June is the month a new beginnings for many graduates and newlyweds. For all those new grads and recently marrieds, I extend a heart-felt congratulations. In her 1996 Wellesley Commencement speech Nora Ephron advised,
“It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be like anything you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands.”
To me her remarks speak perfectly to the pursuit of a creative life. Unlike many professions and trades, creative pursuits don’t have an established series of steps that must be followed. Today writers have a variety of routes to publication which can be both liberating and overwhelming.
Often with the demands of work and family, people are tempted to set aside their dreams until things are less “complicated”. They believe life will be easier when the kids are finally “in kindergarten” “away at college” or “out of the house and married”. As someone who has balanced a writing life with a two kids and a fulltime legal career, I admit it has been complicated and messy. As a writer who has interviewed a number of authors, musicians and artists, I can tell you the creative life is challenging for everyone even single folks, retirees and empty nesters.
But as Ms. Ephron said “Surprises are good for you.” I can’t predict how you may profit from pursuing a creative life. But I can tell you that it will enrich your life in ways you would never imagine.