Kati’s Reply (and Mine)
I wanted to post Kati’s letter as soon as it came in because I felt certain that there would be a strong and passionate response. But the outpouring of support, encouragement, tough love, not to mention some pretty deep wisdom overwhelmed me. I think it overwhelmed Kati too.
My thanks to everyone who wrote in. The notes were so heartfelt and contained so much kindness and caring, it almost didn’t matter what specific “advice” or kicks-in-the-pants they contained. The gesture was everything.
Kati responded right away, but because her reply appeared in the Comments section on the same day the original post ran, I’m afraid some people might have missed it.
So here’s Kati’s note to everyone who wrote in to her:
This is Kati who wrote the letter.
Thank you so much for all your comments!
I sent that email to Steven at 4 am, which, of course was a bad idea. I was totally fed up with everything and experienced a sudden need to just yell at the Universe. But there was no one up there, so I yelled at Steven instead, which was unfair, of course.
Unexpectedly Steven replied while I was still awake and said he wanted to publish my letter. Go ahead, I said, still mad.
(Btw, I am a Finn, from Finland. We are honest folks. When things go wrong, we say it. Out loud.).
I felt bad and so I said it. Out loud.
Was my feeling justified? Yes and no.
No because I live in a welfare state and have really nothing to worry about.
And yes because of course we all have the right to feel what we feel.
Maybe sharing these feelings in the internet is not such a great idea because our feelings change. Constantly. The state of mind I was on Wednesday, February 5th, at 4 am, is gone. But what is released into the world wide web stays, if not forever, for a very long time.
Do I regret I sent my email?
I don´t know. But if there is someone out there, reading these words, feeling lonely and lost, I just want to say: you are not walking this journey of trials alone. Because a journey of trials it is. And it is OK even if it sucks at times.
And when it sucks, go ahead and yell! You can yell at me! Steven has my email address.
At 4 am, last week Wednesday, while staring at the bedroom ceiling, I decided to write a book about failing. Because failure always comes at the heels of success. It is an essential part of creative endeavours. I know you are not supposed to use the f-word, but I dont care. I think it is healthy sometimes to look the devil in the eye and call it whatever you want to call it.
Is writing really a bad idea?
I guess it is a bad idea the same way having kids is a bad idea. Your heart will break and there will be tears and you are so tired all the time. And yet. There is also bliss. Unimaginable joy. Euphoria.
There is LIFE in all its twisted glory.
So please dont listen to me. Keep on writing, you guys – but not for success. Write to tell us your truth. Because we need to hear it. I need to hear it.
Don´t give up.
With love and blessings,
And here’s my own e-mail to Kati, after I asked her and she gave me permission to publish her letter in a Writing Wednesdays post.
I’ll publish your letter then, Kati. It’ll be very interesting to see how people respond. Of course yours is everybody’s nightmare scenario. It’s in everybody’s head all the time, whether they address it or try not to think about it.
My own answer is that of course the dream of making a living as a writer is a tremendous long shot. The odds are overwhelmingly against success, particularly today with Amazon and Google where, what, half a million new books are published every year?
To say we want to succeed financially in that jungle is like saying we want to be professional basketball players. It’s easier to become a brain surgeon. At least you can go to school for that.
That said, the idea of following one’s Muse is a lifelong enterprise, one that we are faithful to for its own sake and its own rewards and not for worldly success. That to me is not only an honorable and noble and admirable way to live but the ONLY way for many of us. I know it’s the only way for me. I couldn’t do anything else.
Are you familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat Pray Love” and other books? She has dealt with these internal issues in a very serious manner. She says that, at the start of her adventure into a writing career, she “made a deal” with her writing. She said, “I will never ask you to support me. I will always support you.”
She got lucky of course, and had a huge hit after not very long. But I like her attitude a lot. She said to herself, “I am a writer. That is my calling and I intend to follow it lifelong, whether it pays off financially or not.”
Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita that we have a right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor.
P.S. It probably helps too not to publish in Finnish with five million potential readers, rather than in English with a billion or so.
That’s my answer!
There’s a final thought I’d like to add. This is for our readers and for everyone who wrote in.
Sometimes when I’m writing these posts, I wonder if I’m crazy to keep doing them. Some posts will get three Comments, or four, or six. I find myself asking, Is anybody out there? Is any of this doing any good?
These answers to Kati made my day/week/month.
Thanks to everybody.
I think we may actually have a bit of a community here.
That’s what I was always hoping for.
Nobody said the path we’ve chosen is easy. As Freddy Mercury once sang, ” … it’s no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise.”
But there’s definitely consolation in all of us reaching out to “one of our own” with love and acceptance and encouragement.
And now, Kati, as my old mentor Paul Rink once told me,
“Start the next one tomorrow.”
Feels like an epic moment in the life of this tribe. This out-welling of support, and people seeing their own struggles reflected in the experience of another. I appreciate this space and the people in it.
I couldn’t agree more. Since last week, I have made contact with one person in Toronto, and this space led me to one of the most enriching books I’ve read, “Siddhartha”. And there has to be more; much, much more potential from this magical space. I am glad to be here.
Viviana, I also got a lot out of “Siddhartha.” Mostly, how there is no one single path that can take us to where we’re going.
Thank you Joe and Viviana. I am so glad to be in this community and I am so glad you are here, too <3
can you give me a link to your e-mail to your steve. well see, I’m a stephen and I once had a katherine, but I never got an e-mail or a goodbye. so still since 1995, I still don’t know why. mahalo.
I learned more about what it’s really like to be a writer in these last two posts, than anything in all the instruction manuals I’ve ever read about the art of writing. Thank you Steve and Kati for sharing your experiences with us.
It really has been incredible. From the first lines of Kati’s email to Steve, I was caught; and it stayed on my mind throughout the entire week. Suffering, it seems, and our connection to it, may just be the most cohesive factor for humans. Sure, we may bond some through music, etc., but suffering… Ahhh…
Suffering is so interesting. I always feel that when I cry, I am my most authentic self. I am totally present. Maybe its the same when I laugh, though. I dont know. But I love Brene Brown´s take on empathy. She says its a place where we connect with others who suffer, through our suffering.
Thank you Paulinho. I have learned a lot, too. I have learned how kind people are. I have also learned we are in this together. Best wishes from Helsinki, where sun is finally shining : )
I couldn’t love this post more.
Kati, I love “failure always comes at the heels of success”. I really needed to hear this, as I’m struggling terribly lately. That gives me encouragement and hope, so thank you. I wish you the best–most of all, enjoyment in your writing.
