Endurance in Art

I have heard it said before that, for people who are good at writing, the entire art of it all just comes naturally. That is idiotic. I have also heard some would-be writers say if they just can’t get over some mental obstacle or verbal wall, then whatever project they’re working on just probably isn’t what they needed to be writing in the first place because otherwise the words would be flowing like wine does in California. That is also idiotic.

True, there are times when words come so easily that your fingers on the keyboard or typewriter can not possibly keep up with your brain. And those times are wonderful. They are wonderful because they are few and far between. And they bring joy because they are not the norm of what you’re used to tasting. Anomalies, we call them.

But even so, to think, “I’m hitting a wall,” and then believe that means the story you’re working on is not worth telling is incredibly lazy. Writing a story of any length is quite difficult and an immensely arduous task. It, like any other project, requires determination and endurance. I would like to think all people have this dedication when it comes to their craft. When I have shoulder surgery this summer, I would like to think my doctor will not decide to go home early—my flesh still cut open—because the operation just got too dang difficult. No, you slog on ahead and push until you reach that next moment where the words spring forth.

Just because you have a gift and a talent in a certain area doesn’t mean it’s no longer challenging. Far from it. In fact, it’s actually probably more taxing because you know what you’re capable of and, thus, aim to always push yourself further, test your limits, discover what greater latent potential lies beneath your skin and in your blood. “Nothing is new under the sun,” so you aren’t going to be genre-breaking . . . but you can re-set the bar for yourself. Any writer can write a decent story, but that won’t suffice. And it’s not even that he has to write a great story, but the golden goal is to always write a good one, and that is never as easy and simplistic as it sounds.

The creation process is long-suffering, grueling even because it requires things of the soul, mind, and heart. The Maker rested after his masterpiece. I find comfort in that. And he kept creating until the task was complete. I detect a call, a summons in that.

Much love.


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