Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Unwelcome Guests


I was in a writing funk yesterday. It really got a hold of me. I felt angry, sad, not good enough, a writing failure. All these negative emotions galloping around in my head. It seemed like they were having a good time hanging out there together, egging each other on, talking each other up. They were in no hurry to leave. As usual, I was a great host. I let them stay all day with me. I didn't tell them to leave. I fed them well - here I said why don't you meet guilt and while we're at it let me introduce you to self pity - I think you'll like her. She'll really add to the mix going on up there. And so they stayed and they partied and they trashed the place. They were loud and obnoxious and mean, really mean. Why on earth was I putting up with them? I don't remember inviting them - they simply turned up and rather than turning them away and saying "not today thanks," I let them in and gave them permission to trample all over me.

As they were being so noisy, I had to leave to find some quiet space. I went to the library. I sat in solitude and edited a story. I thought about other things I could write, I jotted down some ideas in a notepad. I listened to the whirr and click of the microfiche being used behind me. The noise in my head subsided somewhat. Things started to feel a little calmer. Back home, after reassurances (or more like giant waves of love and hugs) from a hugely supportive writer friend (you know who you are Ros) I was shown the way to a Blog post written by Tonia Hurst

I quietly read her words letting them sink deep into me. Much resonated but the line I couldn't get out of my head was: "I decided to write, regardless of all the risks." These were the words I needed to hear. They jumped up and down inside of me, causing a buzz of excitement and realisation. I realised that all these negative emotions had shown up to highlight my fears and "what ifs"

· What if you aren't good enough to write
· What if you can't actually do it
· What if you never get published
· What if everyone hates your work
· What if you can't finish a novel
· What if you're on a road to nowhere
· What if you don't make any money from this
· What if you fail at this

I also realised those emotions had turned up to show me some other things, positive things. They wanted to let me know how passionate I am about writing. How do I know? Well, frankly why would I experience such anger and frustration over a subject that meant nothing to me. I also recognised they were here to protect me. If I felt sorry for myself and decided not to write ever again, it would be ok. I wouldn't have to worry or think about all those "what ifs" that lay ahead of me. In the end, I actually felt quite grateful for their visit.

A new guest arrived early this morning. Her name is Hope. She brought new "what if" messages that sound like this:

· What if you are good enough
· What if you can do it
· What if there is every possibility of you being published
· What if some people love your work
· What if you are able to finish a novel
· What if you're on the road to somewhere wonderful
· What if you're able to make enough money from this joyful activity
· What if you succeed

So this morning I raised my other guests from their heavy slumbers, and with love and forgiveness, I thanked them for visiting and requested that they leave now. This freed up some space and so Hope invited some of her friends along. They are called Belief, Courage, Curiosity, Kindness and Love.

And so today I write, regardless of the risks.

Thank you Tonia.

1 comment:

  1. Angela, love this post, especially, how you personified your unwelcome guests. Glad you sent them packing. I far prefer your new guests. They must make a welcome change!

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