It is a solitary journey, writing a novel, when you are an unknown who has a job and a life completely removed from the minor escape you are concocting.
I have started and stopped working on this book several times over the last two years, life and responsibility usually overwhelming my efforts. It is a constant struggle to do the thing that you love when the number of hats you are wearing have become countless.
But that is a petty excuse. The truth is we do what we want to do. We fight for what we want to achieve. And so enters the title of this blog, and the question for the unpublished writer.
How do you persist when no one may be listening?
I will not reach for some lofty answer rooted in philosophy. Rather, I opt for the practical response to my own question.
At the core, it is not about published or unpublished, known or unknown, skilled or unskilled. It is a question of unpaid therapy vs. drudgery.
If you feel more fulfilled when you write, you are a writer, not as a question of skill or fame, but regarding the fabric of who you are. Many play guitar who have no business on a stage, but if strumming makes them feel alive or find their joy, they should play, for their benefit and the benefit of those who rely on them as a person to be whole.
So as I have recently started writing again, I am conscious of the goal, to complete the novel. At the same time, I am conscious of what really matters, I am writing. Goals are good, but they are no match for fulfilling an inner directive that yields a more complete human.
So as you and I struggle with writing or whatever your inner directive may be, let’s all remember that doing the activity is the reward.
If having our falling tree heard is the goal, we are missing the fulfillment of the journey.