For my twenty-first birthday this year, the exciting thing I did was get to pick out some books at Hastings. This may seem sort of depressing for a twenty-first birthday but I really enjoyed just lounging around Hastings with my boyfriend and acting like a child in a candy store (or a Kassie in a pet store…) Anyways, the most exciting find of the evening was discovering a book I had never heard of, which is always fun, but even more exciting was that it was by a well-loved author.
This little gem I found was John Steinbeck’s incomplete tale of “The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights”. Little did I know that this book would be the inspiration I needed to jump-start my passion.
A part of me did not want to share this information, worried that I would jinx myself before I even started, but I thought it would be important to share to other struggling writers and artists out there that might need the same support and inspiration that I so desperately looked for.
After I finished Steinbeck’s retelling of King Arthur, I read the appendix that was filled with letters from JS to his editors and agents. These little insights into his writing were able to light a fire within me. His words are the words that I wanted to say one day. I wanted to be that enthralled in researching and outlining a book as he was, the passion literally leapt from the pages.
And it clicked. Everything just fell together before my eyes. I knew where I needed to start with my writing and I knew how to go about doing it. I had ideas before, but this was real. I FELT this.
I am not going to go into details of what I am writing about now, because it may take new directions or lead me elsewhere. But, the real message I wanted to relay was this- if you are searching for something, especially artistically and you keep searching and searching to the point where you are literally on the hinge, about to throw your pen and paper away for good. Don’t. I mean, I was there at that point. I thought that maybe writing was not really for me, maybe I did not have the ideas in me. I was literally going to delete my blog and just stick with the academic side of writing. But the idea finally came to me, and I knew it like an old friend once I saw it in my head. This is the start of something, albeit, small baby steps, but a start. Thank God! It is a start! You do not need a whole idea, just a start, and acceptance that it will lead you where you need to go.
This probably all seems a little over-the-top and philosophical but I literally started dancing after it hit me. Ask those that were around me. My point is to not give up, and to go for it with passion when you find it.
My other point was keep searching. My greatest inspiration has always been other writers. While I attribute my current state to Steinbeck’s fiery words about his writing, I have also found guidance and great wisdom in everything from others. I love reading blogs by other aspiring writers and from seasoned writers. They give new perspective, truth, and light.
So, my dear reader, I encourage you to keep searching for whatever it is that you wish or desire, whatever it is that ignites you. Whether it be climbing a mountain, buying the house of your dreams, reaching the top of your career, painting, creating, writing, living… Whatever it is I hope you find that spark and you light up your part of the world with it. I used to think that I did not have what it took to be a “real” writer, but the truth is you can do it if you work hard enough at it and want it bad enough, and let me tell you, you may have to crawl on your knees for it, but you can do it.
It is possible I am really hyped up on optimism and just being absurd, but I have always believed in people’s abilities. From all the reading I have done, (and maybe that just makes me an idealist) I think that every successful person may have had doubts, but they did not let them hold them back. For you realists out there, you never know until you try. And anyways, my goal is not to be a great writer, I just wanted to find a story within me that I could get really excited about.
“Don’t aim for success if you want it, just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” -David Frost
So, my advice is to do what you love, it may be worthless to everyone else, but at least you will be insanely happy.
I started my first bit of researching for my story this afternoon while drinking some hot tea and playing with my sweet, old pup Hazel, whom I wanted to share the excitement with.