I was listening to an episode of the Beautiful Anonymous podcast today ("1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred."), and on this particular episode, the caller considered herself a singer, yet had not performed in over a year. As a person that considers herself a writer, this part of the episode really hit home for me (and is part of the reason I started this blog). The host, Chris Gethard, raised the point that singers sing, it's intrinsic to their being, and I drew hella parallels to my existence (and struggle) as a writer.
After writing my first novel, I really struggled with my identity as a writer. Was I still a novelist even if the publishing machine chose not to publish my novel? Does there need to be an audience for one to consider oneself an artist? Eventually, I decided to serially release my novel via tumblr, mainly because I wrote the novel to be read, I wrote it to share with others, I wrote it because I thought it was a neglected story that needed to be told.
But now I'm in this liminal space where I feel churned up and spurned by the craft of writing, but I know I have more stories to tell. But, like the caller, maybe I am afraid of telling them. Maybe I am afraid of what will happen if I go all in for a second time and it's as heartbreaking as the first. But I guess art is like love in that aspect. Just because you've been scorned by an asshole you weren't really that into in the first place (or wouldn't have been a "good match") doesn't mean you give up and take a leaf out of Emily Dickinson's book (or, more aptly, a line from her poem) #lifeofseclusion. You buck up, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, try again, get out there, meet people, give the world the benefit of the doubt, believe in abundance. Because you know it's harder to not create than it is to create. Because your life would seem meaningless without your art. Because it's as essential to your existence as breathing. Because the world wants your gift, and it's cruel to deny that. Because love is a craft. Because art is a craft. Because it's harder not to.
That, in part, is why I started this blog. Practicing our respective artistic crafts is necessary. We flex the muscles to prevent atrophy. We set a goal to write one blog entry every day, but practice equal forgiveness when the minutiae of life gets in the way.
On another podcast, Cheryl Strayed was talking about becoming a writer. She said something along the lines of, "books get written one word at a time," and compared that to her Wild hike, walking thousands of miles, one step at a time. And that's so true. The picoseconds of our life are our becoming. The things we do each day, the practice, will become the creation, one breath at a time (#yoga #meditation), one mile at a time (#distancerunning), one word at a time, one blog post at a time.