Steve, I read every post of yours every week, and they sustain me throughout the week, not just with my writing, but with life. I’ve probably mentioned in a previous comment that I reckon my weeks from Wednesday to Wednesday, but if you wonder “Is anybody out there? Is any of this doing any good?”, then maybe it bears my repeating that your encouragement and wisdom mean the world. Stephen King is right when he said “writing is a lonely job”–it’s not lonely for me when I’m sitting in the chair and actively writing, spending time with my characters and the world I created, but it’s the self-doubt makes it lonely for me–the “What’s the point?” and/or “Is anybody going to care?” So, thank you for your books, your posts, your encouragement, your wisdom. and your advice…I don’t know if I could continue without it. I’m so grateful. You’ve curated a wonderful place here.
How beautiful Yvonne. I so wish to be in community with more people like you. Please reach out if you feel like it.
Thank you Yvonne. I just read Ken Honda´s Happy Money and in it he says (after studying thousands of millionaires) that you cannot get rich without losing a lot of money. Learning this was such a relief to me! I think you can maybe apply this to creative endeavours: You cannot succeed if you haven`t failed. Because when you fail and sink into total despair, you release the resistance. The best place to be is the one where you have nothing to lose. Total surrender has miraculous power, I have learned. It is then the Muse starts guiding us and she does it much better than we do.
And yes, I also read all Steven´s posts! If I didnt, I would not have sent him my letter. So thank you Steven <3
Yes, we are out here, and the last two weeks have given this community a chance to shine. Thanks for hanging in there with us, Steve!
Amen. It was overpowering with so much gratitude; even in the suffering. I am not a writer but the wisdom applies to every day life. Thank everyone . I look forward to Steve’s wisdom every week. It encourages me.
What Mary said. We are out here! Not always posting but catching a minute always to get a dose of good stuff. I can’t imagine not having this place and the friends met here with this same common thread. ~Regina
Are you brian doyle’s wife? Even if you are not, I just read his one long river of song and was mesmerized by his words and thoughts. Grace. Beauty. Love. WORDS FAIL ME…
Dear Steve, & the rest of the Black Irish Tribe,
I was awaiting for the post like the next episode of Homeland. What’s he gonna say?!?!? Why did so many people respond? I have my own ideas.
There are so many ways in which people lead. Dan Coyle’s latest book is “The Culture Code”, I encourage everyone to read it, and my favorite of his “The Talent Code”.
In Culture Code, Dan sees three components to thriving culture: Create safety, Demonstrate vulnerability, Establish purpose.
I think Steve, that this Writing Wednesdays nails all three. When those components are healthy, magic happens.
Thanks for creating this space.
And, even in your nonchalance comment ‘is anyone reading this’ is another authentic demonstration of vulnerability. And, I think, because you lead with this, we are able to hear the sometimes difficult truths of this trade of creation. It is safe here. Kati’s letter quickly reminded everyone of the true purpose here.
As I was pouring my cup of coffee in preparation to read the sequel, I thought that we all responded to ‘Man overboard! Man overboard!’, and without any battle drills, everyone just responded in their best way.
My interpretation, for what it’s worth.
I’m with you, Brian. I can’t remember being this excited about someone’s next post, ever.
And Steve, thanks most of all for this: “I find myself asking, ‘Is anybody out there? Is any of this doing any good?'” Dave Barry once told me he periodically announces he can’t write anymore because (get this): “I suck at it.” It appears self-doubt’s just part of the deal. Thanks for the reminder.
Back to work!
Yes, self doubt does seem to be part of the process. The Resistance devil! Maybe it has a purpose? Maybe it beats us to better performance? I dont know. All I know is that it is good to know others suffer from it as well. Even Taylor Swoft! It makes this a whole lot easier.
And yes, back to work!
Swift, I mean : )
Good one, BSN. Seems like “how we approach vulnerability” is key. That’s what (R)esistance is — recoiling from the potential pain of getting punched in the underbelly. And how to do we walk forward into that fear? You hit on it with “purpose” and meaning.
As I’m sitting here, I’m getting an example of the harmonic that seems to arise when important themes are being talked about. Disclosure that I’m bedeviled by distraction and trying to maintain focus. So even though I’m sitting here reading Brian’s comment, and writing some of my thoughts in response, I ALSO have a podcast going — “The Creative Non-Fiction Podcast,” where host Brendan O’Meara is talking with novelist Tim O’Brien, mostly about his recent memoir, “Dad’s Maybe Book.”
As I’m reading Brian recounting the words “is anyone reading this,” Tim is talking about “99% of America has no idea who I am. Partly because they don’t read, partly because they don’t read MY books, partly because maybe they don’t LIKE my books.”
And Tim goes on to talk about how he (even as a National Book Award recipient) feels something of the “imposter syndrome.”
And on the difficulty of writing, Tim says: “Every clause is a struggle. Every sentence is a struggle. Every paragraph is a struggle. Am I repeating myself? Is it fresh? Is it original? Is the language inviting and graceful? The answer is almost always, ‘No. No. No, it’s not.’ And then trying again. And trying again.”
Isn’t it enlightening to know that even someone whose writing we admire, like Steve — even Steve battles in the trenches. Tim O’Brien, sitting in his underwear in front of his computer, struggling and trying to get it right, again and again.
Getting choked up a little so let me close with a joke about “the vulnerable, soft underbelly”:
Guys are pulling up their shirts and comparing abs. One guy pulls up his shirt. “Sure, I have a six-pack!” He pats his belly. “It’s right here under this pony keg.”
Kati, thanks for being vulnerable and for the conversation you’ve sparked here.
Pony keg!!! Too Funny!! Insert laughing sideways w/ tears emoji.
Thanks Joe, appreciate the assist.
Thanks for the Tim O’Brien reference, Joe. Reminds me of sitting on an ancient, rickety bus and getting lost in The Things They Carried during my English literature university undergraduate degree more than 20 years ago. It’s been that long since I read that and a re-read is overdue…
You bet, Shane. Great book. Tim’s “Going After Cacciato” was also a great read (a squad pursuing Cacciato, who’s had enough of war, goes AWOL and decides to walk from Vietnam to Paris).
Thank you Joe! I guess it doesnt matter how successful you are. Maybe you can only do something meaningful, if there is a crack in you. Like Leonard Cohen says: “There is a crack in everything/ That´s how the light gets in….” Seems like it gets both in and out through the crack.
As long as we’re on it… Brendan O’Meara and Tim O’Brien, touching on some of the issues we’re discussing here.
