I’m going to close out this week’s discussion of THE WORK and THE LIFE by suggesting you read Lauren DePino’s “In My Own Voice, Redefining Success and Failure,” at Longreads:
It didn’t take long for me to learn that the real story of life is that it is filled with rejection. You can know with certitude what you want to become and how you want to become it and have it all fall away. Whatever it is in you that you know you can’t let go of, whatever it is, you might have to let it go. But be aware — because it might just come around again. Its form may not appear how you first thought it would. It may knock in disguise. But if you open your eyes just right, if you open your eyes — it can become you. You can still become who you want yourself to be.
I absolutely agree with DePino’s thoughts on creativity and the creative practice (and rejection and the need to find a way to earn money while you’re doing THE WORK and the rest of it), which is why I’m recommending this essay.
When I read Lev Grossman’s The Magician King, I was struck by the line “I became who I was becoming,” which carries with it the double meaning of ambition and acceptance; Julia wanted to change her life and her self in certain ways, and fought against the other ways in which her life and her self were changing.
In the end, both prevailed.
Which is how it often goes.*
Next week I’m going to start looking more closely at the process of writing, including worldbuilding, story, and style. I will no doubt come back to THE WORK and THE LIFE and ALL OF THAT, so stick around if you’re interested in that kind of thing. It all intersects with each other, anyway, in the sense that the lives we live shape the stories we tell — and, dare I say, vice versa.
See you on Monday. ❤️
*It’s how it goes at the end of DePino’s essay. And that Mikey Neumann video I shared yesterday. And, like, my life. And yours.