The Only Time I Can Relate to the Phrase Struggling Artist
I’m struggling as a writer. Not in ways you are imagining. It isn’t about money. Money is energy, and it flows easily. It isn’t about a lack of views or followers. I write from my heart and soul so I know not that problem.
I’m struggling because so many great ideas are going to waste. And it’s sad. I had a brilliant idea, and I wrote it down thinking no worries, I’ll get to it in about three years. I already have so many ideas written down that I still need to get to. As a mother, a person who loves to sleep and a friend folks enjoy spending time with, I’m juggling with too much.
Ideas are everywhere. If I look right, I find great ideas. If I turn left, there are brilliant ideas that can make the perfect stories, but I can’t bring them all to life because life gets in the way. When I listen to music, I get the best ideas. When I watch movies, there are the greatest ideas. When I talk with friends, they give me the craziest ideas. When the sun shines, it gives me the warmest ideas. And then at the end of the day, the moon brings me life-transforming ideas.
You are probably thinking, that’s no struggle! But it really is! I listen to people around me say they don't have enough ideas to write about. But for me? I can’t seem to stop them from coming. At all hours of the day and night, random ideas pop into my mind, invited or not.
You only run out of ideas when you stop living.
From the outside, this may seem like a great thing, but it drives me crazy. My brain is scattered. I’m losing sleep and tired during the day. I get excited about one thing until a different idea pops into my mind and I stop to focus on that instead.
I have trouble drawing the line between working and not working. I write 16-hour days, six days of the week. I’m always writing something. My apartment is covered in sticky notes and even my daughter has started writing ABC’s on sticky notes sticking them on the walls! The constant bombardment of new ideas leads to exhaustion. I know I need to finish a project, but the impulse to jot down or pursue new ideas feels too strong to ignore.
My drafts are full of thousands of stories I may never get to tell — just sitting there making me feel like I let them down. It’s hard to explain, but the stories chose me for a reason, you know? I feel guilty for not telling these stories. My stories! Sure, I know it’ll be okay because all these stories have been told before, but not from my perspective. They haven’t. Not from my tone and voice. Not from me.
So, you say you don’t have enough ideas to write about? That’s bs (belief systems.) There are ideas all around you. They are in your dreams. It’s in the song playing on the radio right now. Turn on the TV and there’ll be ideas waiting for you. Every single YouTube video has at least three ideas you can write about right now. Get outside. Look up in the skies, close your eyes, and breathe into your lungs. You’ll breathe out ideas. Observe random people. They have ideas for you. Don’t even turn on CNN. Every headline is an idea. Whew! It’s too many ideas!
And if you can still genuinely say you don’t have enough ideas to write about, I have a favor to ask: Will you take some of these ideas off my hands? I’ll share them with you.