“Just because writing is hard for me doesn’t mean that it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.” – Kate DiCamillo, Newbery Winner
Sometimes the creative endeavors that you hold dear to your heart – the activities that fuel your soul and give your life meaning – are incredibly difficult. I can relate to the figure on the Ten of Wands. He’s struggling to continue. He’s following a path forged by his initial sparks of passion yet he finds himself hardly able to push forward.
In theory, we want to live creative lives. We say we want to write, start a business, learn to cook. We know what activities will bring us joy and enrichment. Yet when we try to actually DO these things, we feel resistant. We might even self-sabotage. We make U-turns and go back to the status quo.
If you saw my Tarot Spreads for Writing post, you might remember that I’m currently in the midst of National Novel Writing Month. This event challenges would-be writers to bust out a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I cherish writing. I need to write. Yet every time I sit down to work on the next stretch of my novel…
I feel like the dude on the Ten of Wands. Resistant, weary. Like I’ve taken on more than I can handle. Like I kind of want to forget about writing and look at cat memes instead.
This doesn’t mean I don’t experience moments of euphoria, waves of inspiration and deep satisfaction. I do – and you will, too, if you’re working on something that truly feeds your soul. But the moments of joy are earned with moments of struggle, resistance and persistence. In ‘The Artist’s Way,’ Julia Cameron compares creative living to marathon training. You’ll log ten slow miles for every one fast mile.
It is essential to use your own intuition when something is hard for you. Is the struggle worth it? Are you growing and learning? Do you have a deep, wordless knowing that this is what you are meant to do, despite the battle?
For me, the answer is a resounding yes. The hard road is worth the moments of flow. I’m really, truly living. I’m risking, discovering. It may be hard, but I’m doing what I’m meant to do. What about you?
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