The struggle to write has more to do with discipline than it does with writing.
Anyone who has ever committed themselves to a goal understands. Maybe you have a craft that you’re trying to develop – piano, graphic design, muffin baking, public speaking. Maybe it’s a health or a weight loss goal. Maybe it’s trying to improve a difficult relationship, learn a new language, adapt to the environment of your new job. Spiritual goals, mental goals, you name it…
They’re all painstaking pursuits, they’re all sure-as-shit downright difficult. And that’s not the only thing they have in common. At the foundational level, every pursuit is the same. They all require hard work, discipline, and more hard work.
To determine the true nature of such goals, we can apply two scientific filters:
1) Can you buy the results? (No)
2) Is the goal attainable for anyone? (Yes)
My favorite example is physical health. The best part about physical health is that it’s literally available to anyone. And no matter how rich you are, you can’t buy an efficient heart or an optimal body weight.
If the goal is buyable, then it’s not worth being proud of. If the goal is something that’s only attainable to a select few, and has nothing to do with your hard work (your skin color, your height, the country you were born in), then you would be silly to be “proud” of such an achievement.
But if you worked for it, if you persevered, well you should be proud as hell. Don’t be shy. You know you earned it.
The more I struggle with my goal to be a writer, the more I appreciate the achievements of my peers. When I meet a musician, or an artist, or someone who speaks 4 languages – I just want to hug them and congratulate them.
Because I know know without a doubt that, at some point, they wanted to quit. At one point they got knocked down and picked themselves back up.
And that’s the golden stuff of life that the best stories are made of.