When it comes to writing I’m full of a strange bravado, as I can hit the keys on my keyboard I feel that somehow qualifies me to be a writer. In the same way that I can swing a golf cup makes me Tiger Woods (well maybe Now-Tiger Woods not Then-Tiger Woods). This bravado is seriously misplaced because my style of writing is best described as “adequate”, and I’m happy with that because that is what I am aiming for.
It is easy to be “adequate”, play a little sports then you’ll be an “adequate” player, or maybe sketch a few pictures then you’ll be an “adequate” artist. If you only tune in a little to what your kids need then you are going to be be, if you are lucky, an “adequate” parent. If you want to be good at something though…
…that’s going to be hard.
Perhaps my favourite speech of all time is the JFK speech address as to why America should go to the Moon:
The part that still resonates is the line:
We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
If you want what you are doing to be good, to be important, then it is going to be hard. You will need to put the work in. All the great writers did not sit down and just spit out a complete first edition of Great Expectations or Anna Kareninininina, we see the result and it appears to be effortless writing but there was a lot of graft put in to creating these works and a lifetime of practice.
I was watching a video on how movie directors use aspect ratio and realised that my dreams of being an undiscovered auteur lay in pieces because I had no clue how to even use this technique that seems so natural to the Tarantinos and Kubricks. Then I remembered, they had spent a long time learning their craft, at one point they didn’t know how to do what they do now but they kept working at it.
Of course doing what you love will be hard, life will give you plenty of opportunities to give it up or tell you that you suck at it. What is true for you is true for everyone else, and if you don’t find it hard? You’re probably just adequate.