Want To Be A Writer? Go Find A Dragon
If you intend to live a creative life, be advised somewhere out there is a Dragon with your name firmly fixed in its mind.
This is not meant to scare you or to deter you from your chosen path — it’s simply a note aimed at all creators. Your Dragon straddles all your potential futures awaiting your arrival.
It is this way with all people and particularly with creatives.
We set out quite blithely, enthusiastically on an artistic journey, full of hopes and yes, fears. Quaking with anxiety but taking ever less tentative steps on our journeys, we struggle to find our truth and express it for the world to see.
Some abandon the quest early, preferring to stay at one place or another in the comfort zone of their choosing. Some create alternate quests — nicer, safer, cleaner, rather than staying on their true path. The rare few, flounder around yet keep on moving slowly in the right direction.
Back on my true path of being a writer, I am moving clearly (if not directly) to my Dragon. I can feel him gathering ahead of me. But like a lot of quests of old, I’ve come through trials and my battles have led me to a path leading to the guarded treasure.
My expectation is that you will do the same thing in your own way and your own unique time. Artistic Dragons come in many flavours and the most common is fear of exposure. A fear of exposing what lies beneath your thin skin. A fear of exposing fragile thoughts and feelings to a rude world. Fear of laughter and derision. Fear of being ignored.
I have good news and bad news on this front.
You can’t please all the people all the time. Criticism, whether it’s the first or the thousandth, will still rankle and cut. You may indeed develop a thicker skin so you don’t bleed to death. That’s the good news.
The bad news is you never slay your Dragons. You never claim a final victory as the damn thing lays eggs on every road and reacts to your artistic soul; you simply can’t slay all the Dragons.
You can defeat them however, one at a time.
It is those moments of victory we live for — those rare moments when we triumph over fears, producing work that speaks of ourselves. It is the incredible high of looking out over a stretched-out dead Dragon and knowing this work did the deed.
Never mind the next Dragon around the bed. This one’s head is mine!
We lived to collect these trophies, one painful battle with a fire-breather, one work at a time. One experience at a time.
Want to be a creative?
Go find a Dragon.