Confession: The sad truth is that I have not met my goals on most days (I won’t bore you with tales of hot summer days that have zapped my will to live; sick kids; and pesky insects). Those all have had a part in slowing down my mental abilities, but are nothing compared to the wanderings of my own mind that so often threaten to steal my joy and discourage my pursuits.
I suppose it can be summed up in one word: FEAR. It’s not a new or interesting word, but one that never fails to rear its ugly head in my life. This time it’s the fear that once again I will start down a path and not see my task to completion. That I will begin to see myself in one light and then once again my passion will wane and I will be back to square one in this trying to understand (once again) what I’ve been created for.
I have been scribbling down silly stories and bad poetry since I was a little girl. I feel like it’s a part of me–I have not known a time when I didn’t like making up stories. Creating worlds and characters exhilarates me. Now, instead of puppy-covered trapper keepers, I use a computer and I love sitting down in front of it to write. But sometimes I get side-tracked, or derailed by reading something fabulous that was written by someone else. And then the fear comes, because I start to think, “What if everything I write is rubbish? What if I can never write as wonderfully as that person does?” And so a week will go by with no writing accomplished as I’ve convinced myself that I’m just not up for the task. Then the next week comes and I sense something is missing and I’m ready to get back to work again.
I think I have slowly, oh so slowly, been coming to a place where I know that writing always has to be a part of my life, even if it’s only scribbling something my children and friends read. I feel ready to move past the fear of failure and see what happens when I shake off my inner-critic shackles and allow myself the freedom to fail (or maybe succeed).
So, perhaps the 1000 word a day challenge was a total bust for a myriad of pathetic reasons. There, I admit it was was as Mark Twain said in Huck Finn, “Over-reaching don’t pay.” I thought a lofty challenge would be the impetus I needed to finish this project, but like my main character, I too am on a journey and I’m learning things along the way that take time to sink in and take root.
So thanks to all who have encouraged and prayed for me. The story isn’t over… it’s just slowing down a bit.