I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what happened to my patience. Somewhere along the line I lost it. I’ve lost it with the I-want-to-write-books-to-get-rich-quick writers, and I’ve lost it with those who dabble in Demonolatry and the occult. Then yesterday I read a post by Aleq Grai that really hit the nail on the head. And the reality is it’s not just Wicca where this is happening — this same phenomena extends to just about everything these days. So many members of the younger generation want all the laurels, knowledge, and respect their elders have without having to do any of the work to get there.
I’ve met writers who want to publish their work without editing because it would lose its essence if changed. Their prose is perfect and captures perfectly their emotions at the second they wrote it. They expect to self-publish books and make millions because that’s all you ever hear about in the media. It’s the same story; some amateur author, mother of two, who was allegedly just sitting home writing stray thoughts on the computer suddenly gets a multi-million dollar book contract. Or some twenty-something self-published author suddenly gets a book deal and a writing career that pays millions! These kinds of stories make the “get-rich-quick-crowd” want to jump on the bandwagon. What the media fails to tell the world is said stay-at-home mom (or twenty-something student) was probably penning stories for years prior to this and spent countless hours toiling away at writing before she actually wrote said book(s), and she probably spent countless months submitting to agents and publishers, too, or spent countless hours promoting her self-published books.
I have never heard of an author who sat down one day and said, “Think I’m gonna write a book,” and then wrote it in a few months, sold it, made a few million in a year or two, and then had a brilliant writing career afterward. It just doesn’t happen like that. Writers who have sustainable careers actually work at it — and it’s not easy work. People think writing is so simple and for some books, it is. For that one book you may have in you – maybe it is easy. But I guarantee you, as an author of over 20 titles myself, that not all books are born with such ease. I’ve been writing since I was in grade school. I started getting serious about professional publication when I was nineteen. I didn’t sell my first novel until I was in my thirties. Up until recently, I also had a full-time day job for all those years. That’s how MOST sustainable writing careers actually start out. Hard work and perseverance.
Likewise I’ve met beginning occultists who are the same way. They want to read a book or declare a certain path and then coin themselves an expert (or High Priest). They have no respect for those who paved the way before them or the people who earned their knowledge or titles the old fashioned way (i.e. hard work and perseverance). They know more than those people. Besides – everything they need to know can be learned from the spirits themselves anyway. And they wonder why those people who earned their way won’t share the inner circle rituals or sacred practices with them, or why those people may ignore them altogether. These kinds of “instant gratification” people feel it’s owed to them and that all knowledge should be free (and easy). They also think that reading about stuff and knowing about it is the same as actually doing, practicing, and living by a specific tradition even though it’s not quite the same thing. Not by a long shot. It’s the difference between reading The Book of Abramelin and actually performing the six month operation.
I’m incredibly happy that we don’t have the same attitude about plumbers and electricians, where everyone who’s read a book thinks they can call themselves a master and get a job in the field. Otherwise we’d have a lot of deaths by electrocution and a lot of leaky faucets.
I think it’s a symptom of our Western Culture. No, I don’t think more Jesus will fix it. I don’t think anarchy will fix it. I think the only way to fix it is parents need to go back to teaching their kids the value of hard work. Nothing in life worth having is free or easy. It’s never been that way in the past – what makes anyone think it would be that way now?
My advice? You want to become the type of person who earns your laurels, experience, and knowledge? You want to really become a published author or a master swordsman? You want respect? Then drop the expectations of laurels and riches, do what you do because you have a passion for it, and do the work. Part of the joy of your arrival is knowing how hard you’ve worked to actually get there. Not to mention being able to look back to see how far you’ve come.
Feel free to agree, disagree or cuss me out in the comments below.