December 12, 2013

If it is all too easy...

Dear M,

If you do not understand even a bit of the loneliness and struggle that writing offers, then you haven't journeyed yet. If you have tasted them, then I assure you, it could only get a hundred-fold worse. Not for us is the glorified solitude, nor the rest after struggle. As far as I am concerned, there is no other side, when all this is over.

I rose today morning wondering why I plod on (and plot on!). Where does the energy come from? I fear it will give out, drain away. I recently read an author's quote, that creativity, just like life, is slipping away from us. Isn't that the truth?

When I say struggle, I am talking about a long struggle. Think Mandela and his Long Walk to Freedom. But we do not have a hundred like-minded people walking with us, who can give us strength when we are tired. Come to think of it, I think we do. We have the ghosts of authors past walking by our side. And they, that bunch of lonely people, know how to pull us to our feet and make us battle on.

There will come a day when a part of the struggle is over. But there will always be much of it left for us.

If it's all too easy, we are not on the right track.

No one can help us, you know. No one. The battle is ours alone. No one is going to help unless there is something in it for them. That's how the world works. Think about all the online back-scratching we do. We don't get any of that support out here as far as writing goes. It's a struggle like no other. Ten years or ten thousand hours, as the scientist said, for you to reach a place where you get noticed. The pedestal of an expert (or close enough). For some, it could take even more.

Every day we have to motivate ourselves. Tell ourselves tales, lull our brain to sleep, so as to keep it from thinking - for if it starts to contemplate, it will see this as a losing war. All statistics and all mathematics will tell our brain that this journey isn't going anywhere. Look at the facts, they will tell us.

As far as creativity is concerned, no amount of arithmetic or calculus can predict where it will go, where it will reach. And if rely on maths to project our path, we might as well give up before we are sucked in to the depths of despair.


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