The above comes from Gwyneth Paltrow's interview with Jay-Z.
After having struggled to write for some time, I've learned some truths.
Genius is love.
Hard work beats talent...
... until talent works hard.
Inspiration begets inspiration.
As I've written more, it becomes easier to write more. As I talk about what I write more, I meet others who write, sing, run, dance, paint, sketch, shoot, lift, and above all, play. Everyone I admire creatively played like children exploring wonderlands and their joy invites me to begin my own expeditions.
But yet, it was not always so.
Not so long ago, the darkness drove me as much as the joy. I feared losing my soul as I once did so I held it back. I tried to love defensively, tried to force creation from my soul like wringing blood from a stone. It wasn't until I was called out on my own hypocrisy - if I thought of myself as a writer, why did I not write to the one I loved - that I began to change.
And the change accelerated upon meeting others who created. I looked back upon the past, at all the authors whose works I consumed... did I ever pause to honor the works I received or did I simply devour without awareness, without gratitude. I look at the friends that I've surrounded myself with. Aren't the ones I admire the ones who seek solitude to create and produce, the ones who aren't consumed with addiction to crowds and opinion? See how they live and find encouragement in their example. Why are you writing, Stanley?
Write because the stories yearn for expression, the way my muscles, my flesh yearned for expression. The level of physical activity I have today would've killed me several times over in high school and college. If someone told me that 10 years out of high school, I'd have half-Ironmans, marathons, double-bodyweight deadlifts, and double-digit pull-up numbers under my belt at the same time, I'm not sure I would've believed that any human was capable of such feats. But from where I am now, I'm not sure that there aren't ten thousand, a hundred thousand people around the world who can right now do all that I can do to a far more impressive degree. And even now, my body is telling me "Keep going, keep going. You haven't begun to scratch the surface of your potential. You owe it to me to keep going." The ceiling is so high. I owe it to my soul to work these mental faculties of creation. Who knows what may happen in 5 years time, in 10 years time? Who knows the people I may meet, the lessons I might learn, the joys I might find if I continue to put my full heart into my work. The gospel lesson bolsters my heart - to whom much is given, if stewarded faithfully, even more shall be given.