Thursday morning, I woke up feeling a little tense.
S said, “What’s wrong? You have a funny look on your face?”
And out poured about half and hour’s worth of ‘WHAT IF I NEVER FINISH MY BOOK AND I’M A FAILURE AND I CAN’T WRITE AND I’M A BAD PERSON AND YOU DECIDED TO HATE ME’
He paused, then said, “Okay. I can see we’re having a breakdown here. Let’s talk it through.”
What was different about Thursday? Nothing, really, other than I spoke the fears I have to face every time I sit down to write.
I had decided a few weeks ago to put in some new material into my novel. It needed it. The addition would round it out.
I got 30-40 pages in, stopped, and realized this wasn’t the right stuff. I needed to approach it from a different angle. So I redirected myself, wrote 5 pages, and then carefully filled every moment of the next few days with other chores.
I didn’t have writer’s block. I had writer’s avoidance.
Because doing something like this is scary, and I had let that get the best of me.
After I pulled myself together, I marched into the kitchen, sat down, and finished the entire new section. Done. I have a couple more tweaks, and then I’m back to the editing.
Being a human is hard. We face a lot of things. We deal with a lot of other humans. We feel a lot of things, think a lot of things, do a lot of things.
Sometimes, we have a breakdown.
It’s okay. Having a breakdown doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. It just means you’re a human, and some part of your fears (which you have been so bravely fighting – or so studiously ignoring, in my case) have caught up to you.
S reminded me of things that were true, and things we hoped for.
Essentially, he refocused me on the goals and reminded me of my worthiness to achieve them.
It’s okay to be human. Our willingness to fight through our fears will determine how far we go, how much we accomplish. We can’t do it all in one day, but we can make changes.