In today’s society we think money is the only currency that it exists. When you have enough, it doesn’t matter, when you have none it can destroy a person. You can literally starve to death.
During the depression years—of the thirties—not the recent ones—men would trade their humanity and strength for a meal and a safe harbour for a night or two. When their ability to negotiate with what they had ran out, they simply hopped a freight train and rode further down the track. Staying alive has always been a core part of survival and life.
But there are many ways to negotiate a deal. If people really spent enough time in introspection, they might find that the US dollar can’t buy them what they want. Usually inner needs are best identified when a person can’t flip a credit card across a counter. They have to trade what they have for what they want.
Personal currency expressed in the simplest terms is paying the price. If you want to eat, you’d better work. If you want to eat steak instead of porridge for supper, you’d better be able to deliver quality work or find a sucker who is bewitched by your smile, potential and willing to give you the old cow to take something off his hands.
Some people dream of being a writer, usually at some point in their ‘real life’ while the job is choking them, but the picture in their brains, the solitude and the writer’s garret is a part of romanticizing a better lifestyle than they think they are living.
Some people’s egos are so fragile that they pen a poem or a story and when they don’t win the competition, they unduly berate themselves. Those that send out their masterpieces to publishers and editors are too willing to accept failure as a sentence for their ‘foolish escapism.’
There are others who think that every word that flows across a computer screen is magical and become defensive and belligerent in defending work in progress, blaming other people for their poor judgement and defending their right to expect recognition.
To both groups, take this as a gentle reminder, that creativity, long hours spent in lonely isolation, do not guarantee success. Just as every one of us had to pay our dues, work our way up to a better position in our field of commerce, so too does the writer need to pay his dues.
Take courses in community colleges, join a writers group or an on-line writing community. Put the same effort into writing that you did into your career and it will change your style, your ability to appreciate your ever-evolving craftsmanship as a writer. Find people who will not pat you on the head, but instead give you the kind of feedback you need to master the craft.
We are all authors of our own destiny. Try not give up your dreams and aspirations before your time and understand, accept, that writing can become the currency of your next adventure.