It’s New Years Eve-eve and for the past three or four days I’ve really wanted to do two things and have done neither, until now at least. One of those things was to play one of my games (or to buy a new game and begin playing that) and the other was to write. I knew deep down that writing was what I really wanted to do, that I would find greater joy in it and that it was infinitely more constructive but still the pull to play a game was there. At it’s core the reason is simple – the same reason I eat fast food, I stay indoors when I should walk or go for a run, I don’t revise my college work when I’m at home: it’s easy. These things not only require almost zero effort but they also practically guarantee success (or more accurately zero chance of failure). Playing a game I will always succeed and in a ridiculously fractional amount of time it would take to succeed at anything in life. If I cook chances are the food will taste rubbish, there will be washing and cleaning to do after, if I go for a walk I have to use actual energy, if I run I may realise how actually unfit I am, if I revise my college work I may be reminded how much of it I actually don’t understand. The easy choices are safe, steady, comfortable. But comfort is a silent and slow killer.
It’s glaringly obvious and I’m completely aware that the odds of me being a successful writer are slim to none but while the fact is it’s almost impossible, another fact is that over the next thirty, forty, even hundred years there are stories that will be told in one medium or another. There will always be novels released, movies and tv shows made, songs in the charts. Some of the novels released within the next century will be classed as all time greats among those that top every list currently available. Other stories will spark mania and have the same frenzied popularity as Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, The Hunger Games. Between classics and commercial there will be hundreds of thousands of pieces of work that fit somewhere in between and their creators will be professional authors. These people are yet to succeed, their words have yet to be written, these stories are yet to be told. And I have stories to be told. My stories may not be the best and my writing may be poor but they are my stories and nobody can tell them like I can, nobody feels for my characters and their struggles like I do, nobody gives headspace to the minor details within this fictional world like I do, nobody else has my voice, my eyes, my thoughts. I have a story to tell and a way to tell it. I’m obligated to do this, to struggle, to finish and put my words out in to the world. If the world accepts them, likes them, hates them or rejects them is up to the world. That is out of my control and ultimately doesn’t matter; I’ll have done my job and put my words out there.
When I sat down at my laptop I didn’t intend to go down this wannabe motivational speaker route, it’s just what came out. My intention was more to bring light to the fact I haven’t written a blog post since September 24th and to my memory haven’t written any substantial work in that time. Yes I have college, yes I work (occasionally) and yes I have a young family meaning time alone and sleep are more of a luxury than other, but there is no excuse. Turning on the laptop, opening Word and typing is no harder than turning on a game. Writing isn’t somehow infinitely more difficult than idly scrolling through Reddit – yes my writing may not be great but it’s words on paper and that’s money in the bank. I read yesterday that bad writing can be edited, there’s no editing a blank page and no truer words have ever been said. What I want to do is create a habit of writing but I’m fully aware that setting daily or weekly targets can invoke fear and be detrimental. I’m human and go through periods of high and low motivation; while I’m on a high I can set goals and targets but then when I’m low I fail to meet them leading to self-loathing and an extended cycle of getting nothing done. Saying that roughly three months ago I decided one evening to do a Spanish lesson on Duolingo, the following day I did another and right now I’m on 84 days in a row. If I set myself smaller attainable goals I do believe I can consistently achieve.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how I want to be the kind of person that really gives all they have to achieve something. In my heart that something is writing and always has been but my mind tells me that is a pipe-dream, that is something I can do for enjoyment when I’m successful in other aspects of life and have earned the money, time and right to sit at a desk and write. In my heart I can scream and shout and say I will fight and refuse to quit to be the best I can be and write great stories that make people smile, laugh, cry and dream. Those thoughts excite me and set off a spark within me. Then I question myself and wonder if I can feel that way about my college work, my day to day work, becoming a qualified electrician, creating my own construction business and so on. The logical answer is yes because that fight is inside me and my young family is my fuel. The true answer is no because while the fuel is there I have no passion for this, I’ll do what I have to do to give my family a good life but yes I do struggle to go above and beyond for something that does not light a fire within me. I believe I can finish my course and become a qualified electrician but I won’t be top of my class or the best electrician around, though I am confident I could if I put the effort in. I won’t continually be on courses to better myself. Chances are I won’t ever attempt to actually have my own business with employees and a yard, I won’t try to win contracts that could be worth thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pounds – I just don’t have that passion for it.
Professionally I will be okay and do okay, and I’m okay with that. My job will be a good job in comparison with a lot of people and will give my family a little bit more luxury than others get but I won’t be like some people I know that find that spark in their job and become the best of the best in their field. I want to allow my writing to take over me and become that fire and while I will feel accomplished in creating and releasing my work the dream will always be that I have some semblance of success and I can become some variance of a professional writer or at least work in that field – then maybe I can be one those people that finds passion in their work and fights and pushes and refuses to give up until they are at the very top of their game and the best around. The stars are well and truly in my eyes today, long may they remain and longer may I remember this feeling to remind myself when the light has faded.