Fear and Yak Shaving

So I’ve been reading quite a few books lately – Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. All three of these have been wonderful and a much needed kick in the rear. And, they all have told me that I am unbelievably skilled at letting my fear send me off on wild yak shaving errands rather than getting down to the business of writing. Why? I think I am afraid that the little person who lives in the basement of my unconscious is not a nice, Dr. Seuss character as Lamott states or a beautiful muse as Pressfield says. I think the person who lives in my basement is pretty twisted, and once I open up the hatch, even a little bit, I won’t have any control over what comes out. I look back at the works that I have written, and they are all just teetering there on the edge of being out of control. So, have I finally reached the point where I trust the person in the basement, even though it scares the bejeesus out of me, or do I just keep plodding along, afraid, and taking off for days full of ridiculous yak shaving?

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About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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