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The Write Way

March 15, 2014

“If you’re a writer, then write.”

That pretty much sums up the advice from all writers who are asked the question, “How do you become a successful writer?”  Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and on and on.

Well, if you write anything, you’ve succeeded!  You sat down to write something, you did, success!

Of course, usually what people mean is, “How do I get to get paid for writing and not work a real job?”

Well…ain’t no such thing.  If you want people to pay you money you have to render some kind of service and that takes work.  Ask anyone who ever earned a penny in their life – there’s work preceding that.  Or if you get an advance work is expected.  You’re going to have to do something you don’t want or feel like doing.

YET, no one ever does anything they don’t want to do.  Rephrase: everyone does exactly what they want to do.  It may not be an ideal, but ideals are wholly unattainable.  It will never be as you hope or expect once an ideal is attained; for that reason many folks say they’ve never attained them or those who have wisely now refer to them as goals.  Once you attain an ideal you’ll discover it’s either better or worse than you imagined; usually, “It’s like nothing I could have imagined!”  Of course!  There’s no frame of reference; the frame of reference comes in the act of achieving goals or attaining ideals and you realize, unless it’s something you’ve done before, that you have no freakin’ clue what it could be like.  

Plus, people usually look at goals and such as ends, as finish lines.  “Once I get to this place” or “Once I get this thing” or “Once I achieve this status in such’n’such” then everything will be fine and dandy…until that wears off.  Life doesn’t stop.  The world doesn’t stop turning or tumbling through space around the sun; people don’t just stop living their lives – unless of course, they die, and THAT is life-changing in and of itself.  

As cliche and as trite the adage has become, it’s true: Life isn’t about the destination; it’s about the journey.  Once we all realize we’ll never “arrive” we’ll all be better off.  And the key to that is being happy with who you are right now.  Because we will always be who we are.  We will never stop being who we are and become someone else.  It may appear that way when you’re on the outside looking in, but as you experience life, life does change you.  Sometimes drastically, sometimes slowly and geologically, but you’re always you and you always will be.  Habits may come and habits may go, but you will always have your logic, your worldview.  As you experience more, it does change, but you hardly have any, if indeed any, control over that.  The only thing we can control is how we react, how we deal with things.  And again, that’s a dubious concept in and of itself.  

But enough philosophical rabbit hole diving; just learn to be happy with who you are.  Easier said than done in most cases – I’m looking at you, man in the mirror – but it is entirely feasible.  

Huh…more like rabbit trail navigating than rabbit hole diving – uh, writing, yes.

My advice as I continue to navigate this road: realize you know enough to start; START; realize you’ll never know everything; read lots of stuff; always be willing to learn and engage new and challenging ideas, i.e.: stuff you disagree with; WRITE.

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