Monday, June 22, 2015


Another bright, sunny morning to start the day here in Toronto. But if the weather forecast is to be believed, the evening promises rain, at times heavy, with a risk of thunderstorms. Of course the weather can change on a dime, just like a career in the arts, and we have to be willing to just go with the flow.

As we roll into summer, I’m learning to go with the flow. And it’s not easy. That’s because I’m in the homestretch of my current writing project, arriving at the point where I have to stop tinkering, stop doubting its worth. The past few months of rewriting have paid off, and I’ve created a manuscript that I’m proud of and excited about. I know I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve felt my writing mature.

Finishing something, in this case my novel, always leaves me restless. I know there are things that I still have to do (synopsis, research publishers, query letters, etc.), yet I find it a little difficult to get myself moving, like I’ve stalled. I fear that I’ll let myself be immured in that restlessness, that I’ll struggle to claw my way out. It’s that “D” word smouldering underneath the surface: Doubt. I’ve been published before, I write daily, so why, now, do I doubt the writer in me?

In Walking in this World, Julia Cameron tells us that “Doubt is a signal of the creative process. It is a signal that you are doing something right — not that you are doing something wrong or crazy or stupid.” I want to believe that. I want to feel that I am on the right path instead of doubting my creative calling.

On a day like today, I remind myself that a career in the arts takes faith and courage. I have to believe in myself, and have faith that I can succeed and remain faithful to the cause. I know that I have to just begin somewhere, and then let myself be guided. That’s faith. I have travelled down this road before and survived, and I will no doubt see this road again. That’s courage. Nevertheless, in this moment, I’m looking for a way to shake off this restlessness, peel away the doubt. This act of writing is helping to do that, telling me to begin where I am, and the rest will follow.

This morning I will take advantage of the nice weather and go for a run. And no matter the weather outside or in my creative life I’ll do my best to, simply, go with the flow.

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