Ever just stared at a blank screen, waiting for words to magically appear? Ever held a paintbrush in your hand, bare canvas before you, dreaming of pictures that you can’t see? Maybe you’re the kind of person who’s a wizard with systems and flow charts, but there’s no one in need of your managerial skills; or maybe you’re fantastic with kids but marriage and parenthood isn’t exactly on the near horizon.
Welcome to the holding pattern, population buttload.
I had planned to write out a long bit about the holding pattern being similar to pregnancy, but once I got going, I realized it was a stupid comparison. The birth of a human life is not the same as trying to finish that short story you’ve been working on for months. But there is some crossover – the expectancy that comes with trying to produce something you’ve carried for a long time can create similar stresses.
That still sounds lame. Sheesh.
Basically, I have two books stuck in my head. I have the outlines. I have the rough idea of what I want to say. But when I sit down at the keyboard and start typing, I immediately fill like a doofus for even trying to say something about anything. My voice goes away. My fingers stall. I feel the sudden need to go surf for memes.
There’s still a long way to go, it would seem.
Of course, that’s if you subscribe to the idea that creativity works like a fountain. That once you have an idea, the details and actionable parts of that idea will just free-flow behind it. That happens for some people; there are those folks who can just sit down at a keyboard and pound out an entire book or screenplay or essay in one sitting, no stressing required.
I am not one of those people.
Well, maybe for blog posts. But no one’s offering to buy my blog posts and put them into a book, so that brings me back to being stuck.
How about you? What is going on in your life that seems to be taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to come to fruition? Can you relate to be a citizen of the holding pattern?