This morning I haven’t written any of my words for the memoir yet. Usually I do that first but this morning is different. The day before yesterday I encountered an obstacle that I have to figure out how to scale before things can go back to normal in my writing life (normal being that I get up early and write at least 400 words before doing anything else).
The obstacle feels like this: the entire back half of my story has been eaten by a shark. Have you ever seen a picture of someone holding up a fish they’ve caught but it’s only half a fish with a big shark mouth shaped hole where the tail should’ve been? Yeah, that’s my memoir.
I was pouting over that yesterday. It was worse than pouting. I was in an emotional hole; I was scared, I was sad, I questioned my worthiness and wondered if I had been wasting my time or doing this whole memoir-writing thing for the wrong reasons. I felt like I sucked. That’s a terrible feeling and it’s totally a lie but yesterday morning after I didn’t write a word that’s where I was at.
The upside is that by the afternoon I had almost fully recovered from my crisis. In the past something like this would have had much greater ramifications for my overall emotional state. Because of the scars from my past, I might struggle from time to time with getting knocked down by setbacks, but because the scars are healed, I have a new “toolbox” that helps me get back up on my feet a lot faster.
In my toolbox are tools: being in the moment… stillness… breathing… prayer… telling myself the truth… relying on people who love me… vulnerability… loving myself
So what happened? Well, during a coaching session with my amazing writing coach Brooke Warner, I began to realize that I am emotionally way too close to some things that happened in my life around six years ago and I cannot write effectively about them until I can become more detached. So I either have to hurry up and become detached (which does not sound feasible to me, how can things like this be rushed?), or I have to reorder my story.
Yesterday I had a third option: quit.
But I have regrouped and realized that quitting is no option at all. I am on a mission to tell God’s story in me. What an honor it is to walk this journey. It’s painful, cathartic, healing, and mountaintop joyful all at once. It’s also scary and forces me to trust that I am being held, like walking on the edge of a cliff but knowing your climbing ropes are there to keep you from falling.
I have to figure out a different perspective on my story. Today that feels doable.