The Experience of All That

Woke up thinking that I hadn’t gotten the Sequoias right. In my book. The description wasn’t quite accurate, felt shallow. Then I remembered there are no Sequoias in my book. It was from a dream. I felt a moment of relief before realizing that the dream was probably about the fact that there are other things in my book that lack depth: characters and situations. It’s hard to write fiction. I want to be better. All the re-writing is about going back to make a bit of dialogue more authentic or some detail, more true. Worrying that I’m not any good at it might stop me if not for the fact that I really like it. I like living in a fictional world. It’s fun, and when I get anxious, about Sequoias or whatever, I need to remember that I’m learning and I don’t have to be great at it. What is that pressure that I feel to be great? I feel shame, in fact, to realize that I may not be great, that I may only be good, or even just okay. I think this may come from being told that it was unacceptable to be an artist. Artists were other people. People who were Great

I don’t believe this though. If I had kids, I would tell them to have fun with it. Express yourself. Learn something. I think it’s true for forty year old kids, too, and sixty year old kids. What’s so great about being great? The fun part is the learning, the discovery, the being inspired by others, the experience as opposed to the results.

Being Great is about results. You’re great and other people know you’re great. They celebrate your greatness. Once again, ego. Ego, you mother-f*cker. If the goal is to be great, then it’s all about the judgment of the world, while the pleasure is in the work, risking something, learning something, trying, failing. The experience of all that.

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