Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One Year Later - Looking Back at My First Year Writing

It's been over a year since I started writing - really writing. It's strange to remember the time when I started. It's stranger still to think it's only been a year. In some ways it feels longer. In others, it feels shorter.

Still, I find I'm battling the same demons I battled before - the self-doubt, the self-sabotage, and all the other little creeping issues that crowd my mind. Those creeping things are born from years of cultural barrage, telling me that writing isn't a legitimate way to live. It's not the thing to do - or so they say, whomever they are.

It's no wonder that I find myself here, after a year of devotion to the craft, feeling much the way I felt before I decided to start. Where has this attempt gotten me? Have I been wasting my time this year? Shouldn't I have been working at a job that actually paid out? Why not use the skills that I'll pay interest on for the next twenty years?

In my darkest moments, I ask myself these questions and I don't always come up with good answers. It's hard to devote yourself to something that requires time - often years - in order to see any kind of results. Sometimes you never see any results - it's not until your death that something is recognized. I hope that isn't me, but I can't be sure at this point. It is next to impossible to know what seeds might be planted in the random passerby. We just don't know how our actions impact the world around us. We don't know what will happen tomorrow or the next day. The best thing we can do is to continue doing what we love regardless of the results.

I don't know how many times I've been told that writers - artists of any kind - need to suffer in order to be successful in their creations. I might suffer primarily from emo first world problems - with the occasional worldwide issue (like access to healthcare or food) - but I have suffered and continue to. Luckily for me, my adoptive clan's motto is perfect for artistic motivation. It is "Learn to Suffer." So far, everything seems to work just right for the average brooding writer situation. All I need is a little steampunk styled lounge, some opium, and a few other equally brooding struggling artists to make a legitimate go of it. I'll be interviewing for the other artist parts shortly. Only problem is, you'd have to be in Bakersfield. I think the sun is necessary to combat the gloom and doom of the temperament.

Don't misunderstand me, I love writing. I love having time to write. I'm unhappy when I don't (which is perhaps why the short days are getting to me - lately I've been remiss in practicing my craft). I would do this no matter what. But everybody likes a little recognition.

It seems I'll also be meditating on patience. Patience is something I definitely need help learning.

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