Let’s be honest here, as much fun as we have with what someone called “forced romance day” for many people February 14th is just another day. Except for my brother…oops it’s his birthday. Hang on, gotta call him.
Phew, glad I remembered before midnight. My brother flew all over the world for several communication companies. Then he was caught in the downsizing selling out, good for the investors hell for the employees maneuvers. And saw his years of hard work go up in smoke. Twice. Instead of looking for another high pressure job, he decided to put his years of experience keeping his house in good shape to use and became a handyman. Not only is he constantly busy, he’s happier now than he ever was before.
We all deserve that sort of peace within ourselves, however we might find it. For writers it’s a constant struggle to keep putting out words in a world of distractions, including the never ending self doubts. We look at those we think have it made and we’re sure they never worry about what their heroes say, and never delete thirty pages of their story because it’s one step away from puke on a page. Same with celebrities…they get up there on stage and belt out their songs, living the dream.
Okay, we know that’s not quite the truth since the media has been all too ready to show celebrities crashing and burning. Once in a while we get to hear about the regrowth of a fallen idol. I came across this in An Interview With John Mayer on I think was the CBS Morning News. I don’t have the television hooked up so this find was totally by chance. Seems Mayer got to the top of the success mountain, then stepped off the cliff with his attitude, and said some unforgivable things in interviews about the people in his life. Here’s an excerpt:
“Taking every battle on, not taking a break, not looking at — not being honest, not saying, you know, Let’s admit that we don’t know the next step. It would have been a great Rolling Stone interview if I had said, ‘Here’s what’s going on in my life, I had a plan for myself, I have no idea where I am with this. My dream was to make records. Now I’m gonna make my fourth. And I never had a dream about my fourth record. I never saw it coming where I would be thought of as an infamous Lothario. I didn’t see any of this coming. I’m hugely uncomfortable with it and I wanna cry.'”
It’s always good to read about someone who has experienced self realization. I’m sharing this specific paragraph because of: “My dream was to make records. Now I’m gonna make my fourth. And I never had a dream about my fourth record.” How many of us stayed up late, got up early, kept our eyes on the goal of getting our first book published. Maybe even the second book. And never dreamed about the successive books. We might have had a vague idea about “lots of best selling books,” but deep inside never dreamed we’d get to the point of writing that all new not- dragged-out-from-the-depths-of our-computer book.
Our writing buddies crow about words written, scenes added, plots fulfilled, contracts signed. And we mess with new writing software, take workshops, read manuals, striving to get back that initial spark, the romance of writing. We want the gestalt we felt back when word came flying out of our heads and through our hands. And sometimes it’s just not there.
For those who’ve made it through the swamp and are back on solid ground, what made the difference for you? It might help those still mired in the mud.