Wobbling Through Uncertainty

A few weeks ago, I sprained my foot after I tripped over my own two feet. It’s finally starting to feel close to normal, at least some of the time. The past several days have been unsettling as I’ve had to adjust to limited mobility and unstable balance. It’s pushed my yoga practice off the mat, and even that’s been limited.

At first, I thought this would be a good excuse to put in some serious writing time. No classes at the gym, and going anywhere except work was more trouble than it was worth for the better part of the week. No dice. I did watch a lot of TV, listen to a lot of music and start a new crochet project for my future niece or nephew. But only this weekend did I really start to focus in on writing.

Part of this is because the instability in my gait was paired with some uncertainty about my future. The day I sprained my foot was also key in that situation. I’ve spent about three months teetering on the edge of two paths, waiting to find out which is the way forward. The past few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that the path that branches off my current one likely isn’t available right now. During that same period, my foot has improved considerably. Karma has a wicked sense of humor.

As writers, we face uncertainty all the time. Are people going to like what I’m writing? Is my critique group going to eviscerate this piece I’ve been revising all month? Where is the publishing industry going to be next week or next year? Is there even going to be a publishing industry next year?

When we’re not sure where to step, we often don’t step anywhere. We let inaction become our response. That experimental piece we’ve been working on sits in a folder because we aren’t sure if we should submit it or not. The novel revisions get pushed off because we’re not sure we’re able to write well enough to give the book what it needs. Our daily writing practice is pushed lower and lower on our to-do list.

We let our fears that we’ll make the wrong choice stop us from making any choices.