Sunday, May 24, 2015

Just Hold On

Written Thursday, 22 May 2015, in Miami, FL

It is hot and humid, and fluffy white clouds are scattered among the robin’s-egg blue sky. It is a beautiful day. That being said, I’m not one for the heat. Actually, it’s the humidity that I have a difficult time dealing with. It drains my energy, leaves me feeling lethargic, unmotivated. I don’t feel like doing anything. That’s when I realize I have to just hold on.

For me, life as a writer, an artist, has a lot to do with “just holding on.” On the days when I write at the beginning of a new novel or short story, or rewriting or editing a piece of writing and the work fills uphill, I have to just hold on. I remind myself that I’ve made it through difficult periods before. I practice patience. Giving myself over to the work, I edge forward one word at a time. I try not to worry about how “bad” the writing may seem because I can always come back to it later, polish it, make it sing.

The challenge is not to let myself get caught up in frustration. If I’m feeling too bogged down because the writing isn’t moving forward as fast as I’d like, I try to take a break go for a run, make a trip to my favourite coffee shop, whip up something sweet and delicious in the kitchen and hope to come back refreshed and be able to see the writing from a new perspective.

Just hold on is, perhaps, another way of saying, “Take the long view.” A career in the arts doesn’t, for a lot of artists, happen overnight. We show up at the page, the easel, the piano, day after day honing our skills and building our repertoire. We fly through seasons of abundance where all of our projects take flight. We stagger through the seasons of drought when projects stall, and our confidence may take a knock. But, always, we still show up daily to practice our art because we believe in our dreams. We continue to just hold on.

Let us go forth together and do what it is that we love to do. Let us hold fast to dreams, to who we dare to be. And when, as the saying goes, the going gets tough, remember to just hold on.

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