January 21st, 2014
I’ve done an informal observation of the first few weeks of 2014, and have noticed many people moving past their old beliefs of themselves and pushing the boundaries. This might mean returning to the core of who they are, or fighting beyond self-imposed restrictions and self-limiting perceptions that keep them tied to the same old things. I’m not an astrology person, but if I were, I’m sure there’d be some cosmic planetary alignment anomaly going on that’s causing the collective unconscious to redefine itself.
I know it’s happening to me.
For the past many years, I’ve pretty much coasted along from thing to thing and allowed myself to get swept up in this or that, which defrayed my focus on the one true thing: the book I’m writing. I’m sure it’s unconscious and there’s a million reasons why I’ve distracted myself (I’m quite certain “fear of financial success” is not one of them), but whenever I’m speaking to someone about the this or that (blogging, let’s say; or my writing existential crisis), I hear: you need to finish your book.
Now I know that’s true, but there’s so many other things: making a living, taking care of the kids, worrying about why there’s so much dust in my house – and then dusting it. However, there are fears behind the lack of manuscript completion that I’m avoiding facing.
I promised myself I’d march past those fears this year. Then as if to cement my promise, I received an email from a mesothelioma survivor who told me that after she’d had her left lung removed eight years ago, she created “Lung Leavin’ Day” to commemorate the day that changed her life forever and tackling the fear of surgery and her disease head on.
To celebrate, she invites her friends and family over every year on February 2 and asks them to write their fears on plates and then smash them in a spectacular bonfire made of phoenix pixie dust (I made that last part up).
I’ll smash my virtual plates in communion.
Here they are:
1) I’ll finish my book and it will blow ass.
2) I’ll never finish my book and just keep writing posts like this saying how I need to finish my book.
3) My plotting sucks and my story ideas are ridiculous.
4) I’m nothin’ special.
5) I can’t write anyway, so why bother?
6) What if this is my only idea ever, and I finish the book and I’m dried up?
I’ve been stuck in the middle of my book forever. I have 100 pages and 25,000 words written. Given that most middle grade novels are in the 40,000-word range, I’m more than half done! I mean, COME ON. Of course, there’s the revising and the editing and the culling and the curating and the darling killing, but I could have a shitty first draft in one month if I wrote 500 words from now until February 21.
I don’t know, like I said, things feel different this year. Sort of as if my fears and will to distract are being bowled over by the Universe’s intention.
So, I’ll go with it, and SMASH. Smash it hard.
What fear plates are you smashing this year?
Please post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.
To bone up on PROMPTuesdays, read a bit about it here.