“Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.” I repeat those words back to myself whenever I start to feel resentful, entitled, competitive or unappreciated with regard to my writing: “It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist…now get back to work.” Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful. You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.
– From Elizabeth Gilbert’s Thoughts on Writing
Stuck in traffic for over three hours last night, I suddenly felt a ‘metaphorical’ parallel to my life as a writer, always stuck, never moving forward, always letting others overtake (read: limiting myself as an editor), and ever feeling exasperated at the lack of inertia.
But I can choose to get out of the traffic, take an alternate route, or heck, even walk my way through the journey. It’s not going to happen in an instant, and the rewards, will only be realized when I get there. But that is my problem. I am always about the destination, too willing to suffer and sacrifice through the journey for an abstract concept of the end. Yet the journey is just as important, maybe even more. It is not a scalar quantity, but the vector kind, where the direction has as much relevance as the magnitude.
Thank you crazy Metro Manila traffic and Ms. Gilbert for bringing me back to where I should have started.