|I know I need to put this down, but I don't know what it is yet. I hate uncertainty...I love surprises, but loathe uncertainty. Writing when I don't yet recognize where it's going stifles me when I allow it. I want to have it all mapped out in advance, perfect, fixed, and unalterable. That's the only way I can control the ideas I place in print.
Stagnation comes from a love of the unchanging. The sun rises and sets; that is unchanging. But only in an image is a moment of it fixed. Every sunset is different in the particulars: the colors, the weather, the season, the surroundings. A sunset in New Mexico differs from a sunset in Massachusetts, and a sunset in the mountains can't be compared to one over the ocean.
My thoughts just show up during writing times, and I don't know, often, where the sentence will end until I get there. But I do write and regularly surprise myself with what escapes into text. The difficulty lies in self-doubt. Fearing failure results in fewer attempts to write anything. Remembered statements and accusations linger in my memory; my ability to exaggerate specific remarks("You can't sing,") becomes a generalized notion( I lack any talent.) If true, any effort is wasted and trying seems pointless.
Yet. My fear of failure, of worthlessness, of uselessness, appears weakened these days. I know my past is dotted with accomplishments---more so than failures---and I choose to reflect on those. My fear diminishes each time I write and I gain the courage to write more. This extends into areas outside of the writing life. I've been baking bread, canning strawberry and blueberry jams, and decorating my home. I've gone from being awed by those women who know what they want and pursue those goals to attempting the same things. My inadequacy is replaced with a willing assurance; I embrace this even as it embraces me. Finally, I see what's been there all along. Trying is a habit, and once I keep trying, succeeding becomes a habit, too.