There’s nothing like a bit of literary accountability upon which to measure one’s progress towards living a creative life. Forget starving in an attic, or even a room of my own, I started my grand adventure in my caravan, in the tradition of Ratty, Toady and Mole.
My hopes were high and my determination strong, but as in all traditions, the real story is in the journey and my journey hasn’t been so much romantic as it has been damned hard work. I have created a successful business, a creative business, but somewhere along the way what I’ve created is less like drifting along riverbeds and more like fighting whales.
And the romantic dream has crashed head on into reality!
No sitting up apple trees with a good book, no sitting by a riverbed dropping a line, and definitely no long lunches enjoying the witty conversation of fellow writers (well, not often). My success depends on the work I do every day whether I feel like it or not.
So, with apologies to every classic novel I’ve ever read, here are my tips for living a creative life:
- Forget your great expectations – it’s all about the work you do every day whether you feel like it or not
- Don’t expect a brilliant career – expect to tun up every day and do the work required whether you feel like it or not
- It’s more war than peace – every day is a battle and peace comes with doing the work every day whether you feel like it or not
- Always remember your life is in a state of metamorphosis – in order to survive you must make or bring in money and to do that you have to do the work every day whether you feel like it or not
- Moby Dick is a myth – obsessions with whales is all very good but you have to focus on your work, not whales
- Put your pride and prejudices aside – create work that sells every day whether you feel like it or not and don’t, whatever you do, marry Mr Collins!
- It’s important to be earnest
The very essence of romance is uncertainty. Be earnest in your endeavours to succeed and you will get there but only if you turn up every day and do the work.