Sometimes I want to write something beautiful, something meant to inspire. And this burning hunger grows inside me, consumes me to the point that I can’t write anymore. And it all feels pointless. It seems as if I will never be able to write more than just words, more than a nice story.
After all, writers are also readers. And all the stories that left a mark on us appear to be much more than just words. More than simple stories, they’re the fuel that ignites what’s most human in us, the engine that has driven mankind towards greatness.
With a lot of hard work, anyone can become a good writer. There are numerous examples of writers who have been publishing one impeccable novel after another. And, yet, there a few great writers.
Because, oddly or not, it’s not when you feel words bleeding out of your heart that you create real art. It’s a nice illusion, one I have embraced for a long time. That you have to suffer in order to create real art. The troubled artist is one of the most endearing of human types. A lifetime of abuse and drugs and pain, all magically transformed into wonderful works of art.
And, yet, there are many who have suffered, many who have taken to alter their bitter disillusions into art, and few who have succeeded.
Believing that art is a God given gift is easy. And, as most easy things in life, it’s a view shared by many. But there are others who work hard. They study, read, take creative writing classes.
But what’s ironic in all this is that no matter how much you work at becoming a great artist, there will always be someone who doesn’t seem to understand anything about the process, about how it works or why it works, but yet, he churns out great stories. There are self-taught artists out there, beautiful artists.
Art is as much about accumulating knowledge and wisdom as it is about living your life. As it is about creativity and imagination. About getting your heart broken. Or your legs. Or fighting in a war. With a million strangers by your side or all on your own.
Art is never something to be understood, to be dissected like a frog in a laboratory. Because the answer is simple: nothing can make you a great artist. No one can teach you how to write a great novel. A good one, yes, but never a great one.
Maybe it’s all an accident. Like Hemingway said, sometimes you get lucky and write better than you can. But I also believe that anyone can write a great story. Or just a fantastic paragraph. Something beautiful, meant to inspire, to make the fire in a reader’s soul burn strong and bright.
Every day, somewhere in the world, a writer sits down at his desk and writes the best thing he has ever written. Maybe he doesn’t even know it yet. Maybe he will never know it.
I just hope that one day that writer will be me.