“It isn’t by accident that I have this job, you know. I chose it. I studied for it. I worked long and hard to keep it...
“… My parents before me did it. (And their other spouses did it.) My late husband did it. (And his first wife also did it.) Well, ”happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. For me, Al, it’s a family trade – I cannot move over. (Not that I am unreasonable – any future husband of mine would be free to be in the money.)”Maja Vujovic
This paragraph I wrote seven years ago now. It was the lede of my tongue-in-cheek blog post about the writers’ profession, “No, dear Al Gorithm, you dont want my job“.
The text that wrote itself
I remember I took a long time to write that para. I stared at the blank screen for several hours. I just couldn’t budge past the title itself.
All along, two scenes from an unrelated movie just wouldn’t leave me alone. It was Steven Spielberg’s historical drama about slavery, “Amistad“.
The two scenes were that story’s tour de force, involving ancestors and founding fathers. (BTW, see it, if you can; it’ gets more relevant now, every day).
Then I finally thought of my own lineage. And within minutes, the whole paragraph just wrote itself. All I had to do is give it a funny filter, to lighten up a very serious theme.
A family trade
Indeed, I do come from a family of writers. My folks were editors and journalists, ghostwriters and publishers, scriptwriters and producers.
We’ve also had an actor in our midst, and a conservator of archaeological finds (you know, fingers in clay, patiently reconstructing delicate ancient pottery, channeling its original artists across millennia.)
Many of my friends are talented people, whose careers in creative industries and in arts span many decades and countries. It’s a thrill to follow their successes all over the world.
My best man is a composer. Both my father and my late husband chose visual arts as their second careers.
Myself, I’ve spent my whole career writing, for half a century, the world over. But now there’s more where all that came from.
Both my children are professional writers in their own right. So that’s three generations of creators in our line.
No wonder the theme of ancestry wanted to surface at all cost. And I am glad that it did, because I was again reminded to trust my intuition.
Creation isn’t fast & easy
Whichever line of work you choose for a while, whichever creation you undertake next – be it a piece of writing, an image, some music, a clever meme, a video clip or any form of visual arts – always take as much time as that creative needs.
Most times, you just cannot rush the creative process anyway. That’s because it takes time for the right ideas to bubble up to the surface.
This applies to the distinct, mutually unrelated ideas in your mind, which compete for your attention. And it equally applies to the “supporting” ideas, which are trying to help you wrangle the main idea you are tackling at any time.
Pay attention to them, hear them out. Just capture them in some quick way and then later give them time to fully blossom.
Then produce them with your full focus. Give them due attention and precision that each of them deserves.
If that takes you a lot of time and if you get impatient or upset, calm down. Giving in to frustration won’t help you get to the best result you can achieve.
Remember: if it were easy, if it were fun the whole time, every time, everyone in the world would be doing it.
As I told my son when he once complained about how tedious our job can get at times: “Yeah… And that’s exactly why the clients pay you to do it. If it were highly entertaining every second, you’d be paying them”.
Why this old paragraph is relevant now
The first sentence of the quoted paragraph applies very well to the Majazine itself. “It isn’t by accident that I have this job, you know. I chose it.”
Indeed, I chose to create the Majazine. It is exactly the type of publication that – as a creative – I would like to read.
So I chose this paragraph as the first of the vintage works that I share here, because it best certifies me as a publisher of a magazine for creatives.