Another delectable comment. This (whole thread, this “Kati / Steve event”), is a real (profound) treat; like running water, reaching the innermost spots that seldom get cultivated, awakening something that was trying to wake up for a long time. How magical indeed.
Thank you Brian, for your book recommendations, I will pursue them.
Your description of your eager anticipation for Steve’s response to Kati was exquisite, most delightful; it mirrored my own.
Very happy to be here, inhabiting this moment, with all its inherent potential and perils, and this space and the company of each and all of you who energize this space so magically.
I am so glad if my letter served such a great purpose and reminded the tribe the true purpose of this community.
You are such a great tribe. Thank you for sharing your words!
WOW what a community!!!So fortunate to be a part of such a community no matter how many times I felt “out of the box” putting my ass were my heart is. Thank you all.
😀 Love it!
Don’t’ hide that ass Gwen! It’s beautiful!
FYI, I love your Wednesday posts. Counting readers = fruits of your labors. NOYB, right. You have the “right” to keep serving us these delicious weekly posts which so nourish me.
Steve, I publish an almost-daily Journal. In it I offer a topic of interest to writers on most days, along with my own numbers for the month/year, links to other blogs (like this one). Despite all that, most often I don’t get any commments at all.
I keep going because I enjoy it and because I like to share forward what I’ve learned. (The same as you, I expect.) We’re out here, learning and swapping lies and soaking up what you have to say. I hope you don’t stop saying it.
Hey Harvey, where can I find your journal?
On behalf of Harvey for you are anyone else who’s interested (like I was):
“I think we may actually have a bit of a community here.” Yes yes yes, Steven, even if we’re mostly takers and not prolific commenters.
Thanks for all that you have done in giving this community a place to be. The paragraph that really landed with me was
“To say we want to succeed financially in that jungle is like saying we want to be professional basketball players. It’s easier to become a brain surgeon. At least you can go to school for that.”
A lone writer does not have the support that so many other professions do, but then again a lone writer may not yet be a professional and I think that is what your War of Art is all about. If you want the support of a profession, you first must have made the commitment to be a professional (and not in the sense that it is your livelihood, but more that you are deeply committed to the art).
So many tests along the way. 🙂
Should I be ashamed for having responded yesterday to point out your Wednesday letter came out on Tuesday. How many others wrote? I don’t want to know. I could have enjoyed this just as much yesterday as I did today. I have friends on FB who say they never post on FB themselves but they read everything I write. That is encouraging because FB is really not the medium for original writing. My Blog at scotirish.org is where I write and few people acknowledge anything, maybe they don’t see it. Yet, still I write, because it’s what I do.
Yo, Steve! I’m here, creeping every week without commenting. Love the simplicity in your weekly messages. Keep it up, your writing matters to us.
The community always reflects the values of the leader, even when in revolution. How wonderful it is to see evolution in its stead as Simon Sinek would say. I like the bargain Elizabeth Gilbert made. I hadn’t heard that but I will remember it. Perhaps adopt that as a promise for my own writing. There are very few writers whose words always merit our time and attention. Not only are you one of those for me – but it seems others mentored by you join your ranks. That speaks volumes as well.
I have to say that this is a very emotionally moving exchange revealing some very, very nice human consideration, kindness, and wisdom. I’ve never read better.
Thank you William – I am moved by your kindness <3
P. S. May I reprint Kati’s letter and your response on my blog, again at scotirish.org?
Yes, please do, John! (I’m taking the liberty of speaking for Kati too.)
Go ahead John!
And thank you for doing it <3
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.
Yes, Steve, we are here, and we are here every week, whether we say so or not. Please don’t stop writing. Please don’t stop writing these posts. I know you won’t stop writing because you have said so many times that you can’t, but please don’t stop writing these posts. We need them!
I have a feeling Kati’s post, your reply, her reply, and this community will serve a million writers before it goes quietly.
Thank you Jeff! Steves wisdom needs to be shared with writers everywhere!
As a fellow Finn and struggling writer, this made me laugh (I say everything out loud, too) and almost cry. Thank you to both Kati for your honesty and Steven for your continuous encouragement.
Hahaa – kiitos Taru!
I was wondering if there are other Finns here : )
Thank you for your message Taru. And keep on doing what you are doing <3
This whole thing is a reminder to me that even when we feel low, we never really walk alone. Godspeed, Kati! <3
No we NEVER walk alone!
Thank you so much Jazz for your comment <3
Warm greetings from cold Helsinki!
Steve…Think back to when you “launched” The Legend of Bagger Vance, you had maybe a community of 10 to include Larry “The Hammer” Hughes among others. When Ander and I wrote you and said how much we and Mick loved the book, we never really expected a response. You did respond and said ” When an author publishes a book, it is like launching a satellite, and as it circles around sending a small beep, the author wonders if there is anyone who hears the beep ( my words, yours’ were more elegant, but it has been decades now.)
You have indeed created a wonderful, meaningful, inspiring community.Your work and YOU mean so much to so many. Certainly don’t question if “there is anyone out there”. There is indeed is, so as the posts indicate…Keep at it brother…so we all can sail, however cloudy the horizon may be..with HOPE from Wednesday to Wednesday. M1
It is thanks to this site and the community that comments below each WW post that I learned my struggles as a writer are not only universally shared but in fact an inherent part of the process. Louise DeSalvo wrote that she “prefers to demythologize writing, and frame writing as a kind of work that we do no matter what.” You have accomplished very much the same thing, Steven, teaching us that showing up to the desk every day and beating Resistance is the whole thing. We’ve all been where Kati is ….. I describe my own dark hours of the writing soul to my wife as “I woke up this morning afraid of my book.” Meaning: is that pile of pages on the shelf above my writing desk stupid, tacky, or tasteless? Is it “dumb?” “Bad?” Am I wasting my time? My life? I’ve been there and I will be again. What a great thing to have these posts and the group it has created each Wednesday morning.
“I woke up this morning afraid of my book”. I totally understand what you said!
I recently read my 1st one for audio book and it was quite painful. But also educational because I had forgotten so much of what I had learned while researching and writing the book.
But interestingly enough, we are sometimes also afraid of the great things we have accomplished. As Marianne Williamson says: people are not afraid of their darkness but their light.
Thank you for your inspiring comment Sam!
I thought about Kati all week. It made me cry to read her post and again to read all the support. Although it may feel like it, we writers are not alone. Thank you, Kati, for your honest words and Steven, for a place to gather. I’m so grateful for these posts each week. They’ve kept me going.
