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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Did You Give Up To Pursue Writing?

I was flipping through electronic files tonight while I was waiting for the people working on my bathroom sink to finish, and came across a couple of banjo tunes I recorded as .wav files oh, probably back in 2003 or so. And it made me feel a little blue.

The banjo is the happiest instrument on earth. And all my life I've had a great desire to learn to play a banjo. I took maybe 6 months worth of lessons before finances forced me to quit and shortly after that, I intensively began pursuing my writing.

But did you ever have something you gave up to pursue writing and wonder and sometimes worry if you'll ever have another shot at it? I certainly do. You see, learning to play a banjo or other musical instrument is probably just as wildly different as learning to write is for different writers. I know some writers who can churn out a 60,000 page novel in 3-4 weeks. And then there are people like me who need five years or more.

And you're either musically inclined or your not. I'm in the "Not!" category---which means I have to work five times as hard as someone who is naturally talented with that gift. Thus---pursuing my dream of learning to play the banjo skillfully would require the same deep intensity and time commitment as it does for writing. That is just not humanly possible. I'm not sure it's possible even if I didn't have a day job on top of that and only tried to balance writing and banjo-ing.

But there will always be a part of me that will wonder what if. What if I had stuck to my lessons? Where would I be now? Could it be a form of music ministry for me? I still would deserately love to learn how to play the great hymns of the faith on banjo.

And the greatest question of all is--will I ever have an opportunity to restart the banjo playing dream? Aside from the realities of time and finances, I ain't gettin' any younger. If I want to be able to play banjo, I ought to do it before my fingers start curling or stiffening up with age. But as with most things, only God knows what our future holds, hobby and otherwise. And while I miss banjo, I love writing. I'm certainly not sorry I pursued it.

So what about you? Is there something you've given up to pursue your writing? Has it been worth it?

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