Furlough 62: Venture Forth

I hate this part. I stand with one foot in the boat and the other on the shore.

A writer can’t help but think of how they did it before; how they went about it, using all the different methods that helped and hurt them; and how they either did or didn’t get the story finished and why that is and what’s with that, huh? How come you can’t finish things? Never mind published, since I have not gotten there yet. But finished. What worked and what didn’t.

I fumble for answers. A couple times today I walked over to my collection of craft writing books looking for the answers. I found none.

This is a precarious place for me to be. I can’t spend so much time researching character and story and POV and genre, but then I can’t do so little that I don’t know where I’m going, just making it up as I go along.

I must just do enough of the first so that I can confidently venture out to do the other.

Long story short, there was a lot of up-and-down from my desk. A lot of pacing. A little bit too much worry. Worry not so much for what I’m going to write or how I’m gonna say it or even the bigger things of will it be published and all that.

What I was worried about the most today was the beginning of that anxiety of will this be yet another story that I won’t be able to finish. Because in my mind, I haven’t finished anything. This is a common fear among writers. That’s what I keep telling myself.

But something is different. I believe that. And that something is that I will try not to repeat what I’ve done before, I will try not to worry so much about what’s going to happen with this.

In other words I will try not to worry so much about getting lost in the book. Because before, I had not had the kind of faith and belief in myself that I have now. And that’s what it comes down to. It’s not that I have a map, it’s the belief that I have a map inside of me. It’s not that I have all the answers before I start out, it’s that I believe l I don’t have the answers but venture out anyway.

Besides what’s the fun in knowing everything about your journey? And the keyword there is fun. Diving in and making a mess, getting lost a little —this is what I love about the art form and this is what keeps me coming back to it. It’s not building a structure and then covering it to make it complete. It’s not a building metaphor at all. It’s more like playing in the sand.

My writer self has buried all these things in the sand and now it’s my job to find them and figure out where they go. It’s a messy metaphor, but then so is writing. So am I!

It’s almost time to get in the boat and venture forth!

Have a safe and healthy day!

Create and complete!

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