Fear of White, Pt. 3

I liked the idea that the white page is ‘chaos’ (have I read too many comic books?), but what stuck with me was the image of the calligrapher being on a journey. It was an idea that filled me with possibility, rather than dread. I’d always focussed on the end point, of what I was trying to say, and how I was trying to say it. The concept of exploring while I was writing was exciting. The concept that writing was an echo of that journey, also eased the focus on perfection. Echoes are not perfect replications, each is unique.

Without boring you with all of the flow diagrams, and doodles that ensued, with a bit more work, things fell into place. I took actions, based on the principles I'd learned about: self-acceptance, an appreciation of the world’s natural order, altering my view and perception of the situation, while changing my approach (or incorporating new elements into the existing one). Together, it all conspired to have me writing again.

What did I learn from the process... wax on, wax off.... Haha, just kidding. Well, maybe a little - you do have to put work in, in order to make a breakthrough. However, I also learned (in no particular order):

  • When you’re in a situation, sometimes the hardest thing, is to change the way you see and think about it, and be able to see other options. This is where casting the net wide, and being open to suggestions can be invaluable. What I read, gave me different perspective, and most importantly it challenged my perception of the problem. It also challenged me to tackle the problem from a different angle. You can interpret fresh and different ideas and concepts in surprising ways, and make them work for your specific situation.
  • The media message is contradictory, but perfection is a mirage. I still strive to perfect my writing as a way of communicating, and improve one piece upon the next, but I don’t aim for each piece to be perfect. I’m looking for continued progression and growth along the journey. With each passage, I build upon the lessons, and hopefully, ‘beauty’ of the last.
  • I try not to be my harshest critic anymore. Perfect or not, self-expression is authentic. It’s not always up to you to love or hate it, but to be yourself, and accept your work as a reflection of your own (valid) expression.
  • Read widely! (Libraries and secondhand bookstores are cool)
  • Sometimes that square peg, just won’t fit! I subsequently realised that I was attempting to write in a format, that was contrary to my natural style. When I accepted my style, I found a genre that worked for my writing. The world is a big enough place that there is a niche for everyone, even if it ends up being different to the one you thought it would be!
  • Rather than fighting your differences, and attempting to mould yourself into a shape or form that you’re not, recognise that there is a kind of perfection in just being you. If and when you change, it’s organic, shaped by the progression of time, and natural action of experience.
  • No matter how deep you think the hole is (it’s perception, remember), you can beat your brain at it’s own game! It might try and bamboozle you every so often, but you can grow and work through the challenges it presents. Now when I look back through my work, instead of encountering a sad prose cemetery,  it’s a photo album. I might cringe at the odd spiral perm *silent scream*, and wonder how I could’ve worn those jeans so short with those socks, but overall looking back makes me smile. I can’t deny that it was me (even if I do think, that I looked like a poodle), and maybe there’s actually the odd shot that I think is still kind of cool.

I now recognise that each passage of my work is a reflection of me at a certain time, at a certain place. Somedays my writing is better than others, and some pieces are better than others - and, they all have a place in the journey.

When it comes to my creative writing, I observe the following, “nurture all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." *

All can be beautiful.


*  from, Wabi Sabi Simple, Powell, Richard R. (2004).