Despite all my daytime years in the IT field, I am far more of an artist at heart. In recent years, I've sought to make the turn to a creative field by writing stories. I've been blessed to have found some encouragement, and this website is one result. Just to get to this point, I've struggled with much self-doubt in the form of: "Can I really do this?" And it only gets worse, the more I try. It's something you have to fight through.
Ms Gilbert mentioned the same struggle and how it didn't stop with her success. In fact, she felt compelled to investigate the history of the creative instinct. One thing she found was the idea among the ancients that "genius" was not what a person was, but rather, an energy (spirit, god, etc) that worked through the "artist" to create. The corporeal artist is more of a conduit for the spiritual artist. And I have to admit, that it actually feels that way. Any time I've created something I thought was good (re: Fire Dance), I've had the feeling that it wasn't me; that I'm as awed (or just as entertained) as anyone else. I wrote the words, but the inspiration was a thing outside of me and I'm just thankful that it came through.
Which brings me to my current situation. I'm trying to condense into a novel, a vision that I've entertained for many years. It's a vision of a post-apocalyptic world where the survivors just try to continue to live, where psychopaths try to rule as they've always done, and where a young man and a young woman just try to find what's real. It's a story I'm enamored with, but that I'm continually questioning my ability to tell: "Can I do it?"; "Am I good enough?"
This weekend has been tough for me, and disheartening, trying to get a grip on the plot. I'm trying to find a way to envision it so that I can contain and express the complexity of the threads running through it, to tell the tales of the characters as they need to be told. I sort of started again "from scratch" today, and I think I made some progress.
Which brings me back to my theme of "creativity." I believe it is 99% perspiration, that is, hard work. And what we're ultimately looking for (what I'm looking for) is a word fitly spoken, like "apples of gold in baskets of silver." Funny, but that means more to me than material success. If you understand that, then I hope you'll be my fellow-seeker.
Thanks for the web-link, Rocko.