Dear Amy – thank you for thinking about me!!!! Now I will think about you <3
It is so great to know we are not alone in this.
Hugs from Helsinki!
These posts are the best part of Wednesday. Each week, another insight into the most important thing that we can do for ourselves and others. And that is, follow our Muse and reveal what she reveals to us.
Let’s say, as a thought experiment, you told me not to write, that it’s not worth writing that novel, that screenplay, that Facebook post or reply, because few people would read it, it would bring no financial reward, and my opinions and story ideas are irrelevant, I may agree with you and write anyway. For the same reason I like to play Candy Crush or Toon Blast, play my bamboo and Native American style flutes, or any other kind of stimulating activity. It helps me think. It circulates the traffic jam of thoughts in my head. And editing my writing to make it concise and effective is one of my favorite things to do. No need to apologize to me, for one, for airing your frustrations. It shows your sanity. You have the ability to make goals, stop and assess your progress. Neither could you say anything, on purpose or by accident, that would chase me from my writing. I quite literally do it for my health. So. Air away.
thank you so much! You are so right! I also write because if I dont, I get depressed. And this is what happened at 4 am on last Wed morning. I had submitted my manuscript to the publisher and stopped writing. And it is exactly like the Chinese say: Go slowly but dont stop!
So I have started again. And I am so glad you are so wise as not to stop.
Warm greetings from cold Helsinki
Steve, I haven’t commented before but I ALWAYS read and am inspired by your columns. Thank you! And thank you to Kati for such a heartfelt sharing.
Thank you Lyndon for being there <3
Warm greetings from cold Helsinki,
Thank you Steven,
I am grateful for your weekly emails. They fortify my resolve to continue writing and my belief that I have something worthwhile to share with the world.
You inspire me to think more clearly, write more
regularly and somehow through my words contribute to making this world a better and more beautiful place.
All the best,
I read your posts every single week. I always get something out of them. Sometimes a kick in the pants, other times some sage advice.
This is my first time commenting on any of your posts. Kati’s message resonated with me as well. A good lesson to learn, we are never alone.
No, we are never alone and more than my letter, this community shows it.
Warm greetings from cold Helsinki,
Thank you both for your sincerity. I never know what to say in a comment, unless I disagree with something.
There had been requests of a Facebook group expressed in the chat of the first Mastermind, but probably the idea was rejected (and I understand why). Maybe the better version of it could be a Q&A forum on this website (like writing.stackexchange.com)? No useless talk, only business – but the community will be somehow better represented.
I don’t answer often but, boy Steve I do appreciate this email every week. And often it affects me much more deeply than I expect it to each time I start off reading it.
I am a musician, producer, engineer and songwriter. Not probably what you would consider a perfect fit for this email group.
But I am “all in”.
And so are you.
i am here, listening and reading. just may not comment all the time.
We have to embrace it all-the good, the bad, the ugly. Like they say..if there’s a God there must be a devil. We’re still here. 4am is usually when fear knocks and scares the bejesus out of us… and you wrote with so much emotion and truth. In just those 2 messages I know I like your writing! Keep going!
Karen – many thanks to you <3
Haha, yes: 4 am is the hour of the wolf. Thats when devils are out. But luckily there are more angels as we can see in this conversation.
Warm greetings from cold Helsinki,
Good stuff Steve. I was no the edge of my seat for this response after last week’s bomb (Kati’s letter). This was such a counter intuitive way to encourage writing – by giving Kati a platform for her 4am panic to the gods letter! I love the transparency of this. Thanks for your work!
Thank you Nick!
I agree – my sad letter had quite the opposite effect that I thought. And thank Goddess for that.
And thank Goddess for Steve.
And thank Goddess for this community!
Warm greetings from cold Helsinki,
Steve . . . Thanks for all that you do. It’s appreciated more than you know. My son and I have l listened to the audio version of “The War of Art” at least twenty times each. It’s a source of inspiration I need about every six months. As Robert McKee would say, you have written the truth. Keep it coming.
Oh Steve, you’re not crazy to do these posts. How many of us are reading and find them thought provoking but don’t answer? A lot more than those who answer. I was one of those persons last week. I saw all the great responses and knew Kati would see people cared. I didn’t add mine because I was caught up in work and knew I would be repeating what many others had already said.
I’m relieved to see Kati has her head on her shoulders again and what a great response she sent. Thanks for sharing your answer and hers with us. So wise.
I had this thought in mind, then and now. Writing is about the journey, not the destination. It’s the joy of creating that flows through us. And when we let that happen, there’s nothing else like it. We often worry we’ll fail, look silly or think no one will “get us.” That’s Resistance talking, the proud ego who worries about things like that. Trying to make a living off of writing? Yes, a lot like professional basketball or even football, for sure. Not everyone makes the team.
Whether music, writing, painting or some other art form, it is a calling. And we should kick Resistance into a corner and thoroughly enjoy the ride!
Like Lyn I didn’t respond last week even though my heart broke for Kati. I knew so well what she felt and am so glad that she is OK. I, like everyone else who did respond these past two weeks and so many more of us who read, nod our heads in recognition and say a prayer of thanks, read your posts every week, Steven. As Lyn said, writing (or any creative endeavor) is about the journey, not the destination. And, in more than 40 years of living a creative life I have learned that if you can take a deep breath and trust the journey, the destination will take care of itself. It might not be the destination we envisioned, but it will be the right one. I often say, when people ask about how ‘successful’ I am–gallery representation, sales etc–that I don’t create to make a living, I create to live. It’s the only path I know.
Thank you for your wise words, Lin!
“It might not be the destination we envisioned, but it will be the right one.”
Warm greetings from cold Finland,
I’m out here in Utah, struggling along on my own and reading these posts every week. Thanks, everybody.
Yes, we are here and yes, it is worth it!! Weekly you dish up your own version of truth and I applaud you for being so honest and forthcoming. It takes great courage and you, my friend are a man among men! I like the bargain Elizabeth Gilbert made as well, I have adopted it as my own. I will meet you back here….every Wednesday.
Loved both of your emails Kati! The depth of both brought up so much in me, could so relate and gave me plenty to ponder and write about. Thank you!
Blessed to a part of this community and learn from Steve and everyone here, the old lone wolf shit is over!!
Thank you Antonia!
Thank you for reading my letter! And thank you for your kind words.
