Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writers Support Group every month. Go to his blog to see the other participants, and understand what the group is all about.
I’m almost 30 chapters into my first ever novel.
I spoke about writer’s block in the September 2012 IWSG , which was all about denying my fear. I was afraid, deathly afraid. Of writing. Of not writing. Of my characters. Of being my characters.
Today, as I move on towards finishing the first draft, 73000 words in, I should be full of fear again. Will I able to finish this? Will I be able to edit it? Do rewrites? Will my beta readers hate it? My editors destroy it?
This is precisely what Thich Nhat Hanh talks about:
“Carried away by our worries, we’re unable to live fully and happily in the present. Deep down, we believe we can’t really be happy just yet—that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life. We speculate, dream, strategize, and plan for these “conditions of happiness” we want to have in the future; and we continually chase after that future, even while we sleep.”
His solution is this meditation:
I have arrived, I am home
In the here, in the now.
I am solid, I am free.
In the ultimate I dwell.
This helps me focus in the now. My immediate concern is whether I wrote a few words today, and that is all. Once my words for the day are done, I can focus on living the today, with all it has to offer me.
And why worry about publication? Even if I get traditionally published, or my book becomes a success, my life essentially would be the same — I would still write everyday, live my everyday life. If not, my life would still be my life, with its daily joys and challenges. (Notice the number of times I repeat Live and Life? That’s deliberate.)
Either way, I’m already Living that Life, aren’t I?
I’ll work each day as it comes, each setback and progress as it hits me, and keep writing. Writing everyday. That’s what writers do, after all.