Joseph Campbell is famous for saying, “Follow your bliss.”
Joseph Campbell was an idiot.
Truthfully, Campbell is one of my all-time heroes and he would laugh at the previous sentence, understanding full well where it comes from. We are all made of many parts and the best thing we can do – in fact, the only thing we can do – is allow those parts to co-exist. Our conscious mind is merely a coordinator and when it tries to keep a part of who we are silent, that part will find a way to express itself, one way or another. Usually it’s “another” and not in a good way. So…I’m learning to give voice to all these separate feelings I have and right now I think that “Follow your bliss” is the stupidest thing I ever heard.
My bliss is writing. I love to write. I’ve experienced a lot in life and have a lot to say about it. I want to say it well and that takes time. I also love to read. I read books: fiction, non-fiction, books about writing, good books, bad books. Like Stephen King advises in his memoir, On Writing, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” Blogs, magazines, e-zines, etc. are great, but nothing compares to a good book, whether Kindle or dead tree. But reading books takes time. Lots of it.
Time becomes the commodity. Time to read, time to write. Time is the stuff our lives are made of and unfortunately following my bliss hasn’t helped me achieve that elusive goal of spending my time doing what I love. That’s the payoff, right Joe? If we “follow our bliss,” aren’t we supposed to be able to spend our time in that pursuit?
Where is all this angst coming from? Stay tuned. I’m out of time right now.