I had a moment of feeling really stupid the other day. I realized that I have managed to find myself in the same position I have been in so often. I write and speak about these “Aha” moments and yet weeks later it is as if I never learned (or taught) the lesson.
On July 4th I gave my talk at church. It was about “Living the Questions.” I used my writing as the prime example of what happens when you create your own answers and when you finally let go of those answers. In respect to the other novels I wrote I had a strong desire to see them published and successful. Those were the answers that consumed me. By becoming obsessed with the outcome, I found it hard to complete the process. Those two books aren’t what they could be and I haven’t had the motivation or desire to do what needs to be done to fix them.
You’ve heard this all before, I know. I’ve been blogging long enough now that you may have noticed I tend to repeat myself. The point is I’m doing it again, that thing I told the congregation at my church not to do. I have all these “answers” floating around in my head. And this week I hit a bump in the road. The suggestions I received about my writing were extremely helpful and I’m totally capable of making the changes mentioned. But you see I’ve been answering those questions about HOW and WHEN and the work that I need to do just doesn’t fit in the parameters of my answers.
I’ve spent the last 5 days frustrated, blocked, and a wee bit grumpy. The story is still in my head constantly (thank goodness), but I haven’t put one word of it on the page. I have to let go of my answers on this one. I HAVE TO! The results aren’t really important, what is important is following the path I’m drawn to. The signs from the Universe are screaming that this book get written. So all that really matters right now is that I write, little by little, day by day.
So this is another one of those lessons for myself. It is a reminder to surrender my own answers and live the questions. I don’t need to know what and when things will happen. I just need to take the small steps until I end up walking right into those answers.
A long time ago when Amy and I had a disruption in our friendship she gave me a framed picture of a flower growing up through a dried and cracked piece of earth. It said “There are moments in life when you are given the choice between giving up or going on.” I said in a comment on Friday that this is where I felt I was with this writing project. Just like Amy and I chose with our friendship, I think I’ll go on…minus the time line and expectations.