A conversation on Twitter changed my life. It was only two tweets long, one of them from myself, but I haven't been able to approach the world in the same way ever since. I know that's a lot to ask of 140 characters, but sometimes, that's all you need. The conversation was between me and Greg Laswell. If you're not listening to him currently, you're really missing out on one of my favorite musicians. He writes the music I would write if I had any ability whatsoever to write music.
Anyway, the conversation started when he asked for followers to tweet questions and he'd answer them. Figuring I wouldn't get it answered (celebrities have a lot of followers), I asked, simply, "If you had to do something besides music, what would it be?"
I expected an off-the-wall answer. My Twitter feed is almost entirely comprised of people with sharp wits and quick retorts. One time, Josh Malina even called me a "vomitous sack" in a reply. It's an honor, if you don't think about it too hard.
Instead, Mr. Laswell just replied with a few simple words that would make me reconsider how I had been approaching writing. All he said, when asked what he'd do instead of being a successful musician, is that he'd "Fail at trying to do music."
I don't know if that gives you the chills like it does to me, but something clicked when I first read that. This had been the problem the whole time. Writing had been something I'd do to make it somewhere. I hadn't realized that I was already exactly where I needed to be.
When I view writing like this, as the end instead of a means, it's not as much of a struggle. It's not "If I don't get this right today, that's just another day until I'm successful." It's "Well, if it can't happen today, maybe I'll be able to make something of it tomorrow."
Which, I guess if you look at it that way, really isn't failing at all.