Warm greetings from cold Finland,
Kati is my new best friend, whether she knows it or not or knows me or not. Kati is bare-bones honest in this world of wannabes. What a refreshing gift! Yes, this post and thread is priceless. Thanks to all the readers and lurkers who chose to comment. That’s a gift for us, too.
wow – thank you so much for being my friend. I am so glad I don´t need to do this alone <3
Warm greetings from cold Finland,
Dear Steven and Kati,
Thank you for your emails, your comments, your companionship on the journey of writing. Much of the time, writing seems like a solitary struggle, a climb up a mountain very much like Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus when the rock rolls down once more and we have to start all over again. Resistance! And yet realizing that I’m not alone, that there are so many of us making that journey and encouraging each other–thank you for this wonderful gift.
I get that it’s hard to tell if anyone is out there. Or when they’re there.
I’m here – I’m reading – and I’m engaged – just not posting – until now.
Steven, I’m grateful for your work and wisdom. And for Kati’s post.
Warm greetings from cold Finland,
I wish you lived in Dallas, Texas. I’d make sure we met for coffee every couple months or so! Just to talk writing and get drunk on the caffeine and ideas.
When I read your comments to Steven (and the world), my very first thought was, Kati, go read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. And now I see Steve saying that!
Everyone of us who are in the creativity game should read that book, probably every couple years, just to feed our souls and keep us centered.
I´d love to have coffee with you! And I´d love to be in Dallas! We have had the most awful winter ever, with 4 months of constant rain. And no snow which means that the Nordic darkness has been even darker. No wonder I have felt a bit dark recently : )
And I have read Big Magic. It is in my Kindle! I adore Elizabeth Gilbert for her courage to show her vulnerability.
Cheers from Helsinki,
I may not comment but I always read. Steve, you have been so gracious to me and in genuine candor about writing I know that I only have the labor. It’s what I accept about this life. Just write and learn how to tell stories
You guys, P.S. here’s Kati’s blog/site with her response to all our responses: https://katireijonen.com/en/my-sad-letter-to-steven-pressfield/
All kinds of honesty and vulnerability and perseverance and strength. Great.
Thank you Kati for your response to the responses, and to Steve for your endless support and wisdom. I did not respond to Kati’s original post that day because I read these posts at work, (at my desk, in a cubicle where anyone can walk by and see me) and if had written ONE WORD of support/agreement/encouragement I would have burst into tears (a little vklempt right now, not gonna lie).
So often I feel the same way, Kati, and yet I “just keep typing” (a middle-aged, suburban mammal version of Dory), hoping Resistance retreats and Muse triumphs. Steve’s blog posts are so very helpful…I’m not the only one swimming up stream in Vaseline! Cheers
Lets keep on swimming!
Hugs from Helsinki,
Thank you to Steve, and to Kati, and to all the community.
I am way out here, in the Sonoran Desert of Tucson, and I do so appreciate the effort, thoughtfulness, and responses. The next step is the next step. Onward!
Yes! One step at a time.
Hugs from Helsinki,
I am glad you and Kati crossed paths and this discussion came about. I have been reading your blog steady for two years and on and of before that. If you are wondering about your community, which I must say this place is the safest I have seen on the internet, I would advise responding to comments that pique your interest and can further discussion, especially the questions. I understand you are a busy man and am thankful enough to be able to stop by every Wednesday. I would venture a guess that I am not alone in hoping for more interaction in the comments from you (when and if you have time). Either way this has been a great place to check in and thanks for creating and gathering the people on this site.
Hey, we’re all out here Steve and Kati – even those of us who read what’s here and sit silently reflecting on what it means for us. Sometimes we put something here in the comment box and sometimes we go back to writing and thinking about what was said here. Either way, we’re here, we’re thinking, and what you have to say matters to us. 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind comment <3
Hugs from Helsinki,
I just came across this amazing thread today, and I sure did need it. I’ve been in a kind of post-partum fog after publishing my first book last year. It took me five years to write it, while raising kids, working full time, fighting breast cancer at one point, and now I am just – tired. Bone-crushing tired. I should start the next book. I should attend all my kids’ sporting events. I should have a cleaner house. The mommy monkey-brain constantly nags at me. I haven’t been writing much lately and it feels like I am grieving the death of my book-writing self. How long do I wallow? How does one climb out of this post-book pit? Where do I start? Because honestly, at this stage of my life, even if I had more time to write, I’d probably want to sleep. The only thing I do have is an abundance of faith in myself – I’m chalking this up to a necessary part of the creative process. A breather. Re-calibration. The next book is there in the pipeline, waiting patiently on me. I just need to turn the tap back on and be brave. To all creatives who chimed in here with good, compassionate advice – thank you. Thank you, Steve, for the weekly dose of tough love that keeps my writing heart healthy.
What a lovely, vulnerable, and deeply honest comment. Good luck Anna-Marie. All part of the creative process, indeed.
Go with it.
I feel your tiredness in my own bones.
Just take your time. Where´s the rush? That said, maybe it would be good to keep on writing, even just a little. As the Chinese say: go slow but don`t stop. It´s when I stop that I get depressed…
So maybe write just a little – every day?
Hugs from Helsinki,
I always read these blogs. I rarely leave comments. So this is a rare comment. Yes, this feels like a community, and I get unending inspiration and help from these blog posts. Also, I felt Kati’s pain. We’re of an age, and yes, I’m experiencing much the same. It comes down to this: What else should I do? I like to write. I like to tell stories. So I’m earning a certificate in Oral Storytelling at a local college because being able to tell a story out-loud, one I can tweak at will depending on the audience, and all the fun and support that goes along with conveying a tale face to face and in the moment… That keeps me happy and purposeful and keeps things in perspective for keeping on with my novels and writing every day.
This feels like a good move, Mindy.
Especially with the way the world is now, with so many formats of storytelling now available (and competing…)
For example, I’ve recently found “Data is Beautiful” on Reddit. Storytelling through the visualisation of numbers. I find that compelling too.
So good luck, however you tell your stories. And, I guess, keep writing too 🙂
I thoroughly enjoy Data is Beautiful on Reddit. And thank you. I tell my stories in writing, too. Just, you know, once there’s an ISBN and the publisher puts a cover on it, it’s done. I can’t tweak or change. Telling stories out loud is dynamic, so it’s a good counterpoint to the printed endeavors.
Thank you Mindy!
Oral storytelling sounds so much fun!
Thank you for sharing your story!
Hugs from Helsinki,
Thank you for being so generous with YOUR story, Kati. Hugs from Phoenix.
When my eyes reached “I couldn’t do anything else” I got stopped instantly. I couldn’t read on; I got up hastily to get my journal where I wrote it under today’s date, with a lump in my throat, and a sense of rushing energy moving through me, in big letters… “I couldn’t do anything else”.
