Sunday, July 13, 2014

Are You A Writer?

Can you accept imperfection?

Can you accept that you'll need to revise again and again (and still again), that the word you're looking for may not appear until the twentieth or thirtieth draft? 

Can you accept that one day your writing will flow like wine and the next day the well may run dry and all you can do is sit at your desk and stare for hours at an empty screen?

Can you accept that one scene on a given day may work beautifully but adding another scene on the following day may make the previous scene unnecessary?

Can you accept that the purpose of your first draft is to lead you to your second draft and the purpose of the second draft is to lead you to your third, on and on until the story comes together?

Can you live for days or months or years with failure (which is what others will call your efforts if you don't publish your work) and accept that those---who see not publishing as failure---fail themselves to understand writing as an ongoing process?

Can you accept the unexpected mountains that you'll have to climb and the unanticipated twists and turns in the road and enjoy the journey for its own sake, not for where the road might take you but for the pure pleasure of being on the road?

Can you accept that you'll find others on the road who will try to discourage you from continuing on your journey (and yet you still keep writing)?

Can you hold fast to your own belief in yourself?

Can you steer through darkness by the solitary flame of hope that burns in your heart?

Can you find joy in writing with or without financial gain or reward or recognition?

Can you keep writing so that at the end of your journey, when you no longer have the strength to lift a pen but still feel the desire to write, you can say you gave your best?

Then, perhaps, you are a writer.