Writing is a scary thing. Putting your thoughts, ideas, observations out there for the world to dissect, discuss and dismantle isn´t an easy thing, and anyone who tells you otherwise probably isn´t doing it right or hasn´t received their editor´s notes back yet.
So what draws people back to it? To a job one friend described as “always having homework to do for the rest of your life”?
I think it´s the magic of it. Showing people worlds they wouldn´t otherwise see, asking them to imagine themselves in places or with people they wouldn´t otherwise get to know, or having them consider something new, even just for a moment.
There´s a lot of shitty writing out there too, don´t get me wrong. And like a lot of writers, I worry about contributing to that massive growing pile. I don´t want to be someone who wastes other people´s time.
But I´ve come to understand I´ll only get better at this if I keep trying to work through the crappy early days. Until I´ve done this for months and then years, on a regular basis.
Choosing this life means being around for the long-term. Even when I´m scared, even when I´m frustrated, even when I´m tempted to give up. The writers and storytellers who become great and remembered for their work all worked through their awkward phases. They kept trying to do things, listened to others, learned from mistakes and didn´t let anyone tell them to stop. Or if they did, they tried to ignore it or forget about it long enough to keep going.
If the last month of travel has taught me anything, it´s that being scared is perfectly okay. What´s important is that you don´t quit. Always keep going. That´s all that matters.