“Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it is impossible for anyone to accomplish. But whatever is possible for another, believe that you, too, are capable of it.”
So, what does a Roman Emperor (from the year 180) have to do with me–a writer from the 21st century?
I’m not exactly sure what Marcus A. had in mind when he wrote this, but I like the quote. [Oddly, Marcus A. was referenced an episode I saw sometime back of Law & Order: CI (with Vincent D'Onofrio), but--believe me--not in a way that had anything to do with writing.]
Reading the quote helped me realize how I’d not readily shown myself the same confidence and support that was so easy to give other people. I’ve learned to remind myself – quietly, gently – to remember to remind myself that I, too, can create something I admire another doing. (Another way to put with would be, I can be or become willing to be willing to believe that I can. There is something magical about expressing simply a willingness to be willing.) Not to create the same something that someone else did, but something that reflects me. Of course, what I create will be different. That is the point.
Finding it hard to be myself arises when I focus too much outside of myself at a time in the process when it’s not appropriate to do that yet. A basic example would be the raw, free writing versus the technical editing. Or even the first-read-through edit. to me, editing requires attention to the reader–asking, is what I’m saying clear/clear enough to the reader? Some stages of it, anyway. The earlier stages are often devoted, in my experience, to getting the story on the page. Or different lines of a story. (It can be messy.) Writing, however, requires the attention of only the writer/the self. The “goal?” Simply write whatever comes out. It might be a list, a narrative, a rant, a jumble that means nothing, mathematical symbols, a picture, swear words, a disjointed paragraph…you get the point.
And the point it, that is all that needs to be done at that moment. You/I/we can all do that.
My [Inner] Writing Journey [One Writer's Soul on the Soul of Writing], also known as The Recovering Creative, lands now and again.