I am thankful that, if and when we seek Her, the truth doesn’t beat about the bushes; She is bold; She is clear as the sun at noon.
And yes, I am still in the chamber with Resistance.
And Steve, another thought that came to me when you referred the Bhagavad-Gita: “we have a right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor”, was what Jesus supposedly said: “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded (our calling in life) say, ‘We are unprofitable servant, for we have done what was our duty to do.’ ” That used to sound harsh to me, and indeed, I feel the verse lacks luster and clarity, but now I understand… doing what our truth is constitutes already a reward; seek ye the kingdom of God first, (our calling in life), and all the other stuff will be sorted, one way or another, but be in the bliss of your truth first.
Thank you so much for all this, for all your work, for showing up with such integrity, and for inspiring us.
PS I even loved that your assistant goofed a little and tried to send it prematurely yesterday 😀 It made me smile; it was heartwarming.
The quiet praise that rests inside my writer’s soul for the words in the WAR of ART by Pressfield, always shines through my self-doubt, as does, Several short sentences about writing by Klinkenborg.
Keep right on writing, Kati. You still have much to say.
Thanks Mary – I will <3
Steve, I never write comments. There are probably thousands of others like me, we just don’t feel like we should add to the noise, but we read your blog faithfully, and greatly appreciate it. Your books and wisdom mean alot to us. Thank you for what you do.
The community is real.
Steve infused it, set it on its course and keeps the music playing every week.
We link arms and share the wonders of it all.
Keep writing these posts Steven!
They are super helpful along with your other works, here is the proof.
Fairly sure quiet legions of us come here. Water in the desert.
I’ll be sure to chime in more if it keeps the well in good repair.
Adding another warm body to the pile of love here! Kati/Steve: the fact that this all unfolded the way it did (even the very human blip from yesterday) makes me believe in the sheer awe of our big-little world. Thank you so much for the butterfly effect you had on all of us (and many more to come when they come stumbling over).
Thank you Katie!
Hugs from Helsinki,
Hi Steve: I’m one of those who doesn’t often comment. But I read you faithfully every post. Your community is out here. Please keep up the good work!
“Is anybody out there? Is any of this doing any good?”
I just discovered this blog because a Brazilian teacher said that your book (The War Of Art) was extraordinary.
So let me answer those questions: Yes, we are here, people from Brazil, from Finland… and who knows more… We are listening… we are talking too… thanks for both!
You have given me an idea: many “writer circles” with five or six in each circle. Well, that’s what I would call them and others may disagree, of course.
It is Thursday here where I am. After a minute of my watch that today is laying on the table in fount of me, silently ticking around a whole minute, I notice I have been watching it till the second hand had returned to where it had started. I could tell already, this was going to be one of those tough days. Gosh I hate Thursdays.
When I was a teenager, I attended painting classes on Saturdays, instead of playing sport. There were no rules, except making sure you cleaned your brushes between colours ( and that there were no rules ). At the end of each session, we would go as a group around the room and look at each others paintings. We learnt how to look and not give advice or criticism, just look and see it, to notice this or that. I still paint sometimes but I have noticed myself, that I have no where to show them, with the result I have pretty much stopped painting this past year. My new neighbour on the other hand has taken up painting and sells them from his garage to the tourists. When I showed him my paintings he suggested I start using a ruler, like he does. I couldn’t think of anything to say to that. What is wrong with me !
I have realised ( with my neighbours help ) I paint to communicate with other people and the money for them is irrelevant to me. The same for my writing. And like my paintings, unless I pester my two friends to read something, the writings I fear is joining my dwindling supply of new paintings.
I continue to ask around my town for writers and painters ( who don’t use a ruler or copy others ), but so far, no takers. Wouldn’t it be a great idea or dream, if five or six of us ( in a special group that suited us ) could once a week read something small we created and simply notice, to feel alive, one more day. Even if only a new leaf rolling along in tune with Thursday’s breeze.
Nothing is wrong with you. At least you didn’t shoot him in the face. My childish default reaction, especially when attacked, is to swing back harder. Rarely a useful technique. Silence is at least minimizing the hurt/anger/frustration/shame/loneliness there. It didn’t grow.
I like your idea, and I think others may as well. My only thought to that is I prefer to start really, really small–like once a quarter, maybe once a month. The concern I would have is does this become a manifestation of Resistance more than recharging, connecting, and validating. Just my thoughts.
Yes thats a great idea James!
I love this community Steve – no ifs, ands or buts – just love it.
I never comment online but am making an exception.
Katie: Thx for your authenticity. Despite your current exasperation, you are an inspiration to the rest of us to push forward to create worthwhile “products” for as many readers as possible; build an author-entrepreneur platform to the best of our abilities; and continue to navigate our own difficult paths. I wrote two nonfiction well-received American history books…lost a lot of money researching/writing with major opportunity costs…have spent a decade working on an int’l thriller but have not gotten over the goal line yet…short non-moneymaking bio of friend and his 70-year marriage…now completing a Medieval fantasy adventure with ten-year-old grandson as co-author (talk about pressure to deliver).
Steve: I’ve read/studied all of your writing books and listened to them on Audible multiple times. Great insights and highly motivational! Caused me a year ago to decide to reprioritize and write full time. I semi-retired to pursue my dream…and, since we don’t live in a US nanny state, I’m taking the same “safety-net risk” as with most of your followers.
Great Wm Borden quote: No reserve; no retreat; no regrets!
Kiitos paljon, as we say in my language (meaning big thanks).
It seems that not everything of value we do leads to financial success. But it is still valuable. I have blogged once a week to a small group of subscribers and used to torment myself with the fact that my blog wasnt getting any bigger and I wasnt making any money with it. Until I noticed its like my workout room. I do my exercises there to become a better writer. I write for myself! Wha a relief it was to realize this.
So keep going and keep growing!
Good Morning Steve,
I want to tell you about my friend Nye. Miss Nye took college calculus nine times. After #9, she graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Her husband rewarded her with a sudden divorce. None of us saw it coming. And not one of us could comprehend why her success earned such betrayal. Jump ahead about two years to find Miss Nye married to a long-time friend who NEVER gave up on her plus her new career (her work ride being a Lear jet). Miss Nye thoroughly kicked Resistance’s ass long before I knew that it had a name.
When another friend showed me a book titled ‘The War of Art’, I immediately bought a copy. Later, I bought ‘Turning Pro’. In those pages I found answers, inspiration and solid truths. I carry those two books in my laptop bag. Every Wednesday I read your blog. Thank you a million times over and please keep writing!
