I’ve been working on the novel again for just over a week now. And with every passing day, I feel more and more alive. Every time I sense the doubt creeping back in, I tell myself that I can give it up if I want. That I can look for a cushy 9-5 job and surrender my dreams for comfort and banality. But I can’t do that. Writing is what I’m about. It affects me like a lover. When you’re in love, you just know, don’t you? Whenever your lover gazes at you from across the room, in that moment, everything makes sense. When you’re laying in bed wrapped in each others arms, there’s no other place you want to be. And that’s what it’s like when I’m writing. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I can’t do anything else. It’s just not in me. For good or for worse, this is my calling.
When I look back over the years when I was struggling, I don’t feel as though they were a waste. It’s all part of the journey. A learning curve in discovery. All those nights when I couldn’t write for love nor money, they served a purpose. Every day I lied to myself pretending I still had the belief, I don’t regret them. Because without them, I wouldn’t know right now just how much I lost my way. And that’s all it ever was- I lost my way. All my life, I’ve known I wanted to create art in some form or other. I’m an artist, and that’s what I do. I’ve never dreamed of having a good job, because it’s never interested me. It doesn’t excite me. Creation excites me. The passion of self discovery turns me on and leaves me begging for more. The magic of paint on canvas, of the written word. Storytelling is my sex. The energy it gives me unparalleled. The secrets of the mind, the hidden language of wonder. They’re in my DNA.
It’s a long road, and I’ve still got so far to go. But now my belief is back, it doesn’t matter anymore. This is what I love doing. It’s my power, my gift. And would I sacrifice it for an easy life? Never. The sacrifices should be made in order to protect what fires your dreams. And I’ve made plenty. Some conscious, others not. But what’s important, is that you recognize that it’s no good having dreams if you never act on them. If you don’t fight for your dreams, they wither away and turn to ghosts. And then they’ll haunt you with a passion. If you give up on them, you’ll never forgive yourself. The day I decided to begin work again on the novel, was the day I decided I wanted to achieve my dreams. Wishful thinking was no good to me anymore. Hiding with my head in the clouds just wasn’t acceptable. Either I fought for what I believed in, or I turned my back on it all, ready to live a lie for the rest of my life.
It’s only been a week, but I’m a different person. I’m the person I used to be. It doesn’t matter where other people are in their lives, or what I could’ve had if I’d have knuckled down and worked on a career. All that matters, is that I stay true to myself. The words keep me up all night, they call to me wherever I am. There’s no escaping them. The stories bubble within my mind relentlessly. My voice is clear, it must be heard. There used to be this emptiness in me. This desperate longing to be found. It filled me with sadness. I was silent and confused. I’d lost my way, and I couldn’t understand how. But now I’ve found myself. Looking inwards, I understood what was important. It only took me thirty fucking years, but I understood it nonetheless. We only get one shot at life, and what a terrible waste it is when we surrender ourselves to limits. To what’s deemed acceptable. Do what makes you happy. The struggle will make the success taste that much sweeter. It might take years, but so be it. It might make you poor, and you’ll probably lose a lot on the way, but so be it. Have faith, because one day, you’ll revel in every ounce of blood, sweat and tears you ever shed.
Categories: On Writing