Your bags are packed with everything you need and you’re ready to go. You are excited! You have your ticket. You have a destination in mind. You arrive at the train station in plenty of time. The train chugs into the station. You don’t climb aboard!
With writing or painting or any creative pursuit, you really do have to get on board and, though your destination could change, you are in motion.
Too many of us believe we have something to say (including me) or express creatively. We talk a good game, but we roost. Sometimes, stubbornly. Waiting for some magically “right time” to manifest and then, we’re going to say what we want to say…write the book to end all books. Or paint that painting that speaks to everyone’s soul. If only, or when, or we’ll just know that it’s time.
I find this excerpt from Annie Dillard’s Book “Holy the Firm” grounded and inspiring.
“…There is no one but us. There is no one to send, nor a clean hand, nor a pure heart on the face of the earth, nor in the earth, but only us, a generation comforting ourselves with the notion that we have come at an awkward time, that our innocent fathers are all dead–as if innocence had ever been–and our children busy and troubled, and we ourselves unfit, not yet ready, having each of us chosen wrongly, made a false start, failed, yielded to impulse and the tangled comfort of pleasures, and grown exhausted, unable to seek the thread, weak, and involved. But there is no one but us. There never has been. There have been generations which remembered and generations which forgot; there has never been a generation of whole men and women who lived well for even one day. Yet some have imagined well, with honesty and art, the detail of such a life, and have described it with such grace, that we mistake vision for history, dream for description, and fancy that life has devolved. So. You learn this studying any history at all, especially the lives of artists and visionaries; you learn it from Emerson, who noticed that the meanness of our days is itself worth our thought; and you learn it, fitful in your pew, in church.”
Try a ten-minute free write in response to the question “What are you waiting for?” Then, consider these questions: Do you think there is someone else who is better equipped than you to write what you have been bursting to write (i.e., someone with higher education or credentials or older…or younger?) Is there something that has been calling to you to write or paint–for years, perhaps? Be honest with yourself. And then answer this question, “If not now, when?”