Every year, I come up with a scheme of how I'm going to beat my past self. Last year my goal was to eat healthier, go to the gym, read more books, travel, make more movies, be creative, make more money than I can spend. All the typical New Years Resolution self-actualization that people tell themselves they will do. I'm no different. I'm just as idealistic as anyone else.
Done. I didn't hit all my goals (looking like Brad Pitt in Fight Club, reading 20 books, taking a trip every week, dating models, and driving fancy cars). But, hey, I fucking tried everyday - even when I didn't like it. Did it make me any happier?
To be honest, I got burnt out. My daily routine would consist of waking up, hitting early LA traffic, work until the evening, hit more LA traffic, go the gym, sleep for a few hours. Wash, rinse, repeat. Sure, everybody has to deal with it. You have to make time for all the things that you care about. But even then, your caring still isn't enough. You lose time sleeping, you get frustrated following the same boring rourine, you lose time with friends. You start losing more than you start gaining.
I'm not saying it was a terrible year. By far, it had its ups and downs. But travelling has made me look back at my routines and take a look at some hard facts: I lost my love for writing.
Now let me define what that means to me, maybe it's different for some people. To have a love for something, you have to make time for it. You have to go out of your way and despite the consequences, you still do it anyway. But I wasn't doing that. Writing was the last thing on my plate. After working for so many hours, I would open my laptop, type a few sentences, consider my writing done. But that's not caring about it. That's not loving it. It's putting minimal effort like jogging in the hopes of running a marathon. Sure, you can do it, but nobody ran a marathon by jogging just 10 minutes everyday.
I can relate a lot with Murakami. When I was running in high school, there wasn't a day that I didn't feel like I wasn't dedicated to the craft. My senior year, my brothers brought home chocolate for Halloween and I had to almost hit myself so I couldn't have some. It was probably worse than not getting laid. I thought that every single thing that I did mattered from how much time I was studying to how well I could speak Spanish. When I didn't get the results that I wanted, I was crushed. It seemed like all my hard work had gone to shit. Here I was, a 17 year old runner that had spend 4 years of his life trying to run under 16 minutes for 3 miles. What a waste of time. Why the fuck even bother? Least to say that it wasn't the best year of my life. I was completely deflated.
When I started running again (not like I run that much now), I remembered all the good times that I had. Going to the park, being a stupid kid, hanging out with friends, and sleeping under the stars in Mammoth. That's what it was all about. These little moments that I shared. Not the stupid clock-chasing runs. Our running Coach (O'Brien) was right. It was all about the adventures in the process.
I asked myself "What would I do if I didn't have to worry about money?"
The answer was: "I'd travel and write all the time."
Which is exactly what I'm doing. Oh, don't worry, I still want to make films and direct. That brings me happiness. But not writing makes me miserable. It's like running in that way, you feel terrible through the process, maybe you wanna punch someone in the dick (I'd probably wouldn't hit a woman if I was angry), but then you feel great. Then after that, you suffer some more, nobody gives a shit, and you have to prove yourself all over again. Sounds like a plan to me.
I haven't had a screenplay sold, I haven't written a book, I haven't completed a great short story. But even George R. R. Martin has his off days (year).
So I'm gonna give this writing thing a go again.