I like song lyrics. Sometimes, they get me thinking and then I like to dissect them like the Zapruder film. Just something I’m going to try in 2010 to give me something to talk about here. Should’ve thought of this years ago :). Call this a field test.
Many reasons that hold you back
That tell you no
Make you fall short of what you want to say
Too many voices in my head
Where’s the boy who used to take chances
Used to say when I grow up to be a man someday
True to my heart in every way
Seems so simple
Why’s it so hard
I’ll never know
This isn’t going to be a story of how I suddenly found myself or an epiphany about my purpose on earth which I’m dedicating myself to living out in 2010. It’s not a manifesto or a mission statement. This is about struggle–I guess you could say The Struggle. And I mean that in a positive way.
Inspiration is all well and good. I certainly couldn’t get by without it. And for the longest time, this song did inspire me. But it didn’t really do anything for me until I pondered what Robert Lamm was talking about when he asked, Why is it so hard?
I dunno. Lamm asked that question for his own reasons. Me, all I need to know is that it is hard, and that’s just the way it is. I look back at every success I’ve had in 2009, in the two main areas of my life–Writing and Everything else–and I’ve come to accept that inspiration and luck only ever got me so far.
The rest of it really was work. Nose-to-the-grindstone, ass-in-the-chair, bite-the-bullet fucking work!
I’m jealous of the folks who find joy in the process of writing, I really do. I read their thoughts on their blogs and I’m very happy for them. But their words never resonated with me. No, I’m definitely one of those writers who finds joy in having written. When a piece is done and submitted, I’m happy. (I say this knowing I have no control over whether it’s published–if it is, it’s gravy.) But I’ll be damned if it’s not like pulling teeth.
I’ve noticed that the writers I like the most, the ones whose stuff I like to read, make no bones about how hard the writing life is. They don’t complain how The Evil Publishing Illuminati are keeping them from getting their work out. They don’t blog excessively about the source of their writer’s block–they bitch for two seconds, pull up their big boy/big girl pants and attack the writing life like Chow Yun-Fat in a John Woo Hong Kong action film. They just get to it!
The only way to success, I’ve found, really is through the struggle–The Struggle–and to be sure, that’s hard to face. I have to re-teach myself that lesson over and over, and I don’t expect it to be different in 2010. I can only resolve to make the lesson stick for longer and longer periods of time.
The alternative is too horrible to contemplate, namely a life of sitting around pondering Lamm’s song lyric up there and never coming to a satisfactory answer.
So, what Struggle are you going to walk into, with glocks in both hands, in order to get to where you want to be in 2010?