Depending on the day I'm thinking about it, I either feel young or old. Not young like a child or teenager or anything, just young enough that I can still do whatever I want to do. I feel like there's still plenty of time to achieve things and really live. On another day, I might feel like too many things ache and I'm inches from the grave and can't do anything spectacular anymore.
Both things are true, neither are true. Life is what you make it, whatever your age.
I've been thinking of writing something for a while, in a vague kind of way. I started a novel years ago. I felt happy about what I had started too, and then it started descending into soppy and sloppy ideas that seemed like too much effort to clean up. I'm thinking of digging it out and looking at it again.
I know one of my self-sabotaging tendencies. I'll look at it, it won't be great, and I'll think, "Why do it if it isn't earth-shaking?" Well, why not? Why stop myself from something just because it isn't the best? I know lots of you have some variation of this even though we know that we have to put effort into things to gain the skill to do something well. How much time did we put into learning to read and write in the first place?
I think it just depends on whether or not we enjoy an activity enough to perfect it, and "perfection" is an illusion anyway. Sometimes I like to write. Words flow out of me easily, and I enjoy that ease. Sometimes it feels really, really hard and I have enough hard things to deal with.
When I make ice cubes, I don't worry about "perfect" cubes. I just want cold tea. If I'm feeling a bit whimsical, I might put a flower in the water first. I made an apple cake, and supplemented my apples with over-ripe pears. I wondered if it would work, but I didn't feel like my self identity hinged on creating the latest, greatest thing.
There's something about putting things out into the world that opens us up to fear of judgment. I experienced those fears when I started blogging. Now that I've been doing this a while, it feels like those fears were a million lifetimes ago. I notice what other people prefer reading, but I'm not afraid anymore. If you don't like this week's post, come back next week and see if you like that post better. Hopefully I've gotten better at it with experimentation.
Yes, maybe it's time to dust off that book beginning? Winter is coming and cold, dark days sound like the perfect time to try.
(And yes Sharon, you have inspired me with your own writing efforts on The Chorus of Crows!)