“Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” —Jim Tully,
I suppose every writer dreams of that big breakthrough book that will catapult them to celebrity and fortune. And the dream recurs every time they write The End.
Art is freedom. Whether you write, paint, sculpt, whatever your mode of expression is, there exists in that expression unmatched freedom and equality—liberty for all. The writer of a best-seller and the writer of the book that sells one copy to his mother sit down to their work as equals.
They may not be equal in native skill, they may not be equal in training, nor may they be equal in reputation. However, they are equal in opportunity. Each is at liberty to write with patience and heart’s blood—or to refrain from penning a single word. Every soul that undertakes to write begins with the potential to both greatness and failure.
The reality is that a talented writer may create a marvel worthy of timelessness consideration and have it go unnoticed. I have read great works of classic literature and works of writers of great acclaim only to scratch my head in wonder how anyone thought those books were worth reading, all the while kicking myself for spending time doing so.
We have an equal opportunity to write a blockbuster novel—but not a guarantee of that outcome. In fact, the majority of people who set out to write a book, never finish.
Equality of opportunity also provides for equality of satisfaction. We are all at liberty to be satisfied with our work and thus, declare it a success with equal truth.
The lost art of our day is the ability or rather the willingness to be satisfied with the equality of opportunity—which explains for me the existence of participation trophies. I do not have a right to all that Stephen King’s writing has earned him, except the opportunity to go and do likewise.
And if this sounds like I may be talking about life beyond the sphere of writing, you are correct.