Do you eat, drink, sleep, breath and in general just live writing?
I’m asking this because of the man who sat next to me on a flight back home from some much needed holidays. He walked in with a guitar case, and after storing it he sat down and took out a stack of music sheets the size of a phone book; for the rest of the flight he went though them very meticulously. His dedication was very impressive since it was only a one and a half hour trip. I could not help but be a little bit jealous.
I also couldn’t help but compare it with what I was doing, which was listening to the audiobook An Invisible Gorilla by Chabris & Simons, on the psychology of perception. I thought that if I were as dedicated to my art as this musician, I should be writing. Then I started thinking of excuses why I wasn’t writing at that particular moment. I made this mental list:
- I’m on holiday, this is a good excuse … well kind of.
- I’m thinking about what I’m going to write.
- I’m doing research (i.e. everything I experience is research).
- I’m a bit nervous about flying and the only thing I can think of is: I hope I’m not in the 3 percent that does crash.
- ‘Nope, sorry’, my brain says, ‘No inspiration at the moment’.
In the end, I thought of all those authors who write, and never need or have to come up with an excuse because they’re writing instead of thinking about writing. If you’re such a writer, kudos to you, you are the awesomest person ever! If you are not, well kudos to you too, because everyone is different and has a different process, interest, motivation or focus.
I think sometimes, you, and I mean all of you artists out there who have ever compared yourselves artistically or otherwise to anyone else (and yes, most people do, I know because The Invisible Gorilla is not the first psychology book I read/listen to) should just give yourself a pat on the shoulder once in a while. It’s not what you do or how you do it, it’s just hoping you get there and have fun while doing it. And if that includes making up an excuse or five, so be it.
Happy writing and many excuses to you all.