I guess the only way to get back into this writing thing is just to roll up my sleeves and post something. I keep waiting for inspiration to strike me, but that is kind of like waiting to win the lottery (without buying any tickets) or waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to appear (while never leaving one’s room), or even Waiting for Godot (if you’ll pardon an obscure reference). No, I’m just going to have to write something the hard way … by actually writing it.
When I was a youngster, I heard the expression, “Nothing succeeds like success“. I have pondered that expression off and on my entire life, wondering exactly what it means. I finally decided it was a rather cynical way of saying, “Of course successful people know how to succeed. What they did worked for them. Someone else might do the exact same things and fall flat on their face.”
But I also chose to take this positive nugget away from that tired old saw:
In order to succeed at something, you must actually do that thing.
We live in a culture that assures us that we can succeed at things simply by believing that we can. How many movies and books and songs are there that tell us we can have something simply by believing something hard enough and sincerely enough? How many artists do we see on those “best singer” type shows that, when asked why they should win the competition, sob and sniffle and say, “Because I just want this so badly!”
Well, that’s not how life works. I really wish that it did. If it did, I would be a wealthy and adored published author, living on my nearly-inaccessible lighthouse off the coast of Maine.
But I’ve never been delusional. I have known all my life that if I wanted to be a published author that I would have to work at it morning, noon, and night with the obsession of a bee making honey. But I allowed myself to get distracted by things like earning a living, eating, having a nice home, etc. Writing not only took a back seat to other things, it had to follow along by hitching a ride on the rear bumper of a dilapidated old Trailways bus that was hundreds of miles behind.
This blog is a metaphor for my writing “career”. I don’t put much effort into it, but expect success anyway. I expect each little post to grow and thrive and blossom and to become some amazing, brilliant sunflower, big enough for everyone to see. But the fact is, I don’t water it or fertilize it or even look at it much.
That’s not exactly a recipe for success.
So, I could rewrite the “nothing succeeds like success” aphorism to say
Nothing fails like not striving for success.