Tales & images from life as me…

TIA Tales – the Knowing & letting go of the How


In amongst all the wedding stuff, I’ve been a pretty wayward writer recently. This week’s blog might inspire a few of you – it’s worked for me.

You see, there was a big part of me that had let the doubts take over. I had the perfect excuse – I’m very busy with organizing. But if I’d really wanted to write I could have. I managed to keep doing the articles and meeting deadlines, why not the book?

I don’t know if any other writer feels this way, but I know that if I finish this book I’ll have to show it to someone, if I show it someone I’ll either get rejected or it’ll be published, if it gets published I invite more criticism. The idea of actually finishing a book is terrifying, it opens you up to everyone’s opinion and we all know we can’t please all the people all the time. Plus I have a few style concerns and structural issues I want to work out… So I froze.

This has been termed The Stuck. It’s not a block, I know exactly what happens in my story, I am not blocked, just Stuck.

During my Stuck I went to have a drink with a friend. I wasn’t feeling like going, I was tired and uninspired, but she’s a good friend and I didn’t want to let her down so I got into the sun-baked car and dragged myself down to the lake side and we started to talk.

It all came out, the whole situation, the story, the questions, and when I finished she looked at me and said “where’s your Knowing gone?”

“Huh?!” (that was me!)

“Remember when you wanted to move to Africa? [I’m nodding] Did you worry about How it would happen or did you just know you wanted to go?”

“Well I just decided. I actually don’t remember it being that hard at all. I had two interviews, got one but turned it down and then whilst I was waiting to hear from the second a totally random one – a friend of the first Headmaster – offered me a job in Kenya. Just like that. I hadn’t even applied for a job there! I went!”

“Right! That’s because you had the Knowing. You knew you were going to go and because of the Knowing you let go of the How.”

My clever, clever friend has just drawn back the bolts and let the fresh air in again!

Now I’m not saying I’ve returned to my computer and written the rest of the book, but I have begun again. I am talking to friends with any contacts at all in the publishing industry in case there might be any hope of a conversation to solve my style queries and I’m editing the first 50,000 words I’ve already done. I am going to finish this book and I’m working very hard to build the Knowing that one day this will get published (and probably criticized but I guess I just have to learn to live with that!).

That’s my lesson for the week, but it doesn’t only apply to writing. I hope it helps a few of you too. Don’t do The Stuck! You are never as stuck as you think, there is always a way out even it seems impossible. (Remind me of this in a couple of months please someone!).

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4 responses

  1. carriepots

    Mel … that blog is TOTALLY inspiring and so true … a really enlightening lesson on the importance of ‘communication’ … on not allowing your fears and emotions to end up choking you! A problem shared is often not only a ‘problem halved’ but a ‘problem solved’ ! Very well done. Keep going!

    November 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  2. Hilly

    Excellent lesson and , as you say, applicable to a myriad of situations.
    Well done!

    November 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm

  3. Exactly what I needed.

    December 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    • Sorry Ellen, should have responded to this… So I’m doing it now and wishing you a very happy new year! Thank you for being one of my top commenters in 2012- I hope you’ll keep reading this year.

      January 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm

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