Published in James Harmon’s collection of letter from creative writers, actors, designers, and musicians, a letter from writer Bob Schacochis offers insight into the process of creating meaningful work. Schacochis writes, “Hey, it took a long time; as often as not I felt I was wrong, deluded, crazy to have dreams and cursed to have ambition.” This quote resonates with me because I have often looked at what I want to do and create in life and been intimidated by how challenging and intricate things become. Whether it is a career, a hobby, or even a family, once I start to evaluate everything that I desire, I begin to feel overwhelmed by the difficulties that hide beneath the surface of all my desires. A great job always looks great until you really look at what the people working that job actually do. Hobbies and passion projects are exciting until you see how much work takes place behind the scenes to get the desired results. And having a family is what we all strive for, but being a parent is so time consuming and requires so many sacrifices. With all of these difficulties in mind, it seems to me as though life would be so much easier if I simply decided to sit on the couch, and strive for nothing.
Schacochis’ quote reminds me that these difficulties are OK. It speaks to me on an internal level to remind me that it is good for me to struggle and face difficulties in doing something meaningful. This reminds me of the quote from Allison Vesterfelt’s book where she said that there is a perception that if we are doing life right it should be easy, but that that perception is false. I think that doing the easy thing leads us to a life without meaning, but by striving to do the difficult thing we grow and reach places we did not even know to dream about.
The quote above shows the inner challenges that one faces on a creative journey, and it helps me to see that those challenges are normal to have. For me it helps me see that I am on the right path, even if I am doubting myself. I want to do more than watch movies each night, even though it is difficult and I feel like my ambition is a burden that spreads me too thin. Knowing that other creatives have faced these same challenges is reassuring, and helps me to persevere.