I usually spend IWSG Wednesdays indulging my neurotic brain, and cataloging with loving detail all the ways that I'm feeling insecure about writing, which a) satisfies my detail-oriented (read: anal-retentive) personality, and b) helps me feel a little less crazy.
Much as I enjoy and appreciate this electronic therapy, I'm going to do something a little bit different today.
First, a confession: I may, from time to time, just slightly exaggerate things on this blog for the sake of humor. You know, just
I have a number of tools that help me do this. Running (the best stress relief known to mankind), music, and deep breathing all help. Meditation would probably help even more, but since I cannot get my monkey mind to settle down and stop flinging poop at me for longer than three seconds, I wouldn't know.
There's one other thing that helps, maybe more than anything else: trust.
Some people might call it faith. Others might call it confidence. I'm a writer, so I get reeeeaally anal about choosing the exact right word. For me, it's trust.
I didn't come up with this on my own; I had some help (which is so essential for writers). About a year and a half ago, I was knee-deep in Cloudland, still trying to finish a first draft. At the time, I was in the process of banging my head repeatedly and with great futility on a plot wall, and was feeling stuck. Very, very stuck. I confessed this to one of my clients (yes, people do talk to me during massages. A lot of people, actually), and she told me something I've never forgotten. She's a composer, so she talks in terms of music, but the idea is universal.
She said that whenever she's having trouble composing, she reminds herself to trust that the finished piece exists inside her, already. Her only job is to discover it.
What an amazing thought.
This is what I remind myself now, whenever I get really afraid, or stuck. The story exists inside me, complete and perfect. I'm not so much creating a plot as I am uncovering it.
Let me tell you, when I can manage to remember this, and believe it, it takes so much pressure off of the process. I don't have to tear my hair out over making the right decisions or solving gnarly plot problems, because I already know what to do. All I have to do is trust myself, and the story will come out.
Maybe this sounds nuts, or New Age-y, or naive. That's OK by me, because it works. Not just for writing, either. It works in so many areas of life.
And that's pretty amazing, if you ask me.