Find Your Zen
Sometimes life is a real bastard. That’s an unfortunate but immutable fact. I’ve often heard people refer to life as a game. Well, that’s pure bullshit. If it were a game, then there would have to be discernible rules. There simply aren’t. We’ve all seen it in our own daily lives. No matter how much we hate it, it happens all the damned time.
I’ve seen good, hard-working people who did no harm to anyone or anything struggle to live a bare subsistence existence. Then, at almost at the same time, I’ve seen absolute douche-bags waltz through life shitting on everyone around them. But, for whatever reason, life just seems to dump reward after reward on them. Life simply isn’t fair and there isn’t anything we can do about it. The best we can hope for is to learn to live with whatever life throws at us while clinging to the hope that it will get better.
Does that mean that we quit and just wait for the inevitable? Well, to borrow a phrase from a good friend of mine, I say “bollocks to that.” I’m a fighter. I refuse to just wait for the darkness to take me. When it comes my time to go, then I’ll go down swinging. I once heard a phrase that sums it up. They might kill me with my own gun, but they’ll have to beat me to death with it because it will be empty. Don’t quit. EVER.
I would love to be writing this from a beach somewhere while sipping a good glass of Scotch (preferably a 25-year-old Dalmore), but I’m still fighting to be a success. I may never reach #1 on the New York Times Bestseller’s List, but I won’t quit trying. In the meantime, I work 4 jobs and still struggle to pay the bills. It’s just a fact of life. Well, no one ever said it was going to be easy.
That’s why I don’t get to update my blog, Facebook Page, Twitter or other media as much as I would like. It’s also why it takes me longer than I would like to release a book. Time is a precious commodity. It seems like if I’m awake, I’m working. I don’t get much downtime. I’m not saying this as a complaint or to garner any type of sympathy. Quite the contrary. I just intend this to illustrate my point. Don’t quit. EVER.
Life will always be a daily struggle. But hey, it’s not that life is short…it’s just that you’re dead for SO long. Don’t give up. Keep working and find what makes you happy. Nothing worth achieving has ever been achieved without hard work. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something. Nothing is free or easy. If you didn’t work for it, then you can rest assured that there will be a price-tag attached to it somewhere along the line…. likely when you least expect it.
That brings me… albeit slowly… to the point. Writing much like any other goal, is not a race but a destination. You are not in a race with anyone or anything. This is your journey and you set the pace. No one else gets to tell you how to get there. After all, the journey is just as important as the destination. How you get there defines you as much as your success.
Motivation isn’t always as easy as just telling yourself, “I can do this.” Sometimes motivation comes easy and sometimes it takes work… and there will be times where it won’t come at all. Don’t give up when this happens. This is temporary and will pass. It might pass on its own or it might take a little encouragement from you. It’s different with all of us.
For some, music can change their mood and lift them up. For others, a trip to the gym might do the trick. I have used several different methods, over the years. I love music and listen whenever I can. I’ve done what I refer to as “group therapy” or “lead therapy” when I go to the range and put holes in paper. Group meaning “shot group.” That might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I truly enjoy range time. I also like a good glass of whiskey or a nice pint of Guinness. I don’t recommend overdoing it, though. I’m usually happy with one when I’m writing or trying to be creative. Too much will have the opposite effect.
Still other times, I’ve enjoyed a good walk outdoors on a trail or through the woods. There’s serenity in the forest. It stills the soul and refreshes your connection to nature. I honestly think that you can find and reconnect with yourself in nature. Spend an hour away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and you will see what I mean.
My point is that there many things you can do to find your inner peace and motivation to keep writing. The ways to do it are as unique as you are. We aren’t machines. Take time to feed your own creative soul. I’m as guilty as anyone of this. We get so caught up in paying bills, working, taking care of things we must do for our families and a million other tasks that we forget to take time for ourselves. Even if it’s only a few moments a day, the investment will pay off with huge dividends.
Honestly, that’s the best advice I can give you. Take time for yourself. Don’t give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you reach the top of that mountain. You are far stronger than you give yourself credit. You are the most important character in your story. After all, without you there IS no story. You can’t take care of the ones you love if you fail to take care of yourself, first.
Writing is a journey. Enjoy every step of the way. There isn’t a writer out there who hasn’t stumbled along their path and thought about giving up. The trick is, to accept the challenges as they rise for what they are… opportunities to improve ourselves.
Whenever anything bad happens, you have two choices, really. You can allow it to make you bitter or you can allow it to make you better. It’s not easy but it can be done. Like I said, nothing worth achieving was ever reached without hard work. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and work hard. Your success with taste sweeter for the struggle.
Keep working, keep walking and keep fighting. I believe in you and know you can do it. After all, you’ve overcome every obstacle in your life just to get where you are right now. You’re already a badass, you just don’t realize it. You’ve got this. Find your Zen and never give up.
Incidentally, I’ve never had a 25-year-old Damore scotch. I’ve had a 12-year-old Dalmore and it was amazing. The 25 is completely out of my price-range, at the moment. One day, I’ll have a bottle. On the day that my writing has taken me to a glass of 25-year-old Damore while sitting on the beach, then I’ll sit back and enjoy the amazing smoky flavor and reflect on everything I had to do just to get there. Once I’ve savored that moment, it’ll be time to set new goals and keep reaching for the stars.
I won’t ever give up. You shouldn’t either.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Writing is a journey that we take together. Thank you for joining me on mine.