I don’t know if it’s that time of year or what, but I’ve been getting a lot of emails from writers lately about finishing things. This is also a topic that comes up frequently in my coaching sessions with writers. Lots and lots of writers out there are terrified that they will never be successful—or even halfway decent—because they have a lot of trouble finishing things.
highly creative people
When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to live in the big city. I grew up in a small town in rural Michigan, in a farmhouse, literally surrounded by cows and cornfields. So when I fantasized about the future I imagined bright lights and millions of people. New York City was my first choice, followed closely by somewhere awesome in California.
Well, I did end up moving away. First to Ann Arbor when I was 17, and then onto Seattle when I was 21. I ended up in San Francisco by the time I was 25. Each of these places was difficult to adapt to and navigate. Housing was expensive, parking was sometimes impossible, and I had to be aware and vigilant in a way I never had to in my small town amongst the cornfields.
Don’t Stop Believing
Every human being carries a light within. Every single one of us. If we’re still breathing, we have a light that burns inside of us and shines out into the world. But writers and artists have a very particular kind of light. Our light appears ephemeral but it has the potential to be long lasting, due to our tendency to record our creative efforts and distribute them to the larger population. It can also be very emotionally nourishing to others as it usually manifests through archetypal images and stories.
Most people live in tiny little boxes of fear. In our culture it’s hard not to get sucked into it. The news and the media tell us that things are bad, very bad. And they’re only going to get worse. When we feel the crawling little ravenous mouth of fear inside our own gut, we are more likely to pay attention to the voices of anxiety and agitation surrounding us. Fear feeds on fear. It needs more and more of it to keep going.
All of my life people have described me as intense. My family, my friends, perfect strangers that I’ve met at parties. I’ve been known to get really excited about a topic—like REALLY excited—without noticing the person that I’m talking to is backing away from me and trying to get out of the room. Don’t get me wrong, my intuitive people skills are usually pretty good. But when my creative faculties are triggered, everything else flies out the window.