When Doubt is Stronger than Drive

If I’m so inspired, where the hell is my work?

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Writer’s block is not something I pay any mind to, as I don’t think anything is blocking my writing but myself. It’s not that I’m not inspired — I am in a constant state of awe and inspiration.

Am I lazy? A bad writer? Not up for the challenge? If I am so inspired, where the hell is my work?

I don’t need more inspiration. I am inspired:

  • By the -26° temperature in Minneapolis today.
  • By the cracks in my skin creating spiderwebs along my knuckles.
  • By the fogginess in my head after forgetting to take my anti-anxiety pills for two days.
  • By the oil paintings forming in my coffee and coconut milk.
  • By this quote: “All at once, it seemed, the leaves of cottonwood trees around the cabin turned golden and whispered to themselves, then curled into black flutes and floated to the ground in crispy, lacy heaps.*”
  • I’m inspired by the wind chime outside my window, dancing in the gusty air.
  • By the footsteps my husband leaves on the floor upstairs, letting me know where he is.
  • By the music my dishwasher composes while rinsing.
  • By the writers I follow who publish work every day, no matter the circumstances.
  • And by the frayed edges of my Moroccan rug, a sign of the impermanence — but omnipresence — of beauty.

Inspiration is everywhere I look. Stories bubble up in my head until I can’t keep them straight, and then I am gifted with the time to put pen to paper and I walk away. I abandon them like my will to publish abandoned me.

It is a constant tension, that which builds between my desire, my talent, and my will.

How do you continue produce your art, whatever it may be, when your doubt feels stronger than your drive?

*From The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

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author | reader | mother | kolinacicero.com/book

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