On effort and on being a writer.

I’m starting to write this recollection without knowing where it will take me. However, I have a feeling where it has to take me is important.

Writing has always been my passion. A way to escape, or to make sense of things, or to say what I have to say. Objectively, I cannot know if it’s any good, if there is any quality to the stories, recollections, opinions, poems I write. I have a mantra – as long as it touches the soul of just one person, it is good enough. To write is not just to sit and to have these words pour out of you. Sometimes it is, when the inspiration you have is greater then the sunrise itself. But that doesn’t happen often. Most of the time it is making yourself write something that will make some sense. It is practice. It is going against every fiber of your being telling you I just won’t do it today, I don’t have enough inspiration.

I’ve had periods when I wrote a lot, and when I barely did. For to write something of any importance, you have to go to very dark places with yourself. Most of the time what you want to write isn’t personal, but you have to make it personal. You have to feel that emotion, you have to live that story from beginning to end as if it were happening to you. And that is always frightening. You just might find something out about yourself you didn’t want to. So I had this long period of time when I kept telling myself I’ll just write when I really feel it. But even when I felt it, I didn’t. I was scared because I would have to get out of my comfort zone, I’d have to go to places of my soul I’ve never been at. Then, one day, everything was overwhelming. Mundane things became unbearable. I thought I was losing it, this is it, I thought, this is where I lose my mind. I picked up my pen and started writing, and the storm calmed. I had too many things I wanted to write about, I had stories which wanted to come out. Characters in my head so real they demanded their story told. Since that day I haven’t put my pen down even when I was afraid or when I didn’t have much words inside me.

To be a writer, actually to be anything, is not just to be talented. That’s such a small portion of it it’s almost irrelevant. It’s wanting it and working hard for it. It’s not giving up even when it seems it’s pointless. It’s feeling it is right for you. Even when it seems you’re not right for it.

And this is where this recollection ends up – at getting out of your comfort zone for what feels right.

I’ve had many people in my life, some are still around, but some are not. Couple of times I thought I was at a dead end with some people. They were too much work, I needed too much work to have them around. I wanted to just give up on what we had just because I was afraid. Not the usual kind of fear, but the kind where you know this just might be the greatest thing that has ever happened to you, if you just try harder. However, you put limits on yourself, on how much you can give, and you say it’s not enough. And you turn around and walk away.

Have you ever met someone who sparked every part of you, who uncovered galaxies for you? You just know it is right, you know it’s worth everything you have. But you also know it might drain you, you might give all of yourself and get nothing in return. You think you don’t have it in you to put the effort this person deserves. Oh, but they still feel so right.

Or it is something else, it doesn’t have to be a person. Like writing. You know this is a part of you, and it scares you so much you don’t want to discover what your limits are. It took all I had to get out of my comfort zone with my writing, and I have no regrets. It uncovered satisfaction and happiness I didn’t know existed.

How about you step out of your comfort zone? Embrace the uncertainty and dive head first without knowing if there’s any water in the pool. You have so much to lose – but I promise there is much more to gain. That thing, or that person who feels right but is too much work, they just might be what will make you see the universe where you once saw darkness.

We do this thing where we tell ourselves if it’s too much work it’s not meant to be, it’s not right. When it’s right the effort will come naturally. Let me tell you – it won’t. The effort will never come naturally. You have to work for it. You have to make yourself do it for that little voice inside you telling you it’s special. If I haven’t listened to that voice, if I gave up because it was too much work, I wouldn’t be writing this now. And maybe I wouldn’t have made the change in that one person’s life.

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