Willingness

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Barbara Butler McCoy

For some time now I have been intrigued by the research informing us that written language only appeared roughly 5,000 years ago. The even more startling fact to me is that such a tiny percentage of humans are writers, and an even tinier percentage are any good at it. I suspect that, in the balance, there is a disproportionate number of undiscovered writers.

I have the impression that very often writers are secretly considered “suspect.” Perhaps that explains the incidence of Imposter Syndrome among writers and artists? After my last entry (in a personal journal) I thought of those moments of terror, of dread and doubt. In fact, I found several mentions of doubt among my previous entries.

At first I thought, “Well, terror is a signal that your heart is engaged and doubt can be an exercise in responsibility, accountability.” I still feel that to be true, but to a much smaller extent than I did.

It occurred to me that at some point the terror and doubt pull one out of the NOW, and even writers who deal with history need to stay centered in the NOW. Terror and doubt are always whispering, ‘What if…?’, and a writer is so adept at entertaining that particular question — and its multitude of answers — that it is distinctly difficult to halt that process and trust the Creative.

Last night before bed I opened at random Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” and found this: “Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.”

That’s it, isn’t it? The Creative is no flim-flam con artist out to fleece Its practitioners.

In a way, this is Will Shakespeare’s Sonnet 136:

If thy soul check thee that I come so near, Swear to thy blind soul that I was thy Will, And will thy soul knows, is admitted there; Thus far for love my love-suit, sweet, fulfil. Will will fulfil the treasure of they love…

(This is based on a recent entry in a writing journal I have begun.)

[[Bibliography: Goldberg, Natalie. “Writing Down the Bones.” Boston: Shambhala, 2010; Shakespeare, William. “The Sonnets.”New York: Barnes and Noble, 2007.