Call me ambitious, but ever since I embarked on this writing lark I’ve aimed to earn a living from it. In my own mind I wouldn’t have succeeded as a writer if I wasn’t a) published, and b) making a career out of it.
Which was pretty stupid, really. I mean, hello. How many writers can say those two things? Even published authors (go you good things!) can’t often say they’re able to live on their earnings from writing.
So I guess it’s just as well I get a kick out of writing, otherwise I’d be spending a fortune in counselling by now.
Anyway, a few of us writer-ly types got together for a chat and slating – I mean, critique – session, and we were discussing what it means to be “successful” as a writer. Or an artist. Or dancer or musician or otherwise creative being, because writers aren’t the only ones who devote thousands of hours to something that may earn them next to nothing.
And the more we talked about it, the more we realised you could apply the argument to any human endeavour. Before we knew it our chat had become a philosophical discussion. ie – working towards a goal is actually what life is about. It’s about trying, and trying some more, and failing and getting up and trying again. It’s about our journey into ourselves.
The end goal is actually fairly incidental in the process.
Take the guy who enjoys a game of golf. He plays every weekend, and gradually brings his handicap down. But he doesn’t turn into Tiger Woods. He doesn’t even get down to single figures. Yet still he keeps chasing that silly little ball down the fairways. Why? All he’ll get out of his golf is the satisfaction of having done his best (and maybe winning a couple of meat raffles back at the clubrooms).
It’s all about the journey.
So next time I’m whinging about my lack of success as a writer – slap me. Remind me to enjoy the journey, because the destination may be a whole different place from what I expected.
What about you? Tell me, what’s your journey? What made you choose that train? And are you remembering to enjoy it?