The more I write, the more I begin to believe that writers, innately, must be insane people.
I subject myself to the same anxiety that comes with looking at a blank sheet paper that must magically transform into something legible, day after day. And this is a practice I believe to be fun. Really? Staring at the ceiling, while grasping my hands so tight that they begin to turn a blush white, and simultaneously praying to every god and saint (even the ones my mom considers to be of the Santeria variety) for divine intervention, is something I consider to be enjoyable?
In the midst of me stretching the skin on my face diabolically, while trying to complete my writing assignments for the day, it hits me: It’s not only writers who feel this. The feeling of constant self-doubt coexisting with a type of bright-eyed hope is an experience reserved for anyone who his crazy/romantic/brave enough to have the desire to create something… anything.
So why go through the pain? Those of us looking to create a business, a purpose, a painting, a revolution; are we all just crazy? Or is there something bigger than ourselves that drives us?
The answer is yes. And while there might not always be a logical explanation as to why we strive to create, there’s a responsibility that comes with hearing the call. You must answer. Even when the self-doubt screams louder than the peaceful feeling of knowing that something is pushing you to move forward with your creation. We just have to trust and obey.
Author Anne Lamott said it best in her book, “Bird by Bird.” “You just have to keep getting out of your own way so that whatever it is that wants to be written can use you to write it.”
That quote gives me such comfort. And it rings true for anyone who feels moved to create something, conquer a goal, or live a dream. You just have to push the self-doubt aside and go on with your bad self.
When a thought is constantly popping up in your head and guiding you to make a move, make it. Yes, while taking the step you might think, “What the F am I doing?” It happens to me every day. But just because you don’t answer the call doesn’t mean the phone will stop ringing.
Answer it. And surrender to your calling. As for the self-doubt, well, you can always use it for creative inspiration.