In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway said, "You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless - there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing."
It's a kind of despair and melancholy that I can certainly relate to - being in the thick of a project, having made good, promising progress, and then boof! It all falls to pieces, I have a crisis of confidence, I hear my internal gremlin saying, 'Call yourself a writer? What tripe! This writing is terrible. You'll never finish this load of drivel and why would you?'
Oh and isn't that the worst thing a gremlin can say to you? 'You'll never finish ...'? I find beginnings and endings very challenging, and I agree with wise Ernest when he says you just have to plough on and get there somehow.
Good advice but how do we do that when our confidence takes a hit, we lose our writerly bravado, our ability to sit down and work industriously? When we shrink into our shells, cannot look in the mirror and call ourselves 'a writer' without laughing or crying, cannot sit down in front of our computer or pad of paper without wanting to scream, or get up and have another cup of coffee or wipe the condensation off the window with an old towel or just go and sit alone on a hard wooden chair and say to the universe, 'What's it all for?' in an anguished tone.
Come to the 'feel the fear and write it anyway workshop' and we'll sort this out once and for all.
We'll boost our self confidence, find ways to keep climbing the mountain when the end seems like a distant gorilla in the mist. We'll do better at treating ourselves gently when the despair hits and patting ourselves on the back when we achieve.
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