Where You Are

Monday, June 18th, 2012 | The Writing Life

‘You are where you are, until you’re somewhere else.’

This quote seemed silly to me at first, so obvious that it almost didn’t need to be said. But then I started thinking about it in terms of my work. There are so many times when I’m beginning a draft or a synopsis that I simply do not know where I am, where the book is going, or even if there should be a book. As I stare at the blank screen with my few scribbled notes beside me, I get overwhelmed by nerves and more than a little fear.

What if I write it and it’s no good? What if I write it and no one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to read it? What if the story that has begun to live in my head and take over my life appeals to no one on Earth but me?

These are real questions.

I start writing anyway as an act of faith, a leap into the Void that I so often refer to on this blog. Releasing self-doubt long enough to put words on paper is a writer’s ongoing struggle, an integral part of the writing life. It’s as true for me as for everyone else. We stand on the precipice and we leap, every time.

But we still doubt. When the keys fall silent, when the Muse goes home, I am still left wondering: Is this new idea going to work? Am I the one to write it?

That is where we are, some of the time. We stand in the presence of self-doubt. And we keep walking, one step at a time, one word at a time, until we’re somewhere else.

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