The Story Isn't Over Yet
The past month has been a low point in the ebb and flow of my creativity.
I’ve felt like giving up on my next book, even though it’s nearing the finish line. Certainly, my low mood stems in part from my pesky perfectionism and the limited time I have to devote to writing. Also on my mind is the concern that no one will like what I have to say, uncertainty about my goals as an author and the self-criticism of being unproductive.
But mostly it’s a lack of vision, forgetting why I do what I do as a storyteller.
Recently a friend told me about his favorite one of my stories, and how it made him feel. This conversation clarified and reminded me of my “why.” I won’t be the only, the best, the most original, clever or most famous.
But that’s not my trajectory.
I want to give back a piece of the wonder, imagination and beauty I’ve benefited from as a reader; to contribute to the collective of literature that inspired me as a kid to try writing my own stories. To help people observe and engage more deeply in their everyday lives.
Consuming and listening to stories is entertaining and diverting. Critique is important and drives conversation and competition. But these things can also build apathy and stifle creativity.
Instead, the messy, vulnerable and largely unsung growing process as a creative is in the frustrating and mundane task of “putting my shoulder to the plow.” Pushing through the fears of failure, anonymity, embarrassment and “wasted hours” is where the magic happens.
Somehow, in trying to write stories, I’m reminded I’m living one. And thankfully it’s not over yet.