Over the past few weeks, I came across a couple articles and finished reading a book that, all summarized, said, “Writing is hard. Writing is difficult. If you’re even a little, tiny bit sane, you probably shouldn’t even try it. But you, you’re not sane, so by all means, go for it–get naked, slather on some honey and jump right in that mound of pissed off fire-ant-scorp-spider wasps. Enjoy the pain, sucka!”
Well, okay, admittedly, that may be how I, in my infinite weirdness, interpreted their messages. But clearly, they did seem to infer that it’d be better to bang your head with a hammer than to try being a writer.
It’s true though, writing is not so easy. Sometimes it is, and it’s like spreading warm peanut butter on hot toast: smooth and silky. Other times, it’s frustrating, akin to rubbin’ cold, chunky peanut butter on dry, crusty, brittle bread. Ever done that? How’d it make ya feel?
But this is a given, right? I mean, isn’t everything in this life tough at some point, or, uh, most of the time? Don’t the things (and people) that we love drive us to wanna Hulk-out at least a few days a year, or more? But is that reason enough not to give up, or worse, to not even try?
Those articles certainly got me thinking…
I’ve been studying traditional Japanese karate for more than twenty-five years now. I dig it, a lot, but it ain’t easy. It’s perplexing and the constant quest to attain higher and higher inner and outer-skill levels seems impossibly daunting. It’s hard work, and sometimes, it’s not all that exciting. And teaching it, trying to convey the intricacies of the art in a way that others of various backgrounds and abilities can understand…wow, that’s uber-difficult. Maybe I should give it up, and maybe you shouldn’t even try this ^#@%.
I’ve been an engineer for many, many years now. I dig it, a lot, but it is not so easy, and it’s downright frustrating at times. Sometimes, the things we have to do are just stupid. Ridiculous, I tell you. And sometimes, when melded with reality, the science makes no sense and the results are absolute nonsense. Maybe I’ll give it up, and perhaps I’ll advise you not to even look into this field of study. Yeah, don’t do it.
I’ve been trying to relate to these things called “humans” for quite a while now. I dig them, a lot of them, most of the time, but they ain’t near easy gettin’ along with. I mean, they’re irrational, unkind, selfish, fearful, smelly, and downright weird. Maybe I’ll just give up, find a warm, far-off island in the Pacific and become a long-bearded, karate-studyin’ hermit. I’d ask you to join me but…
Art is difficult. Science is difficult. Faith is difficult. Love is difficult. Being loved is difficult. Leadership is difficult. Winning is difficult. Creating is difficult. Thinking is difficult. Raising a family is difficult. Just being you is difficult. Learning, growing, understanding, eating, exercising, sleeping, changing, evolving, etc, etc, etc, is…difficult.
LIFE is difficult. Period.
Accept this, really and truly come to grips with this inconvenient truth; until you do, life will be unnecessarily difficult. But once you’ve accepted this, move forward, ’cause you know what? For all its difficulties, life is pretty @#%#(&! amazing, pretty %#^& rewarding.
Writing sparks me, and I find it rewarding. Studying karate sparks me, and I find it rewarding. Relationships spark me, and I find knowing others rewarding. Science and engineering, winning, losing, learning, eating, leveling-up, etc, etc, etc, are rewarding, and all are, in their very own ways, simply amazing.
Yep, it’s all tough. Even so, don’t be afraid to venture out just because a thing you desire to do, or to be, is difficult. It’s all difficult, but it can all be very, very rewarding too.
So, I guess I’ll keep on trying. I guess I’ll keep on writing, training, dreaming, stretching, etc, etc, etc.
Will you keep dreaming too, keep trying, despite what others say or think, and despite all the challenges that you’ll surely encounter?
I hope you will, ’cause you’ll find something special on the other side of those challenges.
Yeah, please do.