Fear

Nothing is ever really good enough when you write. There is this constant need to tinker, poke and prod, and especially in situations where you know you wrote with an emotional undertone, a desire to temper. Except this morning I created a post from nothing, just left it and walked away. Normally, you’d go back and look at this kind of stuff with a critical eye several hours later but in this case? It just fell from me. After it was done I sat and cried for ten minutes, because the process of admitting things to yourself is sometimes not as an exact a science as you either wish or hope. It wasn’t big or clever either, just an understanding that what I want and what the world presents are two very differing things. There comes a moment where you have to make a choice: accept the reality you are presented with and be grateful, or push for something better.

In this case, I get more pleasure now from pushing than I ever did before from inactivity.

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Sometimes it’s about a theme, or co-ordination. Often it’s reacting to a moment, the latest outrage. Mostly, writing for me has stopped being simply about ‘enough’ and now demands to be more and I’m seeing that bleed over into my fiction work too (but more on that when there’s actual progress to report.) In terms of daily progress it often felt like a very slow drip to fill an enormous bath, but then there are these floods of outpouring that catch me by surprise. Then I need to take time and effort to adjust to what’s happened, and all of that means the process of building skills is this back and forth, water in and then let out until there’s a level I’m comfortable bathing in. Right now, anything above my waist and I begin to panic, and there’s always the fear that I’ll be swamped unexpectedly and simply drown. Control therefore is paramount.

Then I realise that if I learnt to swim and breathe underwater, all my problems would vanish overnight.

My daughter's Oil on Canvas

This means a lot of panic when people respond to me, I’ll be honest, especially thoseย I don’t know well. I’m not able to hold onto the thought of good or great either for that long, because there’s this constant background rumble of ‘nope, this isn’t as good as it could be try harder now’ย which also requires some work. That’s why walking has become so important, that jamming headphones on and being elsewhere isn’t just a temporary escape, it has become the means by which I can readjust myself to what’s going on. Music is so hugely significant in everything, and has become the rhythm by which my progress is measured. It’s taken a decade, but my tastes are changing too, expanding and growing as my abilities begin to emerge.

Mostly, fear breeds control, which in turn creates balance.