The other day something rang true, felt true, and I also recently read something similar; not proof, but feeling validation.
The notion, writing frequently makes you a better writer – not necessarily ever great. Not that anyone should stop, but arguing the route to great writing has other ingredients. The speaker was 80 at the time he was being interviewed, so this gave me comfort, when he explained he believed what he brought to the blank page now more than ever was his experience of having lived.
I suppose any carpenter who builds things long enough will get better at measuring, sawing and assembling – they will use new tools, be more precise and experience will bring their work to a higher level of proficiency but that in itself will not produce fine furniture if that carpenter is a framing contractor. Framing houses is not building fine furniture. Building toy boxes is not creating a Stradivarius violin.
So too, creating great poetry or compelling novels, building businesses that last and designing fashions which changes our world – we each choose our art and demonstrate our passion. For some it seems their art, craft or skill chooses them, so in their hands the finest work is produced. I disagree with that notion, which is not to say everyone is capable of everything but rather that everyone has greatness capacity within them – the challenge is to find it, explore it and celebrate it.
Today parents try so hard to explore at early age whatever their child might have great aptitude for – in hopes they’ll foster and support their prodigy progeny. I was raised in an era when parents weren’t focused that way; putting food on the table and roof overhead was their primary role, motivation and responsibility. Fostering boy-genius was never something which would have occurred to them or my school system back then (I think the school system has improved at many things but I don’t know if they’ve come very far in this area …).
Lovely to turn back the clock on many things – but those thoughts last only minutes. They aren’t realistic wishes.
As years advance, I am more inclined to wish for things I can make happen on my own efforts – because convincing others is so difficult and I don’t have time for arguing. I still like to argue about things which matter a lot, but I have no time for arguments which simply move hot air molecules around.
I seem to recollect in a previous musing, you said, we are, where we are, because, where we are where we are meant to be, and it is by our own choosing. Well, you feel better and are more creative than you ever have. How very fortunate and very grand for a writer. GRIT, man. You have it, RT, White Rock, BC