The eternal pursuit of unhappiness

The eternal pursuit of unhappiness

There’s a disease you might contract. You’ll know when you get it.

What is it?

It’s not really a disease. It’s an endless pursuit. Which is close enough.

When you leap. When you take the jump to pursue a craft, you sign up for an endless race. One with no finish line.

In the beginning you’ll get small wins. Maybe some big ones.

After a year, you’ll start to realise how much more there is to know. It’ll seem like you haven’t even started.

But when you compare yourself to when you first begun, you’re a different person.

After the second year, you’re much better than the first. You’ve corrected some of your mistakes but the same feeling starts to sink in. There’s still so much left to go.

The ancients knew this. You can look up the quotes. The ones in Latin which translate to something like, “so long the craft, so little the life.”

The saying stands true today.

In writing, if you’re any good, you’ll always be trying to translate the story in your head to words on the page.

If you’re a programmer you’ll know what needs to happen next but writing functions to get there is a different story.

If you’re a painter, there’s an image you’re trying to create but for some reason the brush doesn’t produce what’s going through your mind.

There’ll be days where you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything even though you were battling your craft all day. It’ll even feel like you’ve taken a few steps backwards.

Every artist, every creator, every storyteller eventually learns they’ll never be a master of their craft. And if they claim to be, they’re lying. A real master never claims to be one, others will say so but deep down they feel the same as they felt when they started. Curious as ever.

It’s intimidating when you’re new to the game. You’ll see those who’ve come before, compare their work to your own and realise the gap between them. You can take relief in anyone who’s good at what they do also feels the same when they compare their own work to the work they’d like to achieve.

On the surface, not being able to master anything may seem like an eternal pursuit of unhappiness. But once you get on it, you’ll realise, it’s the best part.