What Happens Next.

show up

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Although I am still showing up to write every day, lately I have been stuck on one particular chapter.

Sure, I still open my laptop, read what I have and manage to squeeze out a few more sentences. But when I close the laptop I still have no idea what happens next so I have no idea where to start the next day.

But the next days arrives and I open my work-in-progress and eke out a sentence or two. I close it, satisfied that I am living up to my goal of writing something each day, disappointed that it feels like such a lame, extremely low bar effort.

This went on for a couple of weeks.

Then today, I take myself to the bookstore, snag my favorite table by the window, get my venti iced soy chai, open my laptop, pop in my earplugs, and set Freedom for a ninety- minute session and start to write.

Reader, by the end of the session, I finished that chapter. And I am set up perfectly for the next chapter.

I am stuck in the messy, bogged down middle of my novel. I can’t imagine it ever being done. But I show up each day anyway. Each word, no matter how few or how lame they may seem, leads me forward.

And that is why I continue to show up, day after day, even when—no, especially when— I have no idea what happens next.  Because showing up daily has taught me to trust that eventually I will write my way into exactly what happens next.

 

 

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Remembering What I Forgot.

Writing Begets Writing

I spent much of yesterday frantically looking outside myself for inspiration/motivation to actually sit down and write something. Anything. I clicked from site to site, link to link searching for those magic words that would propel me to the blank page. I considered taking (yet another) on-line class that I’ve heard only wonderful things about. But. $900 and I am saving for a trip to Europe with my daughters.

Luckily, in the middle of this panic mode, my heart stepped in. “Sweetie,” it said. “Just go sit down and write. Anything. It doesn’t matter what. You know this. You know that writing begets writing. You know that showing up is more than half the battle. You know to show up even on days you don’t want. Especially on those days.”

So, I listened to my heart. I sat down and the words just tumbled out of me. I don’t know what the quality of the work was but that doesn’t matter. My objective was quantity, of any amount. Just write something.

My heart was right. I know this. I know this deeply and profoundly.

I spent decades not knowing this. Decades reading every writing book I could get my hands on. Decades spent reading more about writing than actually writing.

Yesterday I forget what I already knew. And that’s okay. I remembered again.