Someone tweeted the following this week: "If anyone can talk you out of writing you are not a writer." I sent off an answer that I can't even talk myself out of it...so, I must be a writer. (Which I thought was funny and a bit sad.) The whole thing got me thinking about the arts in general. Human beings are a race of story tellers and craftsmen. Each and every one of us dreams of being respected for our art-whether that is writing, teachings, pottery, singing, quilting or how we craft widgets at the local factory. So, why then do we create boxes in the sand and tell others that if they don't follow our "rules" they can't be "real" writers, crafters or artists?
The other day I turned on the television and watched the last hour of the old movie, "Field of Dreams." Now, let me just say that I am a complete blank when it comes to baseball. I simply don't "get" it. My father used to turn baseball on the radio on long drives to lull a car full of kids to sleep. It worked every time, except for me. Then it was long torturous miles of endless blah, blah,blah.....swing and a miss.... Ball two... statistics....all read in a flat radio voice....ugh. I am blessed to have been able to go to one live baseball game at Yankee stadium. When it was over, grown men wept. It was a close game won in the last moments. I didn't get it...but I thought the umpire was cute. I digress. My point being that I don't watch this particular movie for it's themes of baseball and simpler times. I watch it because I am awed by the magic of a dream. By the passion the lead character has for his beliefs-even in the face of bankruptcy and everyone else saying he was crazy. In the face of unrelenting criticism, he still moves forward until he hits the point where he says, "I've never once asked what's in it for me." "What are you saying, Ray?" "I'm saying, what's in it for me?" lol
With everyone telling you you aren't whatever if you don't whatever... you have to ask yourself...why am I doing this? What's in it for me?
I know the answer. It's simple really. It's finding those magical moments-when the dream swirls in front of your eyes. When you hear the voice and follow where it leads. When you discover other people who dream-other characters and get to, for one shining moment, follow where they lead.
And that- that is what it's like to have passion for a dream. That is what it's like to live a life of magical thinking. The world will tell you that you can't. You aren't. You're crazy. You're not good enough. No one does that. The market isn't ready. No one's buying. You don't have enough education, the right tool set, that no matter how much research you do it's not enough, blah, de blah, blah blah. You aren't a whatever if...
Here's a simple truth. Who cares if you don't do things "the right way?" Who cares if you write one book over 25 years? Who cares if you write 50 books and go bankrupt and never publish. It doesn't make you any less of an artist, any less of a person. So, quit or don't quit. Rest or don't rest. The key-the real key is to recognize the magical moments and revel in them. The world is not black and white but filled with color. Don't let anyone ever convince you otherwise.