Wading through fear thick as mud to discover words on the page

waiting for the rain by

Hi all —  You might recall that my last post was about my efforts to write despite a long drought of wordlessness on the page. I told you that I’d become so busy with the everydayness of my teaching job, my family and my addiction to facebook — oh, wait, I didn’t mention that little addiction, did I? — that I was struggling to write at all. Then, when I finally found time to write, I avoided it by immersing myself in that wicked addiction of facebook and by just simply not writing. It got so my brain was telling me that there was really nothing I needed to say to the world through stories. But I did periodically pull out a notebook, review some Julia Cameron thoughts on creativity, and even take on some practice writing exercises. I was like a child waiting for the first drop of rain to fall and I discovered that my patience was growing thin. I decided I needed a heavy dose of time to write and be a student of writing so I headed to Vermont College of Fine Arts as a GA where I was allowed to sit in on lectures and where I hoped to rediscover the stories in my head. I went. I wrote. I wrote even though I felt like I might be too out of touch with writing. I wrote even though I could and should have been intimidated by all the brilliantly funny and sad and serious and heartbreakingly real characters that emerged through student and faculty readings. I wrote even though that wickedly bad editor in my head told me I suck and I should take up weeding gardens which is easier — for the record, I hate weeding gardens and am not very good at it. I wrote until I felt words come like raindrops — soft and sporadic at first — then steamy and steady. I realized as the words fell onto the page that my biggest reason for NOT writing was fear that I’m no longer good enough. It’s a fear I believe I have to tackle every single time I start something new or go back to revise a work. But this is the time for me to struggle through that fear which is thick as mud.

Mud plugger: A unrecognisable  ….and so, this is what I’m doing, standing in the rain of words, struggling through the mud of fear. Writing. I’m writing and I’m just telling myself it’s okay if this draft isn’t good. I can make it better if I keep writing. So I’m writing and writing and writing. At least — at last — I’m writing.

PS — I’m still going to facebook way too much but I’m also spending less time letting it become a suckhole of time.