I’ve been up against a wall with my writing for some time now. The wall is made of doubt, lots of it, and fear, lots of that too, and it’s bricked me in for a long time. I keep thinking I’m brave enough, strong enough, persistent enough to try to make my way over it, but I don’t know. There are many people who get permanently stuck on this side of the wall, and I might be one.
It all started with some rejections—what else?—and it occurs to me that I’ve been pretty much stalled at the same place for going on two years. I’ve been reacting to those rejections internally for so long I can’t even recall what specifically to be upset about. There’s no one rejection that’s any worse than another. It’s a general malaise. A hopelessness. It affected the project that was rejected, of course, but it has also gone on to affect every single writing project I’ve tackled since then. Everything I try to do is colored by it. I just can’t seem to let myself forget.
Yesterday, on Sunday, I tried a walk. Didn’t help. I tried organizing procedures for my new job so I’m more on top of things for today. Maybe it will help when I get there today, but it didn’t help yesterday. I tried afternoon coffee. I tried some hip-hop to get my heart pumping. I tried closing my eyes. I tried opening them. I tried everything except writing, I guess. When I came home, I was down near miserable. But then E started trying to talk to me—he can have such a soothing manner with me, such contrast to my negativity; I don’t know how he does it. At first I didn’t want him to talk me out of my mood. The wall was all I could see and I just felt like dwelling on it. But he knows how deeply I can wallow, so he kept talking. And as he talked, as he started telling me some ideas he had for solutions, some bright spots I could focus on in my/our future, I forgot how miserable I was. I started feeling, dare I say it, hopeful. I forgot that I was stuck and let myself think, for a few minutes there, which is a start, and what I need is a start, that maybe, maybe I could avoid the wall entirely. Dodge it. Take an entirely new route.
Now, the next morning, I am feeling tentative. But not hopeless. That’s a good start.