“In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
– Albert Camus
The only way you’re ever going to accomplish something worth mentioning is to rely on your inner strength. True motivation comes from inside. Why some people never give up, no matter what, and why some people never finish a job they’ve started… that’s all about how much they believe in themselves.
The truth is, I can tell you all about my struggles, my problems, and how I chose to face them, how I decided to keep on writing, even when I couldn’t see any reason to keep on doing so. Even when failure was always around the corner. I can write about it, tell you about it, I can tell you that you can do great things only if you set your mind to it, that greatness is achievable, and so on… but the truth is that at the end of the day, if you don’t believe in yourself, nothing will change.
Because change comes from the inside, comes from the realization that you alone are responsible for what you will become. No one else. You’re writing the story of your life, and you alone are holding the pen.
That being said, any external factors, and relying on such external factors, will often lead to failure. For instance, if you make art in order to please any number of people… and you do so in order to receive praise, you’ll always want more praise, from more people, and no matter how many will adore your works, it won’t be enough.
If you make art for money, you’ll never earn enough. If you make art because someone told you’re good, the moment that person stops telling you that, you also stop making art.
I write because I’m afraid I’ll die without having a chance to finish all the stories that I want to write. It doesn’t matter how many read me, all that matters is that my stories will have a chance to survive. To paraphrase Chuck Palahniuk, I don’t want to live forever, I want to create something that has a chance of lasting forever.
My stories will survive… on the Internet, on servers, on bookshelves…
I write for myself, because I want to, because I can, and because I have to. I strive to be better at this because my stories deserve it. Not you, my readers, but my stories. This shifts the focus from what others want (and their expectations) to something you want… it’s easier to control the outcome if you believe you’re in control.
What I’m really trying to say is that you become invincible once you realize that you might never be in control, but you can always fight. You have the freedom to chose a number of paths, yet the outcome is never in your control. No one will ever be able to tell you for sure that your book will sell, or that people will read it or care or love it or hate it.
All you can know is that you can write that book. What others take from it, if anything at all, shouldn’t be your concern. What happens after that should never affect you.
I used to be the exact opposite. I always tried to please my readers, I always tried to impress people. You know, to bleed words from my heart. I was trying too hard. I didn’t want to let go… I felt that my stories needed more work. I was afraid of bad reviews, of rejection. I was afraid some folks might disagree with me.
Art is personal. Maybe too personal. It’s what we do best. It’s what we cherish most in the world, all put together in the form of a story or a painting or a song. Our dreams and our most bitter disillusions, our heartaches, our secrets, and pretty much all the other stuff we keep locked up in our hearts. But we have to let go, because otherwise we’ll be too vulnerable.