Writers know nothing

When I was actively writing and performing music I thought I knew everything. I could hit each note with precision, feel the rhythm within my bones, and execute a song so well that I was bombarded with praise once the set ended.

But I hit a point where I was stuck. Stuck in smokey bars, surrounded by the same audience. They followed me yes, but I wasn’t expanding, or improving. I stagnated.

At the time I didn’t get it. I loved music (and still do) so much that I let it consume me, but I didn’t want to share the creative process with anyone. I would lock myself away and practice vocals, write lyrics, and play play piano and guitar for around 6 hours a day.

I sold myself short by closing myself off. I get that now. I knew nothing, sure I listened to jazz greats and had an insane love for Italian arias. I belted out R&B numbers that stretched my 5 octave range beyond it’s limits. But eventually I just couldn’t do it anymore. I burned myself out.

Now I find myself in the opposite situation. I didn’t choose writing, it chose me. I didn’t plan to publish anything ever and just kind of fell into it. I don’t think I’m special or that different from most writers trying to get there stuff out there. But instead of focusing only on myself, I am pulled towards other writers.

It’s less about competition, and more about the art of wordplay. I can’t imagine ever thinking that I’m the best writer ever. Because I’m not, but also because no matter how good I get, there will always be another perspective that I admire in another writer’s works.

Any writer who thinks they know everything about writing probably sucks. We know nothing. The more we write, the more this is emphasized.

That’s a good thing. Bestselling authors are often quoted to speak about their own self doubt. It’s part of the process.

Embrace it, roll around in it, and then shut up and write. Definitely surround yourself with writers you admire, and encourage those who need it. We all have to start somewhere.

We may know nothing, but that’s why we write. It helps us to really examine ourselves and those around us.

2 thoughts on “Writers know nothing

  1. Allen says:

    Totally agree — I’m always amazed by how much I “discover” just by writing about a topic. All of these bits of wisdom percolate to the top, and I realize I’ve known certain truths all along.

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