If you’re anything like me, nothing has ever sounded as dull as simply “being normal”. Having a normal job and doing normal things like normal people. It turns you off because, deep down, you know you were made for more than that. You have a purpose, and “normalcy” is your enemy—or is it?
I just want to take a minute to say something that should be pretty obvious, but for some reason isn’t: People are not normal. People are complex, vibrant, mysterious, and deep—sometimes even beyond their own realization. You are one of those people. But unique people like you and I sometimes end up doing “normal things”—and we beat ourselves up for it.
Some days creativity comes easier than others. It’s always nice when the stream is flowing and the words and colors and ideas are coming, but we all know it doesn’t last forever. Sometimes you don’t feel creative. Sometimes, you might even wonder if you’ll ever feel that way again.
When I was in high school, I focused all my spare energy on writing novels. I wrote and wrote and wrote; hundreds of thousands of words. And at first it was easy. But there came a time, shortly after I graduated when I stopped writing almost altogether. It was like the spark of passion I’d had had gone out.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally started dipping my toes back into the pool of writing fiction. I’m finally developing a story idea into a real book after more than a year of “absent creativity”—and at last, I had a revelation: my creativity hadn’t really been gone; it had merely been asleep, recharging.
When I was a teenager, my dream was to be a novelist. I would sit in my room at my desk for hours, plotting, writing, editing. The “life of a writer” consumed me. This was all I ever wanted: for it to be me, my characters, and my world. And of course, one day, a best-selling novel. But things didn’t quite work out that way.
Whether you’re creating content for your blog or working on a new book, you’re got to admit something—writing, especially good writing—is hard. And it doesn’t help that we writers are usually somewhat perfectionist.
We all want to stand out, don’t we? To rise above the noise of this world and make an impact. We want our voices to be heard. But with all the clutter and grime in today’s society, how will we ever break through and shine?
In this culture, we’re okay with living small. We don’t like risks—especially if those risks may end up costing or hurting us. It’s scary to step out too far, so we rarely do. Living small is comfortable.
It’s difficult to break out of the mediocrity of small living: the comfort zone. Yet deep down, we long for more. For adventure. We thirst for a bigger purpose, and so we turn to stories.
Writing can be a lonely pursuit. It’s easy to get the feeling that there’s no one out there like you. And in part, that is true. You are different with a unique voice and set of talents. No one is just like you, and that’s good. But sometimes we writers still get lonely. Even the most introverted of us need friends.
Community is something that most of us starve for deep down. We want to be among likeminded people. And yet other times we convince ourselves that being a lone ranger is the way to go. We don’t need anyone, because the creative life is one of solitude, yes? Whether we like it or not, that’s our destiny.
In the past, I’ve talked about how writing can become a grind, and why it’s sometimes a good idea to take a break. Even though it’s enjoyable, being creative is hard work. Sometimes you need to allow yourself to rest and refuel.
Sometimes people ask me how I manage to keep up with my blog. How do I always manage to write content on time? Where do I get my ideas? The truth is, I struggled with this until I learned how to take breaks. And I don’t mean “check-social-media” kind of breaks; I’m talking about real breaks. The “leave-the-computer” kind.