|Garry-Tony's-Cave USA by Christian Panama|
Myelin, Baby!: Learning by Doing.
See, there's this stuff called myelin in our brain. I learned about it by reading this post by Justine Musk called The Dirty Secret Truth about Talent - and How to Grow It. We grow myelin by struggling, by learning something new and challenging.
"...every time you struggle with a new skill, every time you push yourself, you’re firing the right signals through the right neural channels. Myelin adds itself to your neural circuitry…until one day the skill comes so “naturally” that it looks and seems effortless. You are “talented”. But that “breakthrough” you experienced didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s not a gift from the gods."
It's hard work and myelin working together to 'grow' your skill, your talent.
So keep pushing yourself, keep working hard, keep striving. It will pay.
Give up on Passion: What I Mean, is this...
Don't expect your passion to fuel your creativity. By its very nature, passion is transient, flaring and dissipating. Shifting allegiance.
We like to do the things we're good at.
So get good at something, and then enjoy your passion for it. Don't wait for the passion to drive you.
I'm not there yet. I'm not passionately compelled to write. In fact, I'm vastly entertained just staring at the wall and letting the stories play out in my mind, without having to write them all down.
But I committed to NaNoWriMo - publicly. So writing became part of my daily agenda, like feeding BoyChild or brushing my teeth, it became routine. I'm not going to say it was easy, because it wasn't. But the result of just doing it anyway, is that it's now easier. And because it is easier, it's also
Consider Yourself Subordinate: Public Accountability
Every night, after my writing session, I went on to the NaNoWriMo website and entered my word count, which automatically updated the progress widget on the blog. So every day, anyone could visit my blog and see exactly how many words I'd written.
I didn't really appreciate the magnitude of this until after NaNoWriMo was over. After I cracked out the 50k words, I saved my file and closed it for a few days. Last night, I opened the file and was at a loss, when I had no word count widget to update, after my writing session was over.
I relied on you to keep me on task. THANK YOU.
Which reminded me of these good reasons for blogging in the first place.
So declare your goals and intentions to someone who'll ask you about them. Or imagine explaining to your child/ren why you didn't/don't pursue your dreams/goals.
Discover WHY You Write: Soothing the Beast
I've discovered why I write by a process of elimination.
I don't write because:
- I love the process. I really, really don't love the process. I find it confusing, overwhelming, and vaguely embarrassing.
- I need to quiet the voices clammering in my head. As per above, I'm quite happy to listen to the voices and watch their stories unfold, lips moving as I mutter under my breath (which BoyChild thinks is hilarious). It's like watching an epic and beautifully cinematic movie that I have total control over. Cheap thrills.
- Money/Glory. 'Nuff said.
I do write because of the way it makes me feel about myself afterward. Writing is hard, excruciating, arduous, painful. But I do it. I do it because, when I'm done, I feel relieved and full at the same time. Replete. Sated. It satisfies this sad, anxious, restless beast prowling deep within.
|Lazy Cat Days by mich&pics|
When I don't write, this beast rears her ugly head and I walk around this earth like a tiger with no teeth, a dragon with no fire. Something that should be majestic, proud, fierce. But is instead, sad, lethargic, humiliated. Pathetic. And very, very irritable.
I have felt this way for most of my adult life (with a few notable exceptions, childbirth and travel, being two of them). It never, ever occurred to me that writing may be the balm for my restless spirit. That writing is my teeth, my fire.
I'm 38 years old, and I'm just coming alive. Again.
So keep going. Never stop. Never quit. Never give up. Never give in. Never. Say. Die.