I read something the other day that said one of the most important things to do with a creative endeavor is to be authentic. Quit trying to please people by striving to figure out what they like or want or need. Stop trying to be popular! Quit reading self help books on how to be outgoing, entertaining, talkative, uninhibited or whatever flavor of the day you think you should be.
Be yourself. Be authentic. That sounds like very sound advice, except…
I feel like I’m in this period of fluctuation. I hate to use the word “change” because for me it has a context of changing myself to do all that pleasing that I just wrote about. Rather than simply adjusting to change, I analyze the change to death, trying to figure out what I need to change about myself or my actions so the big, bad change I want to avoid never happens again.
The good thing is, I’m seeing how ridiculous that is.
But I’m still stuck with that point of being authentic. Who the heck am I now? It’s kind of like going through adolescence all over again, as youth fades into the sunset and I adjust to a new way of being. What was important before seems silly to me now. Yet, nothing concrete has replaced what “was” with what “is.”
I’m glad I have my book to work on during this period of unknowns and confusion. I say that like there’s ever been a period where I’ve been certain and confident about myself and my life. Ha! That’s a laugh!
In truth, what is great about now, is how curious and excited I feel about the uncertainty. Yeah, I’m a little scared too.
But when I try to jump ahead and figure everything out or create some big plan, I say, “Whoa Maery! What are you doing right now? Focus and finish!”
I have to tell myself this about a hundred times a day, but still, it feels so good every time I remember that I don’t have to have all the answers or finish everything or even do this one thing I’m doing right now perfectly.
Working on the book feels like something solid to turn to. It’s not exactly pleasant, but more like a practice that I believe will lead to… Well, I don’t know yet, which is part of the magic of story.
I want to know what the main character is going to do next.