Writing is at times a lonely endeavor. You start out with a sense of determination, as if writing and promoting your story is your destiny. The road seems long and challenging, but you’re ready to face whatever will come. Maybe there’s a mountain or two you have to climb, but the winding pathways of those mountains will have their serene moments, their glorious panoramas, moments of beauty.
You feel all of this before you start you journey…and then, well, the journey actually starts. And it’s a lot worse than you anticipated.
You thought perhaps the solitude would give you a sense of purpose, maybe even a sense of heroism, since heroes rarely actually share glory. But now you’re feeling as if loneliness is closing in on all sides, and you feel as if everything you do is worthless because there’s nobody to see the progress you’re making. Maybe it doesn’t even feel like progress, because no one is cheering you on.
The mountains don’t seem so fair when you’ve now got this negative outlook on your journey. Instead of being a journey filled with adventure and excitement, it’s a journey filled with struggle, stress, and fear. You thought you could carry the world on your shoulders, but now, the world is crushing you.
Writing…hmm…doesn’t seem so great any more.
So you try to find some friends, but you can tell your friendship doesn’t run deep. You share your feelings with them, and they share their feelings with you, but neither party is willing to drink what washes over them. You are both unwilling to engage each other and enter into each other’s lives. Secretly, you are both competing for the same prize.
You wonder if companionship is possible. You wonder if it’s even possible to break free of your loneliness, of your depression, of your stress. You cannot connect with anyone, you cannot find help, and you don’t know why.
Until you find the Tree.
Each person is but a mere branch. We tend to think that we are our own tree, growing up in the big, intimidating forest. But no. We are all a part of the same tree.
Big and small, young and old, something connects all writers. The moment we realize this, the moment we stop pushing and shoving. We stop fighting for attention. We stop cheating on each other, looking over our shoulders, and being dishonest. We stop patting each other, and ourselves, on the back. We become critical because we care. We become attentive because we want to be. We become a community.
We become what we were meant to be…a part of the Tree.
A Tree cannot survive without roots. One day, each of us will take part in becoming those roots. But this won’t happen unless we accept our role in being a branch…just a branch. Not the trunk. Not the roots. A branch.
I am a branch of this tree, and you are too, most likely. The Tree that connects us the part of ourselves that longs to set our imagination free; the part of ourselves that yearns for creative expression, that yearns for beauty, and truth, and goodness, and a desire to share this. We are all in love with the same thing. We are all in love with the Tree. We must only look deep enough to see that we are all a part of it.
I am a part of this tree. Are you?