Most of us enjoy doing things that go beyond our daily responsibilities. For some, its gardening, cooking, or crafts, for others its painting, writing, or music. Then there are sports: hiking, golf, yoga or working out at the gym, along with team sports where available. The list could continue, but you get it. These are all fun, gratifying activities; but enjoyment from these doesn’t come easy. Each of them takes time, effort, practice, patience, strength and a good dose of determination. All these things depend upon individual goals and how important it is to the ones participating. Practice, anyone?
For example: I put a lot of time and effort into my garden because there’s nothing quite like gathering fresh vegetables for dinner throughout the summer and fall. I find this gratifying because I know everything is organically grown, healthy and yummy. Plus there’s the satisfaction of accomplishment; producing bushels of food, making homemade salsa and freezing or storing the extra veggies for winter. These are all enjoyable parts of gardening, even though they take work. But now let’s back up to spring. The weeds already have a stronghold and must be removed, the soil requires tilling, and fresh mulch and composting must be added so the ground is renewed and ready for planting. Not my favorite part of the process, but a needed one to produce a strong and plentiful harvest.
As I’ve mentioned recently, writing has become my favorite creative thing, yet I find it the most difficult because it doesn’t come easy to me. Unlike gardening, hard work doesn’t always pay off and half finished stories and blog ideas hide on my computer or on a scrap piece of paper. They sit there dormant with no guarantee spring will come to revive them. No guarantee of blooms or fruit. Yet ideas frequent my thoughts, looking for expression; so I write.
For years my husband encouraged me to just sketch. To practice.To hone my skills as an artist. To paint, simply paint and not need it to become a finished piece of art. Adding often, “This is not a waste of time; your art will be better for it.” He was right! Now he’s telling me the same thing when it comes to writing. “Practice. Do character sketches. Work on your back-story. Learn to tell your stories in such a way it compels your readers to want more; giving them something to look forward to.” I know what he’s saying, because I personally know a few very talented authors and I eagerly read their every word.
I know I’m not even close to their level of excellence, to wield the pen so masterfully that others crave more of what they have to say. Their words are beautiful and compelling. Their abilities are so far beyond my own that this alone could cause me to quit and say why bother? I should just leave the writing to those with more talent. Yet I’ve learned it’s better to try and possibly fail than to not try at all. They do not have my stories, only I can tell them. I must find a way to make my words better, to make my characters come alive and to triumph over adversity.
My husband and daughters, all skilled writers, have offered to help. They push me. They make me learn grammar. They see potential and want my story to come to life. Yet they’re honest and point out weaknesses and show me ways to make it better. Their belief in my story pushes me to continue. So for the time being I write, I sketch, I re-write and practice; which is time consuming and challenging. The growing pains have begun, along with the frustrations that come with not yet having the ability to articulate my story to the quality it deserves. But challenges and beating the odds make great stories. In the past, I focused on publishing my self-help book, “Created to be Creative” and writing motivational blogs. But now I’ve set my sights on a completely different kind of writing, fiction and allegories. It’s uncharted territory for me, but I’m not one to shy away from difficult goals.
I want you, my readers to know, I won’t post blogs as often, but I will be writing.
Yes, I’m writing a story. Eventually, I will share it with you.
Arleen Jennings is the author of:
Created to be Creative
find purpose & fulfillment through creative outlets
to purchase book Click Here