As if they present like a basket full of clothespins, writers oftentimes want answers before they have to face the questions that will help establish order and arrangement, will help organize. The writer will enter the aesthetic world with hopes of success and will search out a handbook with empty boxes along the left margin of a page for them to check off as they markedly address the elements that make up a story or an essay or a poem or a script. And while there are many worthy books on the craft of writing creatively, they shouldn’t be used as strict instruction–we aren’t building a desk or making a quiche. Writers, perhaps most importantly, have to trust themselves, their intuition, their budding clairvoyance.
As writers, as artists, we are haunted by trust. If we don’t engage our work with conviction we risk hesitation and start self-editing stories that haven’t yet been written. It’s natural, because our work is so personal, to approach it with some level of trepidation or pause because we so desperately don’t want to fail. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You’re a writer, start with that. Tell yourself so, make sure your parents describe you as such to their friends, have business cards made that note this truth and tape them on your bathroom mirror and kitchen cabinets. Whatever it will take. And then write something you believe, something you like. All the while, trust yourself. Know your work, know what you want it to be and accept the advice that applies. Nod, smile, and trash the advice that does nothing for you. Realize that you are a writer not just for a week but for the full stretch of your being, just as you are left handed, just as you have always had a strong affinity for peaches. You are a writer and it is part of your weaving; know that your work is a process and trust that process, and your persuasion, that you will see this thing all the way through.
I look forward to sharing ideas and counsel and response and comfort through this forum. We are part of a special family, us writers, and we ought to be honest and tender with one another, helping each other achieve all we want in the pages we fill, clearing away the clutter, inspiring the soul.