Life is about the journey not the destination. This may be one of the most over-used sayings in the English language. But it’s vital for a writer to keep in mind.
Writing is a Process
There doesn’t suddenly come a time when that’s it, we’ve written everything there is to write.
Long after the final ‘i’ has been dotted and the final ‘t’ crossed, the debate rages on. No full stop is ever the definitive end. Seamus Heaney wrote:
“Since when,” he asked,
“Are the first line and last line of any poem
Where the poem begins and ends?”
Writers can find new inspiration every day, in their surroundings and activities, as well as in their own thoughts and feelings.
To use another cliché: if we stand still, we’re going backwards. In the words of Albert Einstein:
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
That’s not to say writers should keep churning out words if the time isn’t right. Harper Lee waited 56 years after To Kill a Mockingbird before she published her second novel, Go Set a Watchman.
But one thing is certain: we should never let anyone else put us off writing. Write because you love to write. And write what you love writing.
Enjoy the Journey
Having an end goal towards which we are working helps keep us motivated and focused. However, this shouldn’t be prioritised at the expense of enjoying the journey.
Make the most of the position you are in now. Find the positives in your current situation. That way, when you’ve achieved your goals and you look back on your journey, you won’t be nostalgic for what you’ve left behind.
And when you turn around, you’ll see that the next path is already calling for you!