Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the luxury of self-doubt

For me, personally, I've found my speed of creation has altered drastically since Robert's passing. During the days of his illness, the desperate financial needs were incredible motivators. Necessity became a strange creative impetus, the muses constantly sang and when they could not they hummed until it became a song. And while the songs were perhaps not the inspirational hymn preferred, I got used to the background music.

But now, without the pressure, my muses have become tempermental. Sometimes the inspiration flashes, but, now as I attempt to write the YEAR OF THE TIGER more often than not I find myself simply pegging away. I have never been a writer whose characters speak to them (like my friend Justina Chen Headley ) but I have never before felt the true exhaustion of writing. During the final writing stages of WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON the focus I had taken for granted seemed to disperse into the wind and for the first time I found myself questioning my ability to continue. Will I be able to write this? Can I do it?

And, I realize that self-doubt is a luxury that I have not had in a long time. It is a strange relishment, this allowance of the idea of failure. It is oddly refreshing.
That is, as long as it remains an idea. I hope the actual realization of failure is unnecessary!

3 comments:

Kim Kasch said...

It takes time to heal. Allow yourself that one little luxury in life.

Things may be different for some time but different doesn't necessarily mean bad.

I don't know the loss of a husband but I just lost my mother in April and it hits me at the oddest times.

Laura said...

Grace,
I hope you hear the new songs your muses sing as you continue on your journey. No doubt there will be a "before" and an "after' for so many things.
Peace.

Libby Koponen said...

Pegging away it is -- at least most of the time. And at least for me, without pegging away those moments of inspiration don't come.....

I really love this post, I always imagine that it's easier for other people, that everyone else is channelling away and it's reassuring that someone else at least isn't!

And (judging by WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE NEW MOON, which I am lucky enough to have read in manuscript), your new work is beautiful, amazing.

LIbby