Liz Gilbert shared a story in her recent novel, Big Magic. The story struck a chord with me. It begins with a man, fed up with writing for no reward. The man asks famous American writer Richard Ford to share his advice for how to proceed. This man, sick of being told to “persevere”, begged Ford to avoid all guidance of that nature. According to my beloved Big Magic, he answered:
“Sir, I am sorry for your disappointment. Please believe me, I would never insult you by simply telling you to preserver. I can’t even imagine how discouraging that would be to hear, after all these years of rejection. In fact, I will tell you something else—something that may surprise you. I’m going to tell you to quit.
I say this to you only because writing is clearly bringing you no pleasure. It is only bringing you pain. Our time on earth is short and should be enjoyed. You should leave this dream behind and go find something else to do with your life. Travel, take up new hobbies, spend time with your family and friends, and relax. But don’t write anymore, because it’s obviously killing you.
However I will say this. If you happen to discover, after a few years away from writing, that you have found nothing that takes its place in your life—nothing that fascinates or moves you, or inspires you to the same degree that writing once did…well then, sir, I’m afraid you will have no choice but to preserver.”
Since I started working a “real” job again, it has been extremely difficult for me to stay motivated and dedicated to blogging. Perhaps because I am back in touch with reality, and reality is not always glamorous. I work long hours, go out to decompress on the weekends and am up to my ears in bills and student loans. This is not pretty; it’s not me posing in an alley in a dress and high heels. My life is very similar to most people; messy, complicated and often filled with stress and uncertainty.
Make no mistake, I have spent the past few months constantly questioning why I have neglected this blog and creative writing. Lately, I have struggled with feeling inauthentic posting anther photo of flowers next to my sandals. I want to create and share content that helps improve my readers’ lives. I want to inspire others to follow their dreams and never remain stagnant. I also want to be honest about what my life is like outside of a filtered Instagram “moment.”
I am going TRY to make this process as simple as possible. I am going to write. For me, writing is a lot like exercise (except I wish the effects of practicing were the same). I always feel better after I write. Writing makes me feel energetic, inspired and alive. So, why would I quit on something that takes nothing from me and yet gives me so much in return?
Heading back up to my somewhat sarcastic reference about flower Instagram posts, unapologetically, I am still going to post those “basic” photos. Sometimes life moments aren’t that serious and should be celebrated with a well filtered VSCO photo.
However, I DO plan to share deeper content around wellness and happiness, more frequently. I realized that I legitimately cannot name one person my age who is completely satisfied with their career, relationship, friendships, financial situation or mental health, myself included. I want to explore this topic and be honest that no one has it ALL together.
For now, I hope you join the next stage of my journey here on Madly Megan. I’m afraid I have no choice but to persevere.