Despite what some people may tell you, writing is exceptionally difficult and requires a great deal of arduous work with no guarantee of success. Many writers including myself, struggle to understand that the only road to success is one paved with hard work. Frankly, anyone who says that it’s a walk in the park is probably lying.
And yet… I can’t help but believe that everyone else struggles with this far less than I do.
Why the hell is that?
Personally, I’ve never understood how some authors do it. I seem to have this bizarre inner monologue that deems myself a failure at a moment’s notice. I’ll watch an author interview, listen to a podcast, or hear a writing friend tell me about their recent successes and I instantly feel like throwing up all over the place. This incredible guilt rises up within me, and I am under the impression I’m not working hard enough. It feels as though every moment I spend without my nose to the blank page, is another moment I’ve poured into an overflowing pool of regret.
We all strive to be as good if not better than our creative idols, but when we fail to reach these ridiculously high expectations, we beat ourselves up.
There is one thing we all need to remember…
It’s all a matter of perspective.
Today I was sitting and writing in a coffee shop as I usually do, and in common self-pillory fashion, was writing a journal entry about my so-called extreme creative failures. Then I overhear two customers talking to each other about writing a book. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop (because I’m a creep like that). One man turns to the other and says “Your problem is that you complain about writing too much. Look over there! That guy’s a REAL writer,” pointing at my piles of crumpled papers strewn on the table.
I couldn’t help but chuckle at the incredible irony of it all.
Here I am beating myself up about how I’m not good enough, and a stranger is pointing at me as if I was J.D. Salinger.
The point I’m trying to make here, is that other artists will always seem like they’re better off than we are. We don’t see their problems, we only see their fortunes.
Just as you can’t have light without the dark, real writers can’t have success without struggle.
Take a moment today to change your perspective in your own creative life. Know that you aren’t alone and a great deal of other writers suffer from the same maladies as you do.