Chasing down Blind Alleys

I can expend copious amounts of time looking at a thing in all kinds of light, never deciding and moving forward.

Procrastination reigns supreme while waiting to find the perfect way to do something.

I have a project
I came at one way
Partway through, it didn’t seem right.
So I switched to a different approach.
(Points for flexibility, right?)
Partway into that, doubts arose.

I went back and forth
between the two
and even began to wonder
if there was yet another approach out there
I hadn’t thought of yet.


Note to self:
There is a difference between working on a thing
and merely thinking
about working on it.

Truth is,
I followed neither approach
all the way to its conclusion to see how it turned out.
I cut bait too soon,
not wanting to waste time and energy
on something I wasn’t sure would work.

We want to write with a net under us.

Let’s face it.
We want to do everything like that,
knowing in advance of stepping out
that the outcome will be of value,
that it’ll be worth it in some way,
that we won’t regret the investment
of time, energy, thought.

“I don’t worry about going up blind alleys. Most alleys lead somewhere, and if it’s just to a box where I corner myself into saying something I didn’t expect, that’s all rights, too.” – Julia Cameron*

I’m more willing to chase down blind alleys now than I was a week ago.

* * *

Join the HCB Book Club. Read other The Right to Write posts from this week HERE.

*Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life (New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, 1998), 20.
* * *
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About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in creativity, letting go, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Chasing down Blind Alleys

  1. laura says:

    Marilyn! Did I miss this lovely post? I’m so sorry. I will link to it on this week’s list. I love it. No net here!


  2. Pingback: Invite the Muse to Tea

  3. erinstraza says:

    Yes, I want the safety net. Because what if the things I write are trite, used up? What if my writing has no spark, no pizazz? What if I take the blind alley and get stuck down there . . . and that makes me realize that getting stuck down there seems much less appealing than getting stuck right here.

    What if I’m actually getting tangled up in the safety net?

    hmmm . . .


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