I've been reading voraciously lately. I cannot seem to get enough of Richard Wagamese. What stunned me with Richard is that despite the fact that he has been making a living as a writer since the late 1970s, and even after he had published numerous books, his life had been filled with some serious darkness. He stumbled many times battling his own personal demons. I admire that he has shared that journey and has not spared us even the ugliest details. He did not make any attempt to pretty it up; and most importantly, he got up and was able to open the door to the rest of his life. He had to journey a long way to find it, but he had found the key.
This afternoon I watched a documentary on the musician Ron Sexmith. Despite being one of Canada's most amazing songwriters he has not achieved commercial success. Huge names in the music biz praise his abilities. He's respected and recognized for his amazing gift and yet at the time of the filming of the documentary he was still doing his laundry at the laundramat. Indeed he was signing autographs and doing his laundry, no doubt confusing the fans. Ron does not have the key - but I hope he finds it.
I really felt Ron's lack of confidence. Producer Bob Rock voiced to Ron that if he didn't get past those feelings he was not going to move forward. How many of us have that struggle? We have all the elements but lack the key to open the door. The key is in all of us.
What is the key? The key is what we believe. You can have all the talent, ambition, support in the world, but if you don't really believe all your work is for not.
Ron and Richard both struggle as artists and human beings like we all do. Their words have touched me deeply. Their struggles have inspired me. I believe they have shone a light for me so that I can see the difference between wanting something and having it. The key is locked inside what we believe.
Many can confuse desire with belief, but it is not the same. I believe Ron knows he was born to be a songwriter - but there is more to it than that...
Richard believed he was a writer. He knew he was writer. What he didn't believe was that he deserved love, happiness and success. When he finally believed that he did deserve those things they were there.
I'm not going say that I don't struggle, I do. Do I believe I'm a writer? This is one of the few things I can say with 100% confidence. I am a writer. Where do I believe that will take me? My answer is that I am in the process of finding that key - I'll keep you posted...