Dec 9, 2012

No wind is favorable.

"If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favorable to him." --Seneca

Direction is important in anyone's life. It is the driving force that pushes each of us out of our comfort zones and into a world that can be unforgiving and cruel. Despite the fear that chokes us at least once in our lives, direction is what allows us to conquer our apprehension of the numerous unknowns of adulthood. I idolize my mother because, somehow, she makes it look easy.

But I'm afraid.

I want to be a published author someday. The need to write, the desire to be the best I can be, and the euphoric sensation I get when someone compliments my work is my addiction. It is an incurable and insatiable ailment that leaves me breathless with excitement some days, and crushed under a million solemn tears others. I didn't choose this. It chose me. I was born to write, and I will die with a pen clutched in my fist and a story carved into my soul.

But I am afraid.

Doubt. What if I'm not good enough? Every serious writer knows the immense odds stacked against us. We are citizens of an industry riddled with guardians at every corner. Our success is hinged upon the affirmation of others. We live in a world where 250 words are more difficult to write than the 80, 90, or 100,000 words that comprise our novels. We are a people who venture into a world knowing that rejection is imminent, and we welcome it.

Sometimes, I think that even with direction, no wind is favorable.

I know where I want to go in life. Writing has been my calling since the first time I heard its melancholy melody. My blood is ink, my soul is an array of blank pages, my heart is a storyteller, and my mind is a pen. I don the armor of an eternal warrior, but it doesn't protect me. I still feel the sharp pangs of rejection, the bitter lashes of a sour critique, and the loving caress of progress.

But what happens if I cross the ocean littered with the despair of writers and the corpses of stories untold? What happens if I outlast the white squalls, plow through the tsunamis, and bite my thumb at the thunderstorms? What happens if I find myself on the other side, though battered and bruised, and it is not the land of my idols? What happens...?

So here I am, sailing in whatever direction the wind blows. Part of me wants to seek refuge in the land of publication, yet part of me wishes the journey never ends. Here and now, I have hopes and aspirations. I have dreams both big and small. And I have a genuinely optimistic outlook on my future.

So what should I do when I want to travel both east and west simultaneously?

Hm, I guess for now, no wind is favorable.