I saw the below video showing “wheel gymnastics” and, other than being mesmerized, I thought it an apt metaphor for the writing life. Do you agree? Read and watch and see what it evokes.
A writer spends hours, months, and even years in isolation practicing their art. They go forward a few steps and back a few steps. They get turned upside down and spin often without result. While there is length to the journey it doesn’t always seem to be going anywhere.
Eventually their craft improves to the point that it can be taken into the marketplace. There it can become an expression of their very soul. The artist pours everything they have into that event.
And despite the years of work, all the audience cares about is whether or not the performer sticks the dismount.
Seems a bit depressing when expressed like that. But, in some ways, that is the life of the artist…the writer, the painter, the dancer, the musician. You didn’t get into it because you knew you’d be a bazillionaire. You are an artist because it is a part of who you are. And in that there is beauty. In that there is meaning. In that there is praise for our Creator. In that moment your reader is taken to a place where they have never traveled before. Even if for just a moment. A new thought. A new tear. A new set of goosebumps.
I have watched my daughters perform as musicians and dancers nearly their whole lives. I have seen the hours of practice, the sacrifice, the pain, and the frustration behind the scenes. But I also have been privileged to see the inexpressible joy well from within them as they create beauty.
Therefore, while you may toil away at your desk feeling like you are on the gerbil wheel of the writing life. In actuality, after today, you are one step closer to making something great.
Now. Enjoy watching art in action.