Nearly 3 years ago I deleted all the writing I’d done up to that point in my life and asked myself: “Does writing really matter to you?” No one was asking me to write. No one asked me to write Beneath the Wood, start this blog, write two more novels, or any of the hundreds of pages of writing I’ve done since.
It’s 2019 and I still don’t have anyone asking. I’ve self published 3 novels, and still look at the prospect of being picked up by an agent and publisher as an aspirational goal. No one’s asking me to start novel number four or five. I’m still here though. I’m still writing.
The simple, hard truth of life is that no one is going to ask you to be the person you aspire to be, much less make you into that person. You’ll make yourself that person by sweat, discipline, and growth. You’ll be that person by trying time and again, and learning from each attempt.
I’ve made myself a writer. I’m not being paid or asked to do it yet, but I have this blog, the past three novels, and more to show that proves it. No one has asked me to be an actor since I quit theater in college, but I’m putting in work at classes every week to get back into the groove and improve my craft. No one asked me to start a podcast, learn how to edit and mix audio, but I want those skills. No one asked me to start volunteering as a mentor, that’s who I want to be.
We’re almost our first full month into 2019. How are resolutions coming? Did you resolve to start doing something? Stop doing something? Are you keeping it up? Stumbling? Having trouble? How about we try a paradigm shift:
Let’s not just look at something we want to do or not do, let’s look at who and what we want to be. Let’s not wait for the world, our friends, family, or even coworkers to ask us to be that- let’s put in the effort, bit by bit until it’s undeniable that we are that. I’m trying to be an artist. What are you trying to be? I’ve said it before, and maybe I should revise it in light of this message:
Whatever your grind is, be
about your grind.