in real life. I realize that success is not simply about climbing a ladder to some elusive level of greatness and riches, it’s juggling all that life throws at you while you climb.
Brian Henry of Quick Brown Fox once mentioned in a writers workshop I attended that success in writing is not necessarily about hard work; it’s more about good luck. I was young, naïve and still dreaming big, listening to the voices that told me everything about life had to do with hard work. Always needing to see progress and change, drowning in repetition and sameness. As I aged that repetition and sameness piled on like never before though I wasn’t giving up the hard work, too. I continued to learn to climb while juggling and ducking from the obstacles I never wanted to face. Closing my eyes against some reality I never wanted to see.
It’s been more recently, for good or for bad, that I realized the luck factor does play such a large role for everyone – even the slackers.
Because we’re not in this alone.
No matter how hard one person works, stresses, how many balls are juggled, if no one is paying attention the only elusive existence at the top is even lonelier than it was on the way.
What I mean to say is, with any artistic endeavour, creating is only half the battle. You could be a dedicated artist, writer or musician and have a million pieces with your signature on them, but if you don’t show them to anyone, if people keep ignoring you, the content means nothing.
It certainly doesn’t mean you need to destroy your essence, go commercial and mass produce or give yourself away, literally and figuratively. And, from personal experience, it also doesn’t mean you should spend a lot of your time helping someone else reach another rung while sacrificing your own journey expecting for a hand to help you when you’re off balance. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t keep helping or shining the light on others, it means that you shouldn’t put yourself in the shadows to do so.
We all deserve to shine greatly, to work hard and to happen upon some good luck. We all need to help each other while also not giving up ourselves to do so. We can all shine brightly, juggle the real world and keep our eyes open to the challenges as getting through those hard times and sharing them, all of that is what makes the world go round and life worth living.
I realize that while I do write this I’m not promoting, reading, writing a new novel or cleaning a much neglected house. All of that will be there tomorrow. Right now, I’m in the moment I need to be in and hope you are, too.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments to see if you resonate with all of this, too.
And most of all – good luck!
I understand why you wrote this, and I agree with everything except: “You could be a dedicated artist, writer or musician and have a million pieces with your signature on them, but if you don’t show them to anyone, if people keep ignoring you, the content means nothing.”
The whole point of getting personal is to delve into our experiences and record them. While it is wonderful that others may read our work, share it and praise it, art in all its forms is self-rewarding. Or at least it should be.
I have written more than a million words, perhaps 2 million since 1997, and if everyone stopped reading my books and articles today, I would still finish my fantasy series, put it in book form and read it in the darkness of winter. I write the stories I want to read, so reading them fills me with delight. That is worth more than a fancy car, diamond rings or a mansion. It is not nothing; it is everything.
The journey of writing these stories has made me relive, in some form, aspects of my life, both good and bad. I’ve worked through the hard times, the hard feelings and released them into my characters, so I don’t have to carry them. I’ve also immortalized many wonderful adventures I’ve lived and people I’ve met, so when I read them (intertwined with the story where only I understand them), I smile and remember fond times.
Writing is equally a joy of recording as it is reading it and sharing. At least for me. As for luck and hard work. I like to think it’s a mixture of both.