And believing we’re enough.
It's taken decades of writing and editing my own work to get to the point of not giving a darn about whether a story or idea is good enough. Just write the darned thing. Since getting on Substack, I've found that the ideas are flowing like a torrent and so I sit down and, as you did with Tailwinds, I write the story or poem in minutes. I put it away for a few days or weeks and come back to it. It's never really finished, but if it "sings" at the moment, if I get that tingling feeling that it's simply a magnificent little gem, then it's done ... for now ... and I share it. But the thing is, you can't sweat over these things. Just write the darned thing. And if the story is going to write itself, it will. It will come to you. Have fun with your writing. And if you continue to resist, remember an adage poets in my writers' circle used as a mantra, the first draft is always a shitty first draft. It can only get better. And none of your words are Holy Writ. You can cut them out with abandon.
Thank you for writing this, it’s a real encouragement to me as I experiment more with finding my voice through this platform. I sometimes doubt that people really want to hear from my perspective, or that I will know how to present it well. Learning to believe in what I have to say is 90% of the initial battle for me.
There will always be someone who wants to hear it.....always,
and today it’s many. ✍🏽
Roll with flow......when it comes.....it’s the friendliest wave 🌊 🙏🏾🏾
I loved this Candace, thank you for sharing!
I found the post helpful and inspiring. Thank you! I will try to practise 'creative resistance'. It's a potent phrase.
Thank you so much for sharing this! The Tailwinds essay was stunning and heartfelt, just like all your other work, and I'm so glad you pushed through.
Ah, Candace! I needed to hear these words so much. As you may remember, I have had the idea of writing about my sailing adventures, and for many years I simply shared my personal blog with friends and family. However, I have felt silenced for many years (too many reasons to mention here). BUT I am about to launch a new blog, one about working remotely while sailing, because I realized this summer that I am the only one holding myself back. The blog will go live next week, but your post is reminder that when enough "voices" or hunches tell you to get going, say yes to the adventure. Cheers, and thank you for continuing to create.
Ignoring our self-doubt is always a challenge. But we must!
1) JFK will always hold a special place in my heart. 37 years, 3 months ago my son took his very first steps there on a very long layover/delay to a flight to Denmark. He also learned to run by the time we boarded ... 😁😳
2) Denmark; I describe this whole country and everything in it as “just the right size,” especially when Danes (family) apologize for the small fridges, houses, cars, roads, etc. knowing that we are used to massive everything in America. But everything there is just the right size, just enough and no more. It’s a refreshing, calming way to live. It’s always enough.
3) It’s been a weird summer with a lot of death and illness and I haven’t published hardly anything. It all feels too much... thank you for this essay...
Inspirational; relatable and most of all, encouraging.
Like your heartfelt words, artwork and spirit (it shines through) it is beautiful. More than enough too.
Thank you for your courage to share it.
Beautiful, Candace! Years ago, while first working on my novel (still in progress - haha!), I read Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art." It's essentially all about Resistance. One of my favorite takeaways, among many gems, is that Resistance is a compass pointing to where you most need to go. I like that. It's been reliable over the years.
As I write this, I realize I've been resisting committing fully to a new project w/ my Substack. There are so many unknowns, I'm too busy, it's going to be dumb, no one will read it, why bother, etc. Hmmmmm. Sounds like Resistance to me! Thank you for this a-ha moment. 🥰
I love when the resistance finally breaks and the words just flow as you found with Blue skies and Tailwinds. That's the beauty of writing. When it transcends our own thinking and flows from the heart. You literally feel it in your body--an energy that needs to be released to our keyboards (or notebooks).
The story wasn't ready to be born yet. When it was ready, it came into the world. You are the channel, just as in motherhood. Don't question, just accept. hugs to you, my creative friend.
I wrote in my journals for years, wrote thousands of emails and business letters, wrote scores of project funding proposals and reports, got a degree in creative nonfiction, but never once considered myself a writer. Then I went radio silent for years, because I didn’t think I had anything to write that any one of the earth’s almost 8 billion other people could write better than. I have a hard drive full of half finished and even finished work that just sat there, losing a few electrons every day. I even shredded a file box of writing that represented ten years of work. I believed I wasn’t a writer and I had nothing to say. Who was I to think I had something worthwhile to write?
Then a few months ago, two things happened. My daughter seemed surprised and extremely interested when my wife and I made some comments about the day she was born. She had never heard any of the stories before. This was the second time I experienced this with her. When she was living in Southern California for graduate school, I visited her and met her Haitian roommate with whom I shared some of my Haiti experiences. My daughter listened with almost fierce attention. The next night, someone knocked on the door, she opened the door, and in walked one of my closest friends from Africa, who was a student back then and was now completing a PhD at the same university that my daughter was attending. We sat and talked for hours about those days in Africa, and my daughter listened to every word. She never took her eyes off of us as we talked. It was as if a door on who she was opened and she had to take it all in before it was lost forever. My daughter had invited my friend without warning me, because in those PTSD days, I was so withdrawn I would never agree to it, so she created her own little miracle of healing and discovery.
I decided I would try again to write, and this time it would be for my kids about all the things they didn’t know about our lives together, including what daddy did when he was away for so many weeks at a time, and why, sometimes when he returned, he sat in a recliner with a far away look on his face. But each time I sat down