I don't write about my writing here much,
but today I just wanted to touch on it-- I've been stuck. STUCK, stucky stuck. Stuckola. Stuckorama. Stuckstuckshittystuck.
Why? Because I have been trying to make something GOOD. Trying usually is a killer for me, trying to make something good is a double whammy. My writing happens best when it spills.
I have been reading and gathering little pieces of this and that as I move toward my futureKate-- little pieces like the concept of allowing myself to suck at something, make a mess, not make it all pretty all the time, I have been thinking about what it means to create, and what it means not to. When the creativity feels thwarted or it is a time of resting and gathering rather than producing. I am gathering information like a crow I think, bringing pieces and parts back to my nest, not sure what to make of it all. Dreams and thoughts and wonderings, trying to be driven more by what feels good than an aversion to what feels bad. Craving a pull not a push.
I have blogs I adore that support me although they may never know, my dearest Karen, Brene Brown, Jen Lee, Jen Gray, Maya Stein, and a new one I found today via Jen Lee's blog-- warrior girl that I will link here so I do not lose. (She has a beautiful recent post about imperfection which felt JUST RIGHT).
I am reading by random pages a book by Julia Cameron (Walking in the world), and find myself in there sometimes in an almost laughable way like I've been found out, and other times, not at all, like I am a stranger peeking in. She writes a lot about the artist's life-- the life of an artist where Artist has a broad and wonderfully inclusive definition. (Beware IFers, she uses MANY pregnancy/conception/birthing/child metaphors for art and it is pervasive and startling so this is not a book I am suggesting/recommending.)
Anyway, so I've been stuck with my writing project, a novella that I have loved during the writing and labored horribly and unhappily over during the editing process. Since it is made of pieces written over a long time, I've been trying to gather it together, started to worry about what it would take to make it good.
Thanks to a random reading in Julia's book, I realized I was trying to make it good for other people. And by doing so, I was losing what I loved about it. And I was losing my connection to it. It was starting (ok, more than starting) to feel like work, not love.
And then, a few days back, another random read brought me this:
Oh, I said. Just begin. That does not sound so scary. Beginning is not the same thing as CREATING A MASTERPIECE.
And so, crazy as it sounds, I did. And not only have I had the most productive days working on the project in months and months and months, but I am happy doing it, I am happy about it, and it feels really really good. As if I have taken possession of it again. I am not editing it to make it good for out there (hands waving), but for making it good in here.
So today-- I realized in the shower that much of what I worry about is finishing/making something good. I worry so much, in fact, that it slobs all the way back to muck up even the possibility at the start of something, that place where we pick up the pen or shoes or instrument. I am so worried about finishing, that I don't even begin.
Well. Not today, baby. Today? Screw finishing. Today, I BEGIN.