I often wish that my typing was in step with my thinking. I wish the words would flow from my fingers to the keys as fast and as often as they come to my mind.
But they don’t.
Most often I just sit, thinking – over-thinking – in front of my keyboard, my fingers at the ready……and nothing happens. It’s not that I don’t have words, I don’t have ideas. In that regard, I can’t turn the tap off. Most of the time I have too many ideas, too many thoughts to express – have I mentioned I am currently working on three books??
The problem, I know is me, getting in my own way. ALL. THE. TIME. I worry too much about how to say things or even should I say things (my first novel Hope Quest dealt with incest and I struggled for months over whether or not I should include that at all). I also deal with crippling self-doubt that anything I write will want to be read. What’s the point of writing if no one is reading??
I recently got a new shirt to practice my yoga in. Across the chest, it announces: “Progress not perfection.” After three years, I have come to embrace that idea in my daily yoga practice. Yoga is not about having a perfect body or having perfect poses. It’s about challenging yourself (mentally and physically) and also embracing yourself wherever you are on your spiritual/physical journey. It’s very much a self-centered practice, done by you and for you only, no audience necessary or needed.
I’m starting to come to realize that I should embrace my writing in that same way.
I don’t do the most graceful backbends, but I still do them. I don’t yet have the ability to do handstands in the middle of the floor, so I do them against the wall. I don’t overthink when I am practicing yoga. I don’t stress, I don’t doubt. I flow through the motions without worrying whether or not I can or even if I should.
If I sit down at my desk with that same mindset ( perhaps that same “progress not perfection” shirt, too!) maybe, just maybe, I will find my writing flow, too – and having an audience would just be an added bonus.