I just discovered one of my close friends was a business consultant in a former life. On the one hand, this is the most fantastic thing that’s happened to me in a while. All the guidance I could possibly need, right there on tap!
On the other hand, it means all the guidance I could possibly *need* is right there on tap.
A very free-flowing tap.
Seth Godin recently wrote a post on good advice. As he pointed out, the hardest thing about good advice is recognising that it’s good even if it’s not what you want to hear.
My lovely friend is very brave. It’s hard to give someone advice you know they may not want to get. When people want to take over the world, they want to know how to do it now and the last thing they want to hear is that they need to slow down. Because slowing down doesn’t fit with their goal of doing it now.
I know I’m definitely a beginner artist. I’m much further ahead in terms of writing than I am in terms of painting. And I also know I’ve been using the painting as a procrastination tool. It has felt lovely to create things again, to see something spring from your mind into reality, to see it take shape before your eyes.
But painting isn’t writing. It’s not getting my stories out there, stories people are wanting to read about characters they already fell in love with. It’s kind of… lazy. Egocentric.
So I’m going to keep painting, because I love it. And I will still send out paintings to those of my friends who have asked for them. At least then I will have an idea about the associated costs and so on for when I do decide I’m ready to start really giving the art some attention from my business mind as well as my creative one.
But for now, I must go back to writing. Which isn’t exactly a hardship, although in some ways it is. I’ve been avoiding it, afraid I might have, I don’t know, lost my mojo or something. It’s one thing to write a first chapter. It’s quite another to write an entire novel and I haven’t worked on drafting a novel in nearly a year.
But at the end of the day, I am a writer, first and foremost. So it’s time to stop avoiding myself and go back to what scares me the most. Bringing those stories out of my head and onto the page and putting them in front of other people. It’s scary and wonderful and that’s really the strongest indication that it’s what I should be focussing on. Because why do what’s easy? I want to push my boundaries and that’s always uncomfortable.