Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A question of strength

Today marks the 86th straight day in which I’ve done some rough draft work. Sometimes just a poem, other days I’ve written as much as 2000 words. The important thing for me right now is the act of showing up. When I do that, my moods are more even and I tend to be more creative overall. It’s the kind of streak that won’t last forever, but it reminds me why taking the time to commit to my work is important.

I'm kind of more in the blue circle right now.

That being said, I’m struggling with the work—particularly the part where I’m supposed to focus on rewriting and making the words sing, and the part where I need to send stuff out and collect rejections, and the part where I should probably make a list of agents and polish the novel query like I’ve been meaning to do for over a year now.

I’m really reluctant about that part, almost on a molecular level. Bit by bit the urge is returning, because I do want to share my work with others. That being said, writing to get published was a huge factor in the massive depression from which I’m emerging, which makes me leery of the risks involved. Not just rejection, though that’s never enjoyable, but the sense of futility and invisibility that have dogged me.

Let's face it, none of us will ever be as awesome as Helen Mirren and Judi Dench.

So here’s what I’m wondering, my fellow creative types: Do you know how to distinguish between legitimate self-care and recalcitrant foot-dragging? How do you tell them apart? Have you found a way to give yourself the courage to fail, while still making a safe space for the fragile parts of your soul?

I could really use your advice.

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