This is currently my view as I sit here writing this post where I’m cat-sitting for the week. Looks chilled and relaxed doesn’t it? You’re right, but since deciding I’d like to write for a living I should apparently be feeling somewhat different.
Frustrated? Anxious? Worried if I’ll succeed? Worried I’m not further along than I am? I’m told these feelings should all be familiar territory. Actually, they used to be. But just because I’m relaxed doesn’t mean I’m not serious about it.
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, all my life having periodic bursts working on a project, only to give up because I wanted results and I wanted them straight away. I wanted to be published, to be taken seriously and wanted it “now” as a full-time career, by my rules.
I wanted the end result instead of the ride to get there, so I’d end up resenting the work and stop. That’s when I used to have those moods above. Surely now in my 40th year (as people like to keep reminding me) I should be even more anxious to get myself established after decades of procrastinating and short attention spans? No. You see, I wrote a blog about a comic for a couple of years which started as nothing more than a distraction, but it grew organically and became a huge part of my life. From that my passion for writing returned and is now finally moving forward.
My point is I can now see how my passion returned within me without even realizing it and the previous blog was all the better for it. I originally thought I’d stop it a few months in as I always did, so I just enjoyed each post as I wrote it. Without the pressure of a specific end result I enjoyed writing it so much more than anything I’d attempted before. It continued to be fun, not a chore to battle through just to get to a final product. The result was something I’m incredibly proud of and which people have actually enjoyed reading.
I’ve seen a few blogs out there belonging to some who wish to write and I sense the frustration. I see posts filled with short stories trying to force a writing style out from new keyboards, trying to be deliberately enigmatic and just ending up making no sense, or attempting to emulate their favourite author. In other words, trying to be the finished product (in the case of both the written word and the writer) instead of developing, learning, enjoying the ride and most importantly enjoying the writing.
One problem I have and I’ll admit this, is trying to hurry things along to the conclusion I want. Wanting a preset, perfect future to be here now. I’ve spent so long focusing on the end results before that I’ve neglected the here and now. I guess I could say that’s a metaphor for some things in my life away from writing too and the lesson I’ve learned is a simple one, but one which I can’t empahasise enough.
Forget that preset, seemingly perfect future. By all means have your goals or know the preferred direction you want to take, but remain flexible. Concentrate on each day as it comes, put your all into whatever it is you’re currently doing ‘here and now’ and you’ll piece together the bigger plan naturally over time, all while you enjoy the ride. I guarantee that future will be all the more perfect for it.