I was speaking just this afternoon with another writer in my writing group.
“This writing thing has its ups and downs,” she basically told me.
I assured her that she is not the only one!
She was calling to congratulate me on the fact that What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness is about to be published.
It takes tremendous courage to sit and write an entire book.
Earlier today, I was rereading my first book, Healing Depression: A Holistic Guide (New York: Marlowe and Co., 1997). I would like to write a series of books about natural healing and I was revisiting that book to get my bearings.
At first, I didn’t really want to look at my first book. I was afraid it would dredge up some sort of bad feeling that I had imagined would be there but was in fact nowhere to be found.
In fact, when I started rereading that book, my thought was, “I was not half as healthy then as I am now but my voice was completely strong and clear.” And I also thought, “What guts I had to write what I did!”
My writer friend and I were talking about the process of writing and how, at times, as a writer you look at what you have done and you question whether or not it’s just totally lame. I would say that is a normal part of the process!
I told her that it has helped me to bead and knit.
I make these gorgeous self fringing shawls where I knit together between five and seven yarns. I knit for months, and at the very end, after knitting for months and months, the directions call for you to rip out the last four stitches to make the fringe.
Literally every time I come to that part of the process, even though I have done it before, I think to myself, “What if THIS TIME I mess it all up?”
Even once or twice, after knitting for months, I almost welch on the deal and keep the shawl as it is, no fringe.
Then I remember how amazing the fringe is, especially since I knit with ribbon yarns and sequin yarns and ladder yarns, and how when I actually do manage to have the guts to rip it all out, I end up with this sparkly, shiny, wavy edge that turns the heads of everybody.
“Where did you get that shawl?” I hear all the time.
“I made it,” I am always privileged to say.
So I sit there, needles in hand, full of my fear, and at that moment, after months of knitting, I say to myself, “No guts, no glory.”
Then I rip the fringe out, practically holding my breath until I get to the very end.
As I throw the shawl over my shoulder, I am always so thankful that I kept going despite the severity of my self doubt.