Health & Happiness
in the studio
before the easel
hour upon hour
in our head
question, doubt, judge, analyze, comment
build a bridge
do it again
kindred, clan, fellowship, tribe, risk-takers all
create alone together
Great poem. Have been sending it to my other writer/artist friends. Their immediate response has been concurrence with Kimberly’s well-laid out challenges/opportunities. Thx!
Too funny! You can tell I don’t do much responding online. I accidentally clicked on my son’s email address (Jr.).
Wow, thanks so much for your inspiring poem <3
Yes, let´s keep on creating alone together!
Hugs from Helsinki,
Thank you Steve and Kati for the gift of these past two weeks.
Yes, there’s a community here. A big one.
I wonder (stupid me, getting ideas…) if there could be a coming-together of sorts. The Steven Pressfield Creator Conference is something I might like to travel from Ireland to attend…
Yes! I would travel there from Helsinki!!!
What a great idea! Thanks Shane!
Hugs from Helsinki,
When I read this last night I thought, “I can’t believe he sometimes wonders if he’s making a difference. Some days HE’S the only reason I don’t throw it all away!”
I’m a recovering lawyer, and now I’m in the muddled middle of my first novel, so confused about how creativity is supposed to work. But I know I have it in me. YOU, along with Liz and Anne and others I look up to, tell me I have it in me. That we all have it in us. There’s one thing you said, though, that hit me in a way no one else ever has. Sometimes this thing you said is the only reason I don’t quit, full stop (which I know would lead me to kicking and screaming my way back eventually, why waste the time?)
It’s because I want to say, RIP Motherf*cker to my novel.
I imagine myself sitting at my computer, writing the end, saying those same words you told us about in The War of Art, then closing my computer and crying on the floor or maybe dancing around the room, I don’t know.
I have a book coach and an awesome best friend and a doting mother all who encourage me to keep going, but really, at the end of the day, the only thing I care about is being able to slay this dragon and feel like the badass I imagine you felt like when you said those words that day.
So, thank you for your newsletters every week and thank you for sharing this correspondence with all of us. Obviously, it matters.
I may not comment often, but I always read. Beautiful stuff ⚔️
This series of posts brought the writer’s life home for me. It’s the skin I’m in. It’s real. It’s tough. It’s what I do. It’s a writer’s life. We’re out here, Steve. Thank you, Kati, for voicing the realism.
Now, I’ll get back to writing.
thank you for your words!
Keep on writing! Never stop!
I can’t believe you are still doubting the usefulness of your weekly posts, Steven!
Every now and then (let’s say every Friday), when I’m hesitating, if this really is the way – I mean to start writing in the middle of my life (God bless me to become 90) – I know, there is a next Wednesday to come. A weekly-reminder-Wednesday which tells me, that the only thing which is keeping me from writing is RESISTANCE.
Looks, like we all waiting for this Wednesday. Kati was desperate for it, at 4am in the morning. It was great, you asked her to publish her letter. I’m pretty sure, it made a difference. For us and for her. And I like what Elizabeth Gilbert said about writing, sounds like a good advice to follow.
So, I’ll keep going.
And I’m waiting for your book, Kati – the English one!
I am working on it! Thank you for your encouragement! It means a world to me 🙂
I haven’t participated on this forum for three months. As I begin to share, I’m not yet confident in my willingness to click the submit comment box.
As I approach, I imagine this is what it must feel like to attend a recovery group meeting for the first time. Walking down the street of darkness, I hear the powerful words of Katie. Her words stop me dead in my tracks. As do those of Steven’s. I pause under an open window and listen. I am reminded of Leonard Cohen’s lyrics: It’s not a cry you hear at night, it’s not somebody who’s seen the light, its’ a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.
Hello, my name is Pauline and I am a recovering Resistance fighter. It may sound honorable, but it’s anything but. One would not believe the amount of time I spend fighting Resistance. It’s been a lifelong battle. One of my upside down and backwards beliefs is that if I kill the M*****F*****, I won’t have to live with his darkness. Has my belief served me well? Not at all.
Steven, when you find your asking, Is anybody out there? Is any of this doing any good? Yes! Yes! I can’t speak for others, but for myself I must confess that I’ve been in hiding, for months. I didn’t want to be seen. I’ve felt like a traitor. Unworthy of participation. Steven, please know, at the end of longs days with so little light, your weekly posts are the campfire light on the horizon. A place of warmth and illumination. Yes, I’m always out here. Even when hiding. Especially when hiding.
Katie’s powerful emotions compelled me to touch my own untouchables. I don’t understand why it’s human nature to resist our personal battles. Why we often choose to look brave and appear honorably decorated on someone else’s battlefield. I look out on my battlefield and I think I don’t want to die here. Hell, I don’t even want to feel the pain. I am reminded of what Krishna says to Arjuna on the battlefield: You’ll never untangle the circumstances that brought you to this moment. Arise now. Embrace your destiny. This is a righteous war. A war of dharma.
Steven, thank you for everything. I’m so grateful for your presence.
Katie, I would like to extend an invitation for you to visit my hometown, the lovely mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. I would most enjoy your being my house guest.
I would LOVE to come to visit you!
Maybe it will happen. Let´s stay in touch and see where the flow of life us takes.
Hugs and thanks,
Thank you, Steve and Katie, for your honesty and vulnerability. I have followed your work for years, Steve, since I first read the War of Art, and now recommend it to all my journeling and beginning writing students. You are one of the ones who knows whereof you speak. It matters, as all these beautiful comments show. Not everyone can write a best seller, or any popular book. When I show my royalty statements to my accountant at tax time, it’s embarrassing. But just for a moment. I know what I’m doing. I write for myself and for whoever out there in the ethers can hear me. It’s hard, takes a lot lot of time, and forces humility upon me, not a bad lesson. But it’s worth it. IMHO, we are living on earth to communite, to create connection. Some of us do it with words. Those words matter. For all aspiring writers everywhere, I wish you the courage and persistence to keep searching for the words that express your creative spirit.
Thank you Carol, really! Your words mean a lot to me <3
And yes, Steve is such an inspiration. We are so lucky he is on the planet!
I’ve been reading your Wednesday posts for a long time now, Steven, but it took Kati to coax me out of my shell. Oh, please continue to share the reality of creative work. What a blessing you are…the both of you.
I believe raw pain lives within all who have been called to create. I didn’t choose to write; writing chose me. As one of my characters says, “I can’t NOT write!”
