Last week I confessed my intermittent fear of writing. Today I want to tell you how I combat that fear, should you want to know. Three writers/teachers help keep me sane when despair sidelines me.
One is Julia Cameron, as I’ve mentioned before, especially her book The Right to Write. My daily habit of morning pages comes from Julia. Sometimes I use her as my audience and it helps.
A second but no less important book is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, which reminds me to chunk the big projects. As in, I’m not writing a novel, oh, no. I’m just writing two or three pages a day that might gel into a novel
And then there’s Natalie Goldberg, who appears in my notebook as Nat, I feel that friendly toward her. I’ve just reread Wild Mind like I’m deficient in Vitamin D and need sunshine and nourishment. At times like that, I needed to hear her say, “Shut up and write. Fill a notebook a month. Keep your hand moving.”
My copies of these books are underlined in different colors because I’ve grabbed a different color pen with each reading. With these three mentors in the same room with me, failure is not an option because failure has little to do with money or prestige. Failure would be to stop writing.