Most of my writing insecurity comes when I am not actually writing. While I am wandering about my day, life can sometimes feel so out of focus compared to my time spent at the desk. Or I should say, while writing I more easily understand how to turn the lens that brings life into focus. I do not like this fuzzy feeling, and so I try to remember when life felt in focus, and now I’m thinking about writing, and now the story I am telling, and now here comes that insecurity. Standing in my kitchen or in the shower, my story makes no sense to me. I cannot feel it, I can only see its disconnected parts, which from my current vantage no longer appear to fit together. A slow panic begins to build until I put these thoughts of my writing down and turn my attention to where I actually am. Eventually, of course, I find myself back the desk, and now I quiet my mind, and now I enter the stream of the story, and now I am feeling it, and now I understand it again and know how the pieces don’t even fit together for they aren’t pieces, they are all just a part of the same stream.
I cannot be reminded often enough that I only truly understand my story when I am actually telling it. Trying to understand a story while I’m not telling it is like trying to understand a conversation I am not yet having. This understanding can bring about its own insecurity if you start believing the unknown is a dangerous realm of darkened roads and foreign customs. Squinting uselessly into the future, it seems all but certain you will become lost.
Until the future is the present and now life is looking very familiar. You may never have been in this moment, but you have always been you, and now that the moment and you have met, you can resume your conversation.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.