From time-to-time, I find evening hours awaken my mind and open my vulnerable heart to thoughts and feelings that, for the most part, are well-hidden. These thoughts and feelings begin to emerge as if they had been hibernating for half a year. I am most awake only at night. There is something hidden within that time frame that is inspirational, calming, and liberating. I enjoy relinquishing my soul to the spontaneity of writing when half the world is asleep. Evening is the only time where I can think clearly, feel profoundly, and let fly my caged soul and my curious, imaginative mind through written words.
Tonight, I wonder of a writer’s life. I recollect conversations shared with many of my fans–conversations that pertain to a wide array of subjects such as inspiration, writing, finding one’s path… My words are not set in stone; my words are not the wisest in the world, no. But if my words can inspire fellow artists; if they can bring clarity to what is clouded; if I can propel someone to keep trudging forward in their dreams or passion for their art, despite the snares Life leaves behind, then I will have accomplished my heart’s unending wish to help others (in this case, to help fellow artists). I hope sharing my open thoughts helps in the discovery of inspiration or clarity in the realm of Arts that is, otherwise, murky and sometimes confusing and trying.
While I may not be a renowned actress, a songstress, a poet, a sculptor, or a painter, I am an artist, nevertheless, delving into the deep and ever-carving caverns of creativity and imagination. I enjoy it. I breathe it. I live it. The writer’s life–my path–was something I unearthed within myself by my own hands. To this day, I continue to hone and work at it by my own power. My pen is my friend, my weapon, my voice, my freedom. It is my soul, and every story that I share with my fans is a piece of that soul (in all its various forms) given away freely.
Granted, looking back upon the many years of being a writer, I am nowhere near the success of some of my favorite authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Jane Austen. And this is fine. This is natural. The pursuit of fortune and fame should never be the root or the basis of becoming a writer. I find that this greedy view pollutes and clouds one’s mind, veering the writer away from what is truly vital: one’s passion and enjoyment of their writings and the selflessness of sharing them with people. A writer ought to only write for the mere enjoyment and love of writing and to keep writing, however “insignificant” the writing might be.
Also, a beginning must start somewhere, and oftentimes that “somewhere” is arduous, sometimes dark, isolated, and broken. I am treading that path, currently. I’ve noticed that it is a path all artists tread, not just writers. It can become incredibly lonely (and there will be times when one feels useless or frustrated), but it can be incredibly beautiful and liberating as well! I’ve seen this, and I see it still. The roughness is beautiful and unique, in its own way, and the difficulty that adheres itself to living the life of a writer makes it more gorgeous and worth it, I feel.
Moreover, oft new (even experienced) writers approach me and tell me their writing is awful. And I would always tell them, “I don’t think so. You write freely from your mind and heart, right? That is never something awful. Be proud of your works and reflect that confidence in your writings. Never compare your works to other writers or it becomes, in a way, someone else’s. You are yourself, not “someone else”, and your writings should reflect that, too.”
Furthermore, there were times where writers, even drawers tell me how my words inspire them to continue their art form. Whenever I hear that, I feel proud and overjoyed, for that is how it ought to be: artists inspiring other artists to learn, grow, experience, and to flourish in their art, even after accomplishing one’s dream. It is about the enjoyment and the passion of one’s art form. Inspiring fellow artists is what brought me to write my thoughts out, tonight, and share them with the public.
Writing–or any profession in the realm of Arts–can be as trying, depressing, and secluded as Life can become at times. And it is in these moments that the darker times become just as vital as the superb, brighter moments, for it is here that one must endure the longest. It is these moments that the writer is tried most critically. It is where one’s passion and willpower shines. Thusly, it is all the more important to endure and to believe in one’s self and in one’s writings. A writer’s works are an integral part of the person. Believe in your writings and continue trudging forward, for one will find that what awaits in the end (as well as in all the moments in between) is absolutely worth the difficulties you’ve endured. A writer will notice one has grown in knowledge of his or her art of writing; one will feel more self-confident; one will feel as if his or her talent grew–and it has! But growth and learning does not end there–it should never end. Being a writer is an unending flow of reinventing both one’s self and the person’s writings, taking various approaches to writing and experimenting with it, exploring it, growing with it, and living with it. It’s a cacophony of failures and successes that should never be looked down upon, ignored, or cause one to feel useless. Never useless but strong, unique, creative, imaginative, and curious.
At any rate, never cease believing in your writings and in the Art of Writing. Both are one–intertwined and connected. Think of writing as a secondary heart, of sorts. If it dies, the writer withers away as well. Never wither away from pressure or harsh reviews (and there will be harsh reviewers or critics in this world). That’s another step a writer must take: accepting that there will be rejectors, some harsher than others. If one accepts that this is inevitable, one will find that it bothers and hurts him or her less. In fact, and this comes from my experience, I find that it emboldens a person and causes one to learn more. It makes one stronger in the Art of Writing. It made me more determined as well as proud of my works.
As unusual as it might sound, it felt good to read some bad reviews, albeit the tone isn’t something I’m overly fond of–constructive criticism is best and preferred, for me, and not blatant insults or bullying. But I found that having bad reviews mixed in with the good reviews not only gives balance, it gives me an insight I would not, otherwise, have if I received strictly good reviews. I couldn’t learn what, if anything, was wrong. A writer is never perfect–perfection is inevitable and folly. To learn through good and bad insights of readers is wonderful and essential. With this thought always in my mind, I am quite content with and not as sensitive to harsh criticism as I use to be when I was an apprentice at writing. Criticism is an inevitable and natural hurdle all artists, not just writers, pass throughout one’s life. That, too, is another fact one should never focus on or fall slave to: pleasing every person in existence. It is an impossible and polluted feat that only distracts and takes away from the writer. Instead, make your art flourish and bloom in your way. Make it yours, for no one has better rights to it than you. You’re the creator or the captain of your vessel–your art. Steer it where your heart wants to travel, and enjoy the ride!
Again, the path of a writer is as trying as climbing Mt. Everest with one hand, and it can be just as cold and unforgiving. But never give up. Don’t let go! Endure, believe, keep taking steps, even if they’re small steps. Any progress that you make in Writing is an A+ in my book. It takes tremendous endurance and risk to become a writer because one is throwing his or her vulnerable and bare heart out on the stage for the public to view. If one chooses to become a writer, give yourself a well-deserved pat on your back for taking on this risk and challenge. Not only did you take the first step of deciding to become a writer, you found your path and took the initiative to dive head-first into the fray. Not everyone can say that or do that, for not everyone wishes to become a lifetime writer. And this, too, is all right.
Now, when one dwells upon any form of Art, never let that escape your grasp and sight. Keep it close to your heart, especially if you find any amount of enjoyment, freedom, or peace in it. That Art might be what you were looking for in life. It might be the release your heart needed; it might be the voice you wished you verbally possessed. Never be afraid to become free, imaginative, experimental, and curious about your choice of Art. Allow your imagination, your voice to bellow and stretch forth its roots unhindered. Fly with it, live with it, be It! This is the best way to approach Writing or any art form, I found, and it is the most fun and rewarding. And it is this simple but gratifying feeling and reward that far surpasses that of ever-famished fame and fortune. Don’t let go of your passion and your art. Don’t let go of You.