Sometimes I feel a little like Snoopy when I sit down to the keyboard hoping to create a significant piece, perhaps a great novel or even a good blog. I’m always tempted to start out “It was a dark and stormy night.” It worked for Snoopy and sometimes he got even further with his adventure story about the red baron. Sometimes he couldn’t get five words on the page that made sense or that he could spell correctly, not having the benefit of spell check on his typewriter. For any of us, even when we have some practice doing something, writing or sculpting or cooking, let’s say, we still face a blank page, a hunk of clay, an empty recipe card at some point. When we do, it’s interesting to note how much attitude plays a role in how well we succeed at moving forward.
On the days that I have confidence in my ideas and my ability to share them, a freight train couldn’t stop me. I can keep the creative juices flowing and things just come together and a lot of times, ideas have a mind of their own and just use me to get them on the paper. If you’re a writer, you know what I mean. If I’m excited about an experience that I want to share, the same thing happens, it all just comes together. Maybe it’s not perfect, but it gets done in a reasonable form. So what about those days when I’ve been crippled by my own psyche? When nothing comes together and I can’t get past “the dark and stormy night?” What about you, when you can’t face your work day, your next class or potential sale? All those things that two days before rocked your boat now seem difficult, even stuck, and worse yet, unimportant. You wonder why you’re even doing this work you do.
For me, when I’m finding my own light is fading, when the work I do seems unappreciated or unnecessary, or I simply wonder what I am doing anyway, I find myself looking up at the dark and stormy clouds, getting soaked in the rain, and finally realizing that all it means is that I’m still very much alive, very much viable and that it’s up to me to start looking for the ways to chase the clouds away. It’s up to me to discover what crept into my attitude that makes me feel that quitting offers any solace whatsoever.
I guess I’ll call that a bit of Snoopy faith. I guess that’s where I have to sit on the roof top, facing the blank page, a little fearful of the red baron, but sure I can take him on. I have to know that the biggest part of this faith walk is simply to keep facing the page. Every time I face the page and win, I’ve actually created a bit more of the story. The light actually gets brighter the moment I begin. I imagine this like the father who welcomes back his prodigal son. The father barely sees the son coming and literally runs to him to welcome him back. For me, any time the prodigal me shows up, and believe me, she’s always in the shadow, I discover this one truth. I simply have to put my foot forward, my fingers to the keyboard, my heart to the task, and the light gets brighter, and the Father runs toward me to welcome me. That’s what motivates me!! That’s what gets me to try again, to start a new task.
I may never write a New York Times bestseller, (or I might), but either way, my job is to keep believing that it’s important to show up, that it’s important to try. Okay, so look for me to write a novel because I totally plan to get past “the dark and stormy night.” Keep your light on too.