That Sinking Feeling

The thing about the Titanic is…

…it always goes down.

We know the end.  We know, but we watch.  Something about the sinking affirms us.

Cut to:

You.  Sitting at your writing spot.  Feeling…


Why are you feeling bad?  You’re writing.  You’re in your spot.  What’s going on?  Is it not going well?  It’s going, at least.

But still somewhere deep inside you have that sinking feeling.  You’re tanking.  You know it.  No one else sees it, but you know it.

What is it?

It’s life.  Life is coming to get you.  Your vulnerability is sneaking up on you.  Your fragility.  Your issue.

Whatever your issue is, it’s wrapped itself around you and is now entwining itself into your creative process.  This is good, right?  This is what we want.

Also, but, see, it’s making you uncomfortable.  And uncomfortable is bad, no?


Uncomfortable is not bad.  Bad is a judgement.  Uncomfortable is a new place.

Try again.  Bad is what doesn’t work for you.  Uncomfortable is probably working for you.  Uncomfortable is probably something you chose to work on, that is in fact working on you.  So cool.

Say, for example, you have issues with your sister.  Okay, every relationship has issues.  But this one, really just digs.  Say, it turns out, funnily enough, that your story, the one you’re working so hard on, is about two sisters.  One day you show up to the page – good you! – and you feel uncomfortable.  Something’s not working, you don’t know what it is, and you’re feeling bad.  Like fragile, like weird, like vulnerable, like new.

New is good.  So is everything that came before it in the sentence above.  This is actually a good, if not the best, place to work from.

So why does it feel so bad?

Well, for one thing, you are judging it bad.  Throw that out and about 30% of the feelings straighten themselves out for you.

Could these feelings, maybe, have something to do with the fact that you are in some deep part of yourself working on this sister problem for both your story and yourself?  That’s awesome.  And very uncomfortable.

Learning something isn’t bad.  New inner landscapes are not bad.  Arriving at new insights, not bad.

Prickly, maybe.  Testy.  Uncomfortable.  Needing to be broken in.  Not bad.

It’s feisty, it’s unpredictable, it’s open.  It’s leading you to a place in yourself and your art that you cannot foresee.  How cool!  How destabilizing.  How manic.

But overall, goodness.

The first thing to learn here is how to breathe.  Take the breath right through the fear and possible panic.  Look at the work you are doing – does it look interesting, does it have depth, is it demanding more of you? If so, this is the right track.

After breathing, you’re going to want to have balance.  Give that up.  You’re not getting it any time soon.  This could be a transitional state.  It could be a long birthing process.  Give up balance and go elemental – keep breathing.  Working.  Breathing.  Working.  If the balance wants to come, it will arrive for you.  But give yourself the option to keep moving through this phase – don’t shut off the process and get re-stuck in another not fully realized you.  Move breath through you, cause that tells you that you are alive.  Write when the panic subsides.  Breathe when it shows up.

This is the bridge guarded by trolls.  You have to pay to get across.  And there could be worse things on the other side.  Keep going.  Cause whatever they are, you can get through them.  And you will have some great stories to tell when you get back out of the forest.

p.s.  You are the trolls.  And the worse things.  And the bridge.


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For information on E. Amato’s writing and editorial services, coaching and consultations click here.


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