“Why is writing so much harder for me than it is for everybody else?” — every novelist ever, secretly to themselves, all the time
— Lev Grossman (@leverus) 28 April 2015
This is a rather old tweet, but it speaks to me in a deep level. The first person who realized that I have a talent in writing is my 4th grade teacher, but the person who has constantly pushed me into pursuing and bettering my talent is my mother. However, having only your mother around telling you how talented you are and being frustrated for not being able to finish a sentence at times, really does low your self-esteem. Also, I did not meet many people who loved writing while I was growing up, and I believed for a while that it was hard only for me, and for a moment I would have convinced myself that it should just give up. However, Flaubert changed that for me.
When I read Madame Bovary, I have to admit I hated it. I was rather young I would say, and the details and Madame Bovary’s way of thinking and choices just made the book boring for me. That until we started analyzing it in class. I figured out that we can all be Emma somehow, living in our dreams and expectations instead of our own reality, choosing someone for their looks and table manners rather than for their personality and ideals. However, what made me love that book even more, was not the mix of realness and the magnification of the characters actions and personalities, but the time that it took Flaubert to write this novel.
It took Flaubert five years to finish the book, and it took him more than a lifetime for the book to be recognized for its greatness. Considering that he did not make that much money by being a writer while he was alive, and many people did not appreciate Emma’s character as it was, well, against the norms of the good French housewife. However, the importance in this particular case is not the representation of French, but rather the persistence that Flaubert, and so many other great writers, had in regards to their writing.
I will probably never be as good as Flaubert, neither will you probably, but every person who I have met or talked so far that has a special place in their heart about writing deeply relates to the above tweet,(and most probably Flaubert did too either-wise he would not focus as much on the detail description or revising and editing as much as he would focus on just publishing). Yes, we might never get 100% satisfied with our writing, or singing, or dancing, or whatever our talent might be, and maybe it is impossible for us to give the best of what we can in every single day. But that does not mean that it is hard only for us, just take a look back at the great people who have done this (and so much more) before us, take a look at the person next to you who is following a similar path, and then take a look at the people who will be doing so, each one of them (each one of us), is having a hard time.
We constantly tell ourselves that we are not good enough when something goes wrong, and we often forget to tell ourselves that we are good at this when something goes right. By being focused on rights and wrongs we might forget that everything is 10% talent and 90% work, so I would say to myself and everyone else struggling out there, stop wining and try harder.