I have a peculiar relationship with the blank page. Sometimes I can sit down before a fresh sheet of paper and sit paralyzed for minutes that stretch into hours. Other times I sit down and as soon as the tip of my pen comes into contact with the paper, the words just flow. Then there are days where I mulled over a line, phrase, word, or idea and I can’t get to a sheet of paper fast enough because I can feel the avalanche of creativity about to burst from me. Despite our peculiar relationship, I know I will never stop writing.
Writing brings me so much pleasure. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” When you envision the writing process in that manner, it is no wonder that writing or the blank page can cause paralysis of ideas or writer’s block for some. But, ah, think of the chance you are taking when you face that blank page.
When I was a teenager, I used to spend a lot of time with my cousins especially when they travelled out of state. One particular time, we stayed in a hotel and went down to the pool. I’d never had a swimming lesson in my life, had never been within ten feet of a pool. And, now, here I was wearing my little white swim suit and climbing down into the pool. I didn’t know how to swim and there was a moment when I went down underwater and couldn’t get back up. I panicked, thought I was going to drown. No one knew I was underwater panicking. And then somehow I was breaking the surface of water and climbing out of the pool. I looked around and felt incredulous that no one had known how close I’d been to dying. This used to be my “why I’ll never go swimming again” story. But a few summers ago, while my daughter was away at college, we drove up to spend a couple of days with her. We checked into a hotel near the campus and went swimming. All of my children, except the youngest, know how to swim because they learned when I used to work at a daycare. The daycare owner took the kids out to her house and taught them how to swim in her pool. Some of my co-workers tried to teach me how to swim but the memory of my moment of almost-drowning kept me paralyzed. But at the hotel with my kids, I tried again. I asked them to teach me how to swim. The important thing, for me, is that I got over my fear and got back in the water. And that’s how I approach my writing. I get back in every day. I face the blank page every day, knowing that I may face rejection. I may release my work and it take years and years and years for my work to be read. For people to fall in love with my work the way I fall in love over and over again when I begin writing. But I will face the blank page every day.
Here’s today’s poem:
We were always saying good-bye
though he never knew or, if he did,
he never acknowledged it. Every time
we saw each other, it was the beginning
of our good-bye. The space between us
grew – became filled up with bloated lies,
false expectations, & dawning realizations –
how could I have hoarded the expectations
that you would love me like I love you?
you don’t. Instead of carrying the love
I placed in your heart, you ripped it out
like an imitation voice box, one that
obviously could not give expression to
all your selfish deeds & petty schemes.
Good-bye began to move in when
I began to realize her presence in the space
made much more sense than Love.
Good-bye was anxious to move in,
wanted to make her presence known,
wanted to be seen as soon as she showed me
Love tiptoeing out the back door, but
I begged her to be patient, to give us time
to adjust to the beginning of good-bye.
Just because it takes time
doesn’t mean I’m not going to say good-bye,
it just means I’m holding her hand now,
standing in the shadows waiting
for the right time to release her hand
and welcome Good-bye in the house.
Peace & Love,
Today, just go. Whatever your passion is, go toward it. Don’t shrink back with the paralysis of fear. Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen and then go despite whatever your answer is.
Also, here’s the link to my books: http://www.amazon.com/Blues-Love-Junkie-Rosalind-Guy/dp/0692416382/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428820313&sr=8-1&keywords=Blues+of+a+Love+Junkie. Go check them out.
Let nothing prevent you from following your passion today, least of all fear. 🙂