This seems to be the universe’s message to me at the moment, a reminder that writing, this thing I love, will never be fall-off-a-chair easy, but that that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right path for me. As Maggie Stiefvater pointed out the other week in her Tumblr response to my question, it’s easy sometimes to romanticise a writing career – or, in fact, any career, any goal we are seeking. If we can just get this thing, this lifestyle, this next step on the ladder, life will be so much more perfect…
But the reality, life is always life. There are unexpected heartbreaks, unplanned disasters. People hate you, people love you, people don’t know you exist. Michelle Davidson Argyle said it perfectly.
[A]nything I love as much as this will require the same amount of effort, pain, and dedication. So why not this? Why. Not?
Of course. Why not? I’m going to do something hard with my life, because the hard things are the worthwhile things (often), and as Ilona Andrews says, “if it wasn’t hard, I wouldn’t have so much fun doing it.” It’s the challenge that I love, the thrill of having accomplished something difficult, and this means that no matter what I am doing, there will be moments when I look at the task and ask, “Why? Why am I beating myself to death trying to do this Thing? No one else cares!”
I care. That’s important. Michelle, in my own words: Anything I love will hurt. That’s the nature of loving – people, animals, tasks. What I love will hurt. So it might as well be this.