Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Emotions Don't Matter

One of the best things about writing is that I can use to great advantage when I’m upset or sad.  I’ve said before that creativity does not require pain, but there is something about pain that can fuel creativity.  It comes down to choice, however.  I can just as easily wallow in my pain or sadness.  Instead I choose to take my pain and sadness and create something with it.  This not only dilutes my pain, it makes good use of it.
I remember a church I once attended.  The pastor was a good man, but his sermons were rarely passionate.  They were safe.  Then one day something happened that upset him greatly and he gave the most intense sermon I had ever heard him give.  He used his pain to create.  This ability, I think, is a gift from God.  Not everyone chooses to use pain to create.  Some use it to destroy, either themselves or others.  Some use pain as an excuse to be less than their best.  At least I did for many years.  Now I try to live differently.
The disadvantage to this approach, art through pain, is that suffering is rarely ongoing.  Yes, I was sad when I started writing.  But I’m not always sad.  Nor do I want to be.  That would be a horrible way to live.  What it comes down to then is that I must choose to write, no matter how I’m feeling.  Sometimes pain makes it easier to write because I need the relief.  Inversely, happiness can make it difficult to write, because when I’m happy, I don’t often want to work; I want to play.
So what then do I need?  I need self-discipline.  I need to write no matter how I feel.  Emotions don’t matter.  Perhaps that’s not an original thought, so let me add this.  In order to be good at anything, I need to put time into it.  The number of hours are anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours a day.  There are different formulas, but I’ve been writing since I was 14 years old.  Have I reached Malcolm Gladwell’s magic 10,000-hour goal yet?  I put in about two to three hours a day.  Since I don’t know the amount of time required, I think should do as much as I can, as often as I can.
Besides, I’m not keeping records.  Yes, I set goals for the number of blogs I want to write (500 is my next goal), but I’m writing because I love to write.   I’m also trying to show others that they can pursue passion, and even though it takes time and work, it’s possible.  I’m writing because I want to do this for the rest of my life.  I read this today:
“Do not fear your hungers.  They are neither good nor bad.  Use hunger as fuel. Use hunger as energy.  Guide your hunger.  Focus your hunger.  Use hunger for growth.  If you do not consciously direct your hunger, your hunger will use you and those around you.
Laura Day – The Circle

That’s the other reason I write.  I’m hungry.  I’m hungry to be with my Muse.  I’m hungry for a better life.  I’m hungry for success.  I’m hungry for change.  These are the reasons I started writing in the first place.  These are the reasons I had to Get Started and Keep Going.
My sadness is gone, but it’s replaced by tiredness.  I’ll write more tomorrow.  I’ll write more every day…no matter how I feel.