Until you learn to write like a monk — which you will.
Contemporary authorship likens to the medieval monks’ meditation and prayer when replicating books. The brothers’ dread of the arduous, repetitive process manifests similarly in the modern content creators, worsened by their desire to author original manuscripts. Today’s writers endure their greatest love, daily pushing the derivative content quill, which holds at the day’s end the start of their thankless, profitless poetry, fiction, or nonfiction passion that requires a diametrical thought process to the bill-paying article creation. Modern literature’s civil war between prose and hack writing leaves you swilling booze in the trench between the battles, hoping against hope for a sudden miraculous viral article or selling of books to free you from the next day’s trudging-scribble for rent dollars.
Endlessly scrawling meaningless articles, papers, and advertisements requires only the wrist motioning the pen in a fire sale of your soul lit by a willingness to write nothing of substance for money. Soon, the integrity wholesale becomes a total liquidation when discovering voluminous content does nothing to advance your novel-writing career. Worse yet, writing meaningless, uninventive dribble actually harms authorship in the need to suffice word counts. You indulge verbose passive language because “the paper was written by Sue” adds more characters than “Sue wrote the paper.” By the day’s end, frustrated, unable to concentrate on prose, having reinforced bad writing habits for a pittance, and knowing tomorrow holds more of the same, your book or poetry dream dissolves in the booze antidote.
Finally, having fought with your schedule, you annex a day for your literary vision. Now, the world will know the real author: a Tesla working language mechanics into a prose tower, arcing bolts of wisdom powered by an alphabetic earth. With coffee, chocolate, delivery pizza, and keyboard as your chisels and hammer, you Michelangelo a David from Words’ whitespace as that precious day’s sun revolves the dawn’s light across the window into the night: week into month into year. After winning creativity’s battle, you stand on your chair, bellowing to literature’s spirits,
Dulce et decorum est!
Striking the key to publish to Amazon or send agents the manuscript, you lean back, anticipating the many questions, reviews, and comments while bracing for the thumbs-up influencer or harsh-word critic as you eye intently the sales figures poised to rocket from zero. Why wouldn’t you hold these expectations, having articulated diligently such profundity?
The days pass, stamping out media on the assembly line as your masterpiece, buried beneath impossible-to-make-work, unaffordable pay-per-click marketing, stares like a tombstone from Amazon’s graveyard. Emails to agents and publishing houses similarly die in the digital void. Frustrated, you press on, with no choice but to be confident that this literary passion supported by listicles and articles too banal to be called plagiarism will someday yield success or proof of sagacity when discovered. You sit back at the end of the day and drink, imagining the astonishment of paleographers who cannot believe your work went ignored in your lifetime. You drink, dreaming of that magical moment long beyond your passing.
You smile and drink — a lot.
Despite evoking fear of a Sisyphean fate, mindless writing repetition and lack of readership hold an unexpected reward. Your Benedictine-like rewriting of boilerplate, generic articles married your devotion to mechanics, style, and critical understanding. What was once endless reiteration blossoms with meaning as your dedication to literary perfection takes root. You are the peacemaker between prose and hack writer in a new mastery of pen and page, though still lacking recognition and profit.
You push away the drink, welcoming the recursive mastery born of two fronts that forced you to be better and unique. You welcome that which once drowned you in liquor, fearing not the endless lonely days ahead. You welcome the literary dream that once threatened with madness, knowing you now hold the keys to meaning. You truly actualized the adage of writing for no one but yourself, for there is no one else, and you welcome that deafening solitude.
Sober and at peace, you kneel as lady literature appears before you as she did with the brothers long ago. You close your eyes, smiling in the contentment as the glowing Goddess spreads her arms to embrace and whisk you away, greeting,
“Welcome to the scriptorium.”