I never adopted a creative credo, but the accompanying sign in the photo pretty much sums it up: Yield to Whim. I love to. I just don’t do it enough lately.
In recent weeks I allowed work and other initiatives to overwhelm me. Schedules and to-do lists are anathema to the impulses that shape my creative work.
The characters in my head and heart say they need my attention. So do a handful of people in the flesh whose voices speak louder.
In recent weeks, I can’t even say that I’ve been torn between the challenging groups competing for my time. It is much easier to ignore the passionate and slightly crazed people I created because: a) Seriously, where are my characters going? They are trapped inside me. b) Deadlines for non-fiction PAYING work matter. A lot. c). There’s always tomorrow. d). I am afraid.
Now that I’ve upchucked those nasty excuses for binge-ignoring work that energizes me most, I feel better. Sometimes as writers, we have to be honest about the stumbling blocks we place in front of our heart’s desires. Often the biggest barrier is the oversized role that fear plays when we allow it.
I didn’t realize that I still feel fear about completing my various projects and releasing them into the world until I wrote this post. Full disclosure: I actually erased reason D and in a moment of throwback Catholic guilt restored it. Why lie? Especially to myself.
Failing to set time aside for my novel and screenplays — all stories that deal with finding one’s voice while illuminating the emotional truths that shape us — makes me a coward. The worst kind. You know, the self-assured, so-called writers who do more talking about their precious work than actual butt-in-the-seat writing. I don’t want to be that person anymore.
So I listened to Whim when she whispered to write this post. I leaned in close when she winked and said, “Then go hang out with some demanding people who love you as much as you love them.”
Thank you, darlin’. I’m on my way!