I'm very envious of those with artistic talent. Growing up, I would watch Bob Ross on public television. In 30 minutes he transformed a blank canvas into a remarkable painting. It was so effortless for him. I know that behind all that were countless years of painting, years of screw ups, years of trial and error. But it was so amazing to watch. Pictures aren't worth a thousand words, they're worth millions.
I've spent the better part of my life as a cog in the IT wheel: building computers, writing software, managing systems. Almost nothing in the IT world has any permanence. The systems I built years ago have been replaced with more powerful servers, the software I wrote has been either replaced or almost completely rewritten by someone else to do more than what I made it do. I'm still a cog in that wheel (it puts food on the table and keeps the roof over my head) but I have very little I can look back on and say "there, I did that."
Since I used up what little artistic talent I had in high school, I started writing. I've always been good at writing, grammar and spelling. Now I look at it as a means of creating...something. A world, a character, an event - something that others may read and enjoy. Something that can last longer than I will. But I struggle. I sometimes agonize over word selection, how to structure a thought into a coherent sentence or just how to describe the images in my head. It's frustrating, more so because of something someone told me a long time ago: Before you can be great, you have to be good and before you can be good, you have to suck. Right now, I suck and it's damn frustrating. It's such a painful process and a horrible state to be in. It takes me weeks to crank out 1,500 to 2,000 words and even then, I'm only just satisfied with it to share with others. The worst part of all this is: there is no guarantee that I'll get better.