One thing that I have been thinking about is resolving my competing commitments. I long to be a writer, more than anything, I want to write novels and publish them and move past this crippling doubt. And I know I DO want those things. My desire manifests itself constantly every time I wander into a bookstore and feel myself pulled towards to those talismans of the writing life—writing books. Books on plotting, planning, creation, starting, finishing, revising and revisiting. Invariably, I pull off the shelf, flip through the pages, searching, always searching for that one perfect phrase, that formula that would pull me out of myself, and replace me with the writer I've always dreamed of becoming.
But I always find myself disappointed. Because the books, inspirational though they can be, can't do the work for me. They can't put fingers to keyboard, they can't pull the words out of my often clenched mind. They can't write the book for me.
And that leads me to the other competing commitment. The commitment to NOT writing, to NOT exposing my dream to the harsh realities of my limited ability. The commitment to protect myself. Because if I really try, and if I see that I am no good, then I will be forced to give up. I will never be a writer. What will I dream about? What hope will sustain me then?
The book I just finished reading said that I should test my big assumption (in this case, the total belief that if I try, I will realize that I will never be good enough or know enough to write, and thus I'll need to give up) with small, safe experiments. But what kind of experiment would that be? Because even writing a few words towards my novel unleashes that fear that the worst is already true and cannot be changed.
This is what I need to discover.