Bouncing off a friend’s blog post Author Lee Stephen, I wanted to discuss an oft-overlooked facet of Indie writing and motivation: the desire not to be a bum.
We can wax eloquent about striving towards your dreams, tear up over the stories that burn in your heart, rant about the noble struggle of authentic artists, and all those are true and worthy and poignant… but I’d like to peel back a layer and make a confession.
One of the reasons I started writing was I didn’t want to be a bum.
But seeing as stained glass is a definite niche, luxury item, when the *cough, cough* “economic slump” struck, there wasn’t a lot of work. At all. Things pretty much tanked. I didn’t want to close up my studio, and being disabled, it wasn’t like I could pick up grunt work on friends’ carpentry crews in the meantime (not that they had work either) so I did two things: I went back to college and started writing.
Yes, I’ve always wanted to write. Yes, I’ve had stories bouncing around in my head for decades. Yes, I’m confident this is one of many tasks I’m ‘called’ to. Of course I dreamed about movie options and foreign-language rights. But the urge to be productive, to forge a creative outlet for my skill-set in the new-found “spare” time was stronger than the desire to laze about in my PJ’s playing computer games.
I read recently that in our modern world – swamped with a constant deluge of movies, TV, cartoons, serial bestsellers, PC Games, MMORPGs, etc – five percent of the population does the dreaming for the other ninety-five percent. That as individuals, we’ve grown far too content and complacent with other people’s visions and fantasies, allowing our imaginations to atrophy, our passions to cool, our hope to fade in the face of slick Marketing Campaigns and CGI Special Effects. That kind of spin and polish make it all too easy to sit back and surrender.
That choice stares me in the face every time I sit down at my computer. Sure, I might watch the latest episode of Southland or run and gun through a level of Dead Space 2, but I can’t get away from the haunting conviction it’s time we got up off the couch and started forging our own dreams again.
The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground. ~Author Unknown