I was sipping pinot grigio in a wine bar recently, considering all the struggles and pitfalls that a creative person faces when they decide to write. I came to the conclusion almost every writer travels on a journey as they express themselves. It is path that we have taken since the first stories were written to the rise of 50 Shades of Grey on the best seller lists. The trip has several milestones that every writer can expect:
· Insecurity arrives first when we doubt our ability to write anything worthwhile.
· Frustration comes when we try to turn the images, dreams and voices in our head into words on a page.
· Rejection comes when no one wants to publish or release our work.
· Indifference comes when no one wants to read it.
· Ridicule comes when someone does read it and then decides it isn’t any good.
· Hate comes when more readers are exposed to you and want to compare you to someone else. They attack you for being exactly the same as their favorite authors… or completely different from them.
· Envy comes from all sides when people are buying your dreams instead of theirs.
· Exploitation comes when people want to use you and your work for their own agenda and finances.
· Insecurity comes back when it is time to write again.
Looking at these milestones, it isn’t hard to understand why many writers are depressed or bitter. It isn’t hard to understand why so many people decide to never start down this road in the first place. But that decision is a mistake, at least for me. Knowing that I can look forward to these pitfalls gives me a great sense of freedom.
It means I can write what a like. I can express myself any way I choose because what I write isn’t going to change the road. I’m not going to make anything easier or better by pandering to an imagined public. I can be brilliant or banal and nothing will change. The road is the road. The only thing that can stop me is a lack of belief and love in what I write. That is when writing is a trip not worth taking. If I enjoy writing then I can travel down that road without any concern about what happens on the way. The writing is the important thing. The road is irrelevant.