Here’s my message to writers and artists, to anyone in a creative endeavor, who might be feeling discouraged… if it is really your dream, in your one and only heart of hearts, then don’t quit. It’s that easy and it is that hard, that simple and that complicated, don’t quit.
I consider it to be a tremendous blessing, a gift, a grace, to get to be able to do this, to write, to make my own books, to have this webpage, to share these words with you. Has it all gone exactly as I thought it would, hoped, wanted, dreamed? Hell no. But I’m the grown up version of the kid who stapled together my first book of poems in grade school. There’s a great quote, attributed to Hannibal, “I will either find a way, or make one.” If I had no webpage, if none of this, I would still write. If I were to run our of paper, I’ve written on paper towels, paper bags, my jeans, I wrote part of a poem on a gum wrapper once. When I waited tables, I’d scribble notes and poems on successive little round decaf coffee coasters, numbering them like pages. They’d be all mangled in my apron at the end of the night, I’d sort them out. I wrote for years and years while most of the people who knew me had no idea that I did. Sometimes I feel myself starting to stray toward wishing this or that, but, no. First of all, I’m still just getting started. Second of all, I’m happy getting to do things completely my way in this moment, it is a great gift. I wouldn’t have learned all that I have if things had been easier, or happened some other way, and I’m still learning.
Remind yourself that someone is always going to have something to say about something, and get on with it. No one falls gracefully. Like what you like, love what you love, do your thing, and don’t quit.
I’m incredibly thankful, I’m blessed to get to do this at all. I’m ever glad that I didn’t give up, so many times.