How to begin again. Well don’t wait for snow if you’re in the Pacific rim, or a typhoon if you’re in New York. Chances are, you’ll wait forever.
In whatever we do, be it painting, designing, weaving, dancing, singing, there is a natural force that compels us to share. Behind each of these is a story.
But alas, we can be easily buried with the reality of everyday living. And guess what, we can just as easily blame other people, our husband or wife (he needed his dinner on time, she wanted me to fix the garage door), or worse your children (the children need a nanny), I have to clean the house, it won’t wait! And a gazillion more excuses, why, if you can find time to write about it, you would be able to make a pastiche on “Reasons Why I Can’t Write that Book”.
If you can find a way to wake up every day to do your daily routine of eating, taking a bath, cleaning the house or going to work, there must be a way to wake up to do something that you are passionate about. Something in this world, a space to rearrange, a pattern all our own so that we can say “I was here.”
What is surprising is the thing that you love most, something which you have found gratifying remains, in the wing. Take heart. All is not lost because at whatever age, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t begin again.
- Take responsibility to do it. No more excuses, no more telling yourself tomorrow it will come. It will never come tomorrow. It is today that matters. “I’m too old. I’m forty.” Maybe you’re too old for boxing (as a profession), but as a writer, you are in the perfect age. Because you can write about anything in the world. You have experience. The greater number of successful people became successful at the age of fifty and above.
- Do creative writing that does not demand perfection, just expression. Writing a blog, a diary, letters, can help jumpstart an otherwise flagging desire.
- Read quotes that have been handed down by people who have been there, done that. The creative community is never stingy, always sharing a vast number of wisdom. Take a cue. Be inspired by other people. Read on biographies of people who made a difference in their lives and others.
- Do not be scared of mistakes, they remind us that perfection is sometimes made beautiful by flaws. I myself am more of a fan of originality. I like the quirkiness more than the faultlessness of mechanics.
- The cycle of life is actually a series of cycles, small beginnings and endings. When you have finished that first book, what matters is beginning again, thus the journey begins again. It is this beginning that gives one that tingle at the hair roots.
- The work you do is just a child of the creative process. It is not you. You should not be defined by this work or that work; otherwise you would be a victim to its presumed success or failure. The truth is, if you have begun to write it, and hopefully rode it to its completion, that itself is a success.
- If you are not good at deadlines, no prob. When you have time to fill, just do it. Be happy with what you have done. But many people require deadlines, and that is good. The adrenaline will work in whatever system, giving you a kick in the butt.
- Writing is a solitary endeavor, but it doesn’t mean you cannot work with other people. In a workshop with a beautiful and Zen surrounding, you can take part in a shared silence, where the only thing you hear is the scratching of pen on paper and the wind chimes that sway to breeze.
- When your work is done, you close that laptop, rest those tired fingers, and wait for that glorious sunlight to sneak up on you again.