Like you, Kati, I once dreamed I could support myself, but RESISTANCE for me is RELEASING my behemoth of a first novel. My world is an intriguing, yet dark forest of ‘Post-It’ notes and scribblings in a million tablets, envelope backs and napkins and I pray that God will give me the wisdom to braid each of them into their own place. I echo what someone said earlier, praying I live to at least 90. I drop in every week and eat a healthy dose of reality and courage. We’re out here, Steven and Kati. We’ll never give up on you so let us all keep the faith and WRITE ON!
I know all about post its and scribblings! But I must admit that Steven is right! Muse does show up when I hand the post its over to her : )
“Is writing really a bad idea?
I guess it is a bad idea the same way having kids is a bad idea. Your heart will break and there will be tears and you are so tired all the time. And yet. There is also bliss. Unimaginable joy. Euphoria.
There is LIFE in all its twisted glory.”
If you can string sentences and insights like this together, Kati, you’re going to be just fine. Keep writing—you have a gift! It can be difficult, of course, but, as you said, this is life in all its twisted glory, and its a talented writer’s duty to do a bit of untwisting.
I know you’ve got that in you.
Thanks to Steven and Kati for sharing this important exchange with the rest of us.
Thank you Geoffrey!
Yes we will be fine in the end and if we are not fine, we are not in the end : )
So lets just keep going, together!
Best wishes from Helsinki,
What a wonderful community this is. Such genuine caring and thoughtfulness. I’ve been pondering Kati’s first post all week and have struggling with what to share in response. Because as I read Kati’s post I kept wondering — what exactly does she want writing to be in her life? Her job or her art? or some hybrid? I was confused…. Then this week, a different group I”m a part of shared this video, which seems SOOO very timely. This is the best response I could imagine to Kati’s dilemma, so I offer this up to the community. This has helped me immensely and it might help others… https://youtu.be/0g7ARarFNnw
Thank you Niki!
Yes I was indeed confused when I wrote my letter. I just needed to vent! But it seems it was good I did because much goodness came to me as a result. No thanks to me but to this wonderful community!
I will watch your video, thank you!
Best wishes from Helsinki,
Steve, Guess I see you as you write- tough, honest and a natural leader. In ancient times, it was leader out front- to be seen, heard and followed. So feedback from foot soldiers was rarish, I imagine. We have pens instead of spears and the slogging on is mental, but I trust you to report on the conditions we’ll encounter, if we’re lucky and we keep moving. I’m pretty far back in the ranks, so first post. I’m paying attention, and though you may only hear creaking behind you, it’s not an army of ghosts.
This is my first post although I read the blog every week. This and your books have been my lifeline as I write my first novel at the age of 64 after a long career as a journalist in London. I know I’ve left it a bit late to start a new career as a writer of fiction but with the help of you and your wonderful community I have 20 chapters now and am determined to finish and get it out into the world somehow. Writing it has been truly joyful experience. Thanks to all of you for all your generous and inspiring contributions.
I love one of Kurt Vonnegut’s quotes
“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different…”.
My favourite piece of ‘resistance’ is of course reading Steve’s weekly forum, then the comments,
then commenting….oops that time could have been spent writing…
I had even hoped for Steve’s WW to be the best kept secret, a boutique forum, but found myself sharing them lately to help other aspiring writers…one small way the number of comments might increase I guess.:).
And finally, Kati..spot on with your comment..”write your truth”. I love it because it is your story,
your truth, not the money that will set you free.
Have a great weekend All,
thank you for that Vonnegut quote 😀
I keep on farting and writing because I dont know what else to do!
Cheers from Finland,
Sometimes life has really hard moments. Sometimes we need to vent. Sometimes we need to listen. The moment passes. We don’t judge. It just is. Isn’t community and love awesome!! We can change the world that way.
Steve, I read you! Many other read you. Thank you and please don’t stop.
This is late. So much has been going on but I have been thinking of you Kati and Steve.
I shared Kati’s link on my own website blog. Depression is just a part of it all. I will be entering the feeling and exploring it. I feel very blessed to feel this depression. At the bottom of it will be some enlightenment. But the depression itself is heart stopping. I fear it.
A visiting angel speaks softly. I breathe again.
Anger is helpful. It gets one going. But depression is a killer until I sit in it peacefully
Playing dead. But breathing.
“I am here.”
If you click on my blue name you will go there.
Sorry. My website is RenitaWellman.com.
Very nice response to Kati! I remember reading some hints in your books (the books were gifts) about how one needs to move to Los Angeles or kicking around long enough will ensure success. I knew several women in their 60s when I first moved to New York who were working in diners after several years of following their dreams for acting. Maybe the books need to be updated to reflect this response. People can and do take advice too literally. Fame and its pursuit can be a drug.
First reaction is this: If it weren’t for writing, you wouldn’t have had a sounding board in this blog to even vent. So, take a little solace there.
Second, take a little more solace in the fact that probably everyone who writes has been there. It is the universal reality of the craft, since they first etched stuff on the walls of caves. And even those pioneers had to deal with the brutality of critics such as the one in Mel Brooks “History of the World Pt 1.”
I too have hit the skids in the last ten years, writing screenplays on the side of a PR career, and now 60+, finding myself unemployable. I’ve gotten some decent checks for scripts in the past, but with the years adding up with no/little income, the nest egg evaporated, the debt load accumulated, and the depression started getting unbearable as well. It sucks, plain and simple. And, without the existence of Uber driving, I’ve no idea what I’d have done.
I have also started a writing tutor service,mainly for college & HS. students, through which I regularly remind myself why I write, telling students, “If you’re really a writer, or want to be one, you have to be desiring to do so for the rest of your life with the knowledge that you might not make a dime.” Because as much hard or frustrating work as it may be, there still is no exhilaration equal to it in anything else. And that is what keeps me going…. as I now push thru another rewrite of what many think could be a breakout script for me. (Yes, I know, how many times have we all heard that one?!)
So, with that 4am venting now in the rear view mirror, some rest and helpful perspective garnered since the initial event, and enough feedback, all to keep you away from other time sucking content & news on the web, (Be thankful you’re not in the USA right now!), it’s good to see you a bit more optimistic. And ready to press on once again.
Finally, a paraphrased quote from my man Bob Dylan is a great therapeutic and motivator when in those familiar depressing and financial straits:
A successful person is one who wakes up in the morning and goes to bed at night, and in between does exactly what he wants to do.
So, maybe a big Amen to that.
Bless you all.
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