I love, love, LOVE the planning part of writing stories. Not so much the actual writing itself. What was it that Dorothy Parker once wrote: “I hate writing, I love having written.” Never mind that, I absolutely loath editing and revising! I’m using the word loath, now. Loath. The problem is, to get to the love having written stage of writing, one needs to go through the editing and revising stage. Steve Miller: “You have to go through Hell before you get to Heaven.”
(I’m in a quoting mood if you haven’t noticed.)
So what’s my point? Well, during the beginning of my “writing career”, and especially now, I really had the sense that this writing thing was difficult. I mean, it isn’t just about the writing alone, there are many facets to the process as a whole. And up until a few days ago, I was feeling confused and discouraged as to why something I finally found very fulfilling in my life and something that I really loved to do was so hard.
What is that “they” all say: “do what you love.” What “they” neglect to say is that doing what you love doesn’t automatically equate to a walk in the park. More often than not it means you don’t even think twice about the downs and difficulties, you just power through them without a second thought.
Then, last week, I stumble upon a wonderful interview (thanks, Mom) with author Kate DiCamillo. Not only was it especially great to hear about her life story and how late she got into the craft, but I pulled from her interview one specific thing she said. It was more of a general statement for all, and about her personal experience, but it put me at ease and rejuvenated my passion to continue the arduous task of becoming recognized as a good writer when I heard it.
“…Just because it’s hard for me doesn’t mean that it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.”
So simple, yet so profound. It hit me like a brick in the face when I heard her say that and talk about her struggles. I finally understood why searching for my passion and what I was supposed to do had been such a strenuous task. I was brainwashed into believing that if you loved doing something, it should be real easy for you. If it was too arduous, then you were in the wrong profession. How mad I am for wasting so much valuable time, years, struggling and wandering through my life with that mindset.
Maybe everyone feels that way, or maybe I’m just that naïve. What I do understand now is that hard work is the real golden ticket, not talent, and not simply doing what you love. It doesn’t mean you’re going to become super famous or rich, but it will almost certainly guarantee self-satisfaction and personal triumphs. And after all, isn’t that what it’s ultimately all about?