I’m writing as I sit waiting to board my flight to Tampa to later board a flight to Georgia, where I’m to meet relatives for the first time.
I’m a bit nervous and excited at the same time.
It reminds me of when I have the first inspiring idea of an unfolding story that I knew had the potential to be great. I’m excited because I love the story and the characters and can’t wait to delve deeper in this world. But I’m also nervous that I’m not up to the challenge. I’m nervous that it’s not as good as I think it is.
In other words, I’m afraid of failure.
I’ve been told by others (and most likely gave this advice myself) that you need to embrace failure. Without the risk of failure, you really can’t achieve anything. I wouldn’t be where I am, heading off to meet my wonderful family I didn’t know existed.
But embracing failure it like saying embracing pain and though this is still good advice, it’s kind of hard to swallow.
It would be much easier to understand if we take failure out of the picture all together.
When I feel nervous and, instead of reacting to the emotion, I watch myself be nervous and be in the present moment, my mind becomes quiet. There are no thoughts or opinions going on in my head about my nervousness or what I was doing. I was just simply aware without thought what I was doing.
When I do that, my nervousness disappears because the idea of failure never happens. I’ve taken failure out of the equation all together.
I wonder if the distinction between writers who write and those procrastinate is simply that writers who are prolific are able to work without thinking or rather nothing outside the action of creating a story and all its elements. They are present when they work and that is why time flies without them noticing because there aren’t in time; they’re in the present moment that is never ending.
I have had those moments, but it’s not something I thought I could do on command. Now I’m wondering if I can.
So, my new writing goals are going to be a little different this year. Instead of setting a goal as “500 words a day” or “finish the first draft of Beasts”, I will focus more on my state of mind, on “being” rather than “doing.”
My new goal will be to be as present minded as possible when I write.
My state of mind will be my primary goal. The writing will be my secondary goal.
Let’s see what happens.
It’s not just for writing either. I will be present minded whenever I remember to do so. For this trip to Georgia, I have no real idea what to expect. I’m not even thinking about it. I’m now in this moment, taking it as it comes and completely open to whatever happens.
I feel like I’m approaching a brand new horizon I never knew existed and don’t even know what it will offer. It’s kind of exciting.
What about you? Any new goals this year? Any epiphanies?