Take Five: #14: Grit is an essential ingredient

Take Five
Five-minute reads about writing
to help you with NaNoWriMo
Nov. 1 - Nov. 30, 2011
Courtesy: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Twitter: @RandomMagicTour

#14: Grit is an essential ingredient

Yesterday we talked about the enjoyable part of writing. So, today, here's the not-so-enjoyable part of writing - the catch is that it's also an essential ingredient, and you'll never finish a creative project of any kind without it. What is it? True grit. 

More on that here:

The not-so-enjoyable part of writing is the actual grind to get everything just where it's meant to be. Writing is not at all easy, just the way that ballet, for example, is not at all easy, but the final effect of all that effort can be something wonderful and even transcendent.

There's something magical about writing, just the way there's something magical about dance, or any creative art, any performing art. There's also a huge amount of work involved.

But if you can create something marvelous, even if the moment of enjoyment is brief, then it might be worth it to you - if you have a particular kind of personality. Meaning that you're willing to work hard and to push yourself, because you know what's possible, just there, up ahead of you, and you want to get there.

And you will get there, no matter what. Strangely, even the hard work is enjoyable in itself, in a way, but you definitely have to have a specific kind of character.

There's this interesting misconception that a lot of creative people are sort of fey and perishing, but anyone who's completed a creative project, you'll find, is usually quite strong and capable of commitment, dedication, and intense focus, almost to the point of being unreasonable.
Maybe even beyond the point of being unreasonable. Completing a creative project of any kind takes grit.

Indie artists, in particular, have to fight even harder, bless them. No matter how many obstacles are hurled in front of them, or on top of them, they shake it off and go right on ahead. It might be scary if it weren't so impressive. Although it's really only impressive to onlookers. The artist knows it's not impressive, just necessary. And so they just get on with things.

Anyone who is an artist, or knows someone who is, knows this is true. They also know that you're either committed to a project or not, there are no halfway measures involved in making some particular vision come to life. You're in or you're out.

So, there's definitely an enjoyable aspect to writing, but there’s also a lot more involved, and so the experience might or might not be pleasant to you, depending on your particular personality.
- Sasha Soren, author of Random Magic.

About this series

The Take Five series is curated by Sasha Soren, author of Random Magic. You can find out more about the book here, if you like:

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Notes: Excerpt shown is from an interview with author Sasha Soren at Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf.