Thursday, March 29, 2007

Writer's Panic

Have you ever wanted to do something so badly that you kept trying all kinds of angles for making it happen? Then, when the door finally cracked open just a bit and you ventured forth, were you blasted by the icy wind of fear? A time when every doubt, every misgiving it seems, is suddenly personified by the thousand and one voices from the past. That's where I am right now.

I have been dying to write; okay, I've been dying to get published - picky, picky. So I have my chance, I have a tiny column once a week that within my beat I can do anything I want as long as it's about people and their news. On the surface it looks like a no brainer; but my beat is probably 10 square miles of mixed terrain and I know nobody. What's worse is that schools, usually fodder for backup material, are on spring break. I feel like I have been peeled and hung out to dry.

I took the long way home from work this evening and just drove around some of the roads and streets; some of this is newer city and some is still farm land. I thought I would see something that would trigger the idea process but mile after mile there was nothing except people driving places; and some of them made it clear they were in a bigger hurry than me. Maybe it was the hour since this is my late close day; maybe people would have been out earlier? I don't know.

So here I sit, feeling air-starved, wondering how in the world do I pull a rabbit out of this hat. Failure is not an option. Missing the deadline is not an option. Every ounce of credibility I have is riding on getting something in on Monday. It will not help anything to spiral into a panic, but there are moments when that feels very close.

Over at Laurel Wreath she was writing about God giving us the desires of our hearts and how she sometimes tries to "pray for the desires of (her) heart but thinks (she) deserves less." My dilemma is a bit different, although the deserving part is also present.

I grew up under the constant reminding that if I had an idea it was wrong; also, if I was naturally good at something it couldn't honor God or be His work for me. A few years ago a wise counselor started taking these arguments apart. Then he started explaining that God "giving the desires of our hearts'" meant that God planted those desires not just granted the desired outcome. So I find comfort that wanting to write is both my desire and God's; but that alone does not guarantee success. So I need a little bit more light here because I am not young enough to keep walking in circles on this writing thing. I want to say something and have somebody get it. And I don't think that is a terrible or selfish goal at all.

Thanks for listening to my rambling this evening.


sylvia c. said...

Sometimes, it's so simple for others to see the good in us, and so difficult to just believe in ourselves.

For example, you! You write in-sync and clear and always share some message that is in you.

That is great.

May I ask….Do you have an idea-list? Next time you do feel inspired, write 10 things that would be fun to learn more about.
That might help when the well is dry next time.

I love what Julia Cameron says in the Artist's Way.

God is the ultimate creator. He created us and our gift back to him is using our creativity.

I repeat that to myself and it feels good to remember it.



Sylvia C.

7sky said...

Don't let that ticking clock get to you...those fertile ideas will find their home in print.


G's Cottage said...

Thanks guys, I appreciate the support.

I don't know about the fertile part but I did come up with a back-up plan. While it's not strickly what they described I think I can get away with it for a starter.

To go along with this plan, I did make a list of places to find groups of people over the weekend: bike trail, little league fields, etc.

What started the process late last night was the words of a long ago friend who did scuba diving. He said the first rule is "if your line in twisted exhale. If you continue to suck your mask against your face you only increase your panic and thinking (problem solving) stops." After I turned the lights out that story came back to my mind's ear and slowly some alternatives started dribbling in.

I am still a long way from a column, but I now where to step next and that is immensely important right now.


At A Hen's Pace said...

Congratulations on landing a "real" writing job!! Everyone knows that ya gotta start somewhere, and often that means submitting things for you're already one step up the ladder, it seems!

I'm sure something will come to you as you follow your next steps.

God bless!


Laurel Wreath said...

Oh I need to read the last paragraph, I had never thought of the planted part. Thank you.

And you are right, if God planted the desire to write, He is going to lead you, it is just scary.


G's Cottage said...

Jeanne: "gotta start somewhere" Yeah, but getting the cars over the hump is the hardest part. Someone offered that at least it wasn't the obituaries; but I love obituaries and I've read thousands doing genealogy stuff. At least generally the information would just show up, this cold calling always takes its toll in the beginning.

LW: It was transforming to start acting on heart's desires as a gift. It was truly revolutionary.