I’ve always considered writing a dance between raw imagination and gained knowledge, but recently I’ve decided it’s a very specific type of dance. A hoedown.
Wait. Wait. Don’t go! This isn’t a sleazy post about women with loose morals or about rednecks partying down south. Here, listen to the most famous hoedown (so you’ll feel more comfortable with the subject) by Aaron Copland, it’s been completely commercialized.
Aaron Copland – Hoedown - Posted on YouTube by solutioncow
Now, you get it. You see where I’m going with this, right?
Writing is a journey (hence my URL) which takes the writer (unwillingly kicking and screaming sometimes) on the insane roundabout, duple time dance. The crazy, furious highs where the words flow so fast your fingers can hardly keep up…
…only to drop us off a cliffhanger and leave us dangling for hours, days, years (!) sometimes, just praying for the inspiration to return and spin us around the next corner.
One moment we’re on this high, praising ourselves for our creative genius.
And the next we’re sniveling into our trough-sized wine glasses, convinced we’re phony, no-good writer hacks who will never again write anything worth reading.
Oh, but wait! Here comes the brilliance again, grabbing us by the hand and swinging our fingers around the keyboard in a firestorm of dosey-doe.
Bugs Bunny's Square Dance 'Hillbilly Hare' - Posted on YouTube by Mickey Mouse
And round and round the rollercoaster takes us from high to low, again and again. But here’s the question, which is the truth? Are we a creative genius or a big fat phony?
The answer is neither. As a writer YOU ARE, I’m sorry to say, like every one of us with our moments of incredible greatness and other times of brain-fart nothingness.
So, where do we go from here? How do we persevere during those dry spells when we can’t make even one word sound right in a simple sentence?
We write anyway.
That’s it. That’s the answer. Just write. It doesn’t matter that the words are prettier sometimes more than others. It doesn’t matter that on a good day we can write thousands of words and on others we can barely squeak out a couple hundred. The thing that makes us writers, is that it’s what we do…we write.
Let’s take at look at some people who’ve had moments in their lives, or careers, of truly amazing success.
“Today the word "Einstein" is synonymous with genius, but young Albert didn't speak fluently until he was nine-years-old, causing teachers to think he was slow. He was expelled from school for his rebellious nature and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He went on to revolutionize science's understanding of the world, taking physics beyond its Newtonian view by developing the theory of General Relativity. He won the Nobel Prize, with his research leading the U.S. to build an atomic bomb, and influenced all aspects of culture, from religion, to art, to late-night television.” ~ CBS News
There’s a whole list of people who might have ended up as nobodies if they would’ve surrendered to the hoedown: Riches to Rags
Once in a while there’s an author who hits it big with a book or two, maybe an entire successful series, only to follow it up with a flop, or maybe they never publish anything ever again. If this is you, don’t settle. Get back to it, remember the magic and make those pages sing. Whoever you are, if writing is what you love, get at it!
Most likely (if you’re reading this blog) you’re just an average Joe, like me, trying to chase a dream and worrying that you’re never gonna make it.
So, here’s the secret. Ready for it?
Learn to dance.
Don’t tell me you can’t dance, what do you think you’ve been doing thus far? You’ve written down those spurts of masterful prose and you’ve experienced those heart-suffocating moments when the words play hide-and-seek and THAT is what makes you writer.
So what are you waiting for? This is it. THIS is what being a writer is all about, surviving the slow beats and hanging on to your britches when the tempo kicks in. Ya ready? Let’s do it.
It’s time for a hoedown, y’all!
Miley Cyrus - Hoedown Throwdown (Movie Scene) - DVD RIP - Posted by phanquanghieu on YouTube
And if you’re still not convinced you can do it. Here’s a little more Miley Cyrus to push you to the top.
Hannah Montana The Movie - The Climb - Posted by Disney IT on YouTube
Now, get climbing! <3