“Creativity is an act of faith. As artists, our graceful ability to encompass difficulty rests in our ability to be faithful.” Julia Cameron
Faith: Allegiance to duty or a person; loyalty; fidelity to one’s promises; sincerity of intentions; believe; trust (Miriam Webster’s Dictionary)
Faith: trust; strong belief; unquestioning confidence (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)
I have been blogging for almost eight years now and after a long pause I managed to post an article every week for the past four weeks. Why is it then that I feel wretched?
I sit at my desk and look back. All my life all I’ve wanted to do is write stories and books and get published. There is nothing more satisfying or gratifying to a writer than getting published. But the reality is completely different.
My first book “The Lost I” was published in Dubai in April 2004. Not a word was said about it in the press. It was just dumped by the publisher in one bookstore that sold English books in Dubai. What’s worse is that the publisher didn’t have the rights to distribute the book in any other bookstore, it being an English novel. The few people who bought it and read it loved it. And it stopped there.
If that was not lesson enough I fell in the same trap here when we first arrived with a publisher from New York, Raider Publishing International. Maybe because I was too ambitious, too quick to sign a two year contract without doing much research on them. That was a big mistake on my part. Afterwards I published it on Amazon in Kindle format. Even Amazon didn’t let me control the pricing to give it for free when all I wanted was for people to read my story.
I trusted the wrong people and innocently believed their words. All those books on agents and publishers that I had read didn’t help at all to prevent me from making these mistakes. Throughout my life I’ve always been disappointed and hurt by people and their empty promises.
Sometimes I feel that no publisher will accept my manuscripts simply because I write about things and people that no one in this part of the world is interested in. Or maybe because I can only write about things that touch my soul and these have no commercial value.
As a writer my beliefs are shaken. I tremble when I think of the changes I have to make to my stories and my style if I want to get published and I do not know quite how to make them. Maybe that’s why I feel I don’t have the courage to write the book I’ve been planning and plotting in my mind for quite some time now. If I try and fail, I don’t know what the rest of my life would be like. Isn’t it better to live cherishing a dream than face the possibility that it might all come to nothing?
But I write anyway. I try to write every day. There are many days when I don’t feel like writing. And when I am not writing, I create all sorts of drama to distract myself from the fact that I am not working. There are days when I want to throw in the towel and say, “Oh, what’s the use, why try? It will come to nothing anyway.”
I feel time is running out on me. I have to have some kind of validation. I need to have something to hang on to. I need to have confidence. I need to have faith. I need to have some deeply rooted faith in my work. I need to trust my work and believe in its worth regardless of the world’s apparent acceptance or rejection. What I shouldn’t do is look for the answers for myself, but rather mark the ways I’m wrong today so that I can be a little less wrong tomorrow.
Robert M. Pirsig wrote:
“Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right”. Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that, and so on. We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.”