There are mornings when I’ve looked forward to having time open for writing, and then the morning comes and I feel . . . . blah. I really can’t understand why it might feel so great to look forward to a block of time without other commitments, and then when the time comes, I shy away from writing. What’s up with that?
Feeling that way this morning, I did some journalling to try to engage that reluctant part of me, and what came up was this:
- “I’m afraid to start writing something that might not turn out the way I want. I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed and I’ll think it wasn’t worth it, and I might as well just save myself the time and do something else.” OR
- “What made me think I’m a writer at all? I should just give up before I ruin something else I’m writing.”
Where do these feelings come from? I have written things I love and that feel beautiful and creative and wonderfully artistic. But at a moment’s notice that nasty little critic inside my head jumps out, or simply lags back, and whispers crummy little things in my brain. “What made you think you were a writer?” and that awful one, “Why even try?”
This struggle has been with me a long time. Last week I decided to try a nonverbal approach, just for a change. I sketched the little thing in my brain that was keeping me away from writing. And this is what I came up with:
What are these?
1) The first one is a cloud, or a miasma, that sticks to the back of my brain predicting failure. It says, “Oh, don’t even start, you’ll just be disappointed, even if you think of a story that is promising, it’ll never work out that way, you know how it goes…just do something else instead.”
2) The second one is a beast, which roars at the inside of my brain after I’ve been writing, “See? It is a failure! You ruined it! No one’s going to want to read this. Why did you even try?”
Auuhhh! Harsh! With these two entities inside my head, no wonder I shy away from writing! Who in their right mind would go up against these two naysaying voices? You’d want to save yourself from this kind of abuse, right?
When I’m feeling really hesitant, I try to nudge myself to talk to the voices, usually through journalling. I try to say something like, “I know you’re afraid we won’t be successful and creative enough. You’re trying to protect me, and that’s okay. But I really really want to try to make some new art, I want to try to be creative and bring something brand-new into this world. How about if we give it a try and gently see what happens?”
Sounds strange, huh? But if I step back and ask myself, do I want to write? Maybe I should just quit and do something else permanently? – I always come back to YES, I do want to write, I love the feeling of newness and spark that comes out of it, and even the “bad” stuff isn’t the end of the world. It only seems like it before I start.
Do you find yourself hesitating before you write? Do you wish you could just write without fear? Or, are you always ready to write without a feeling of reluctance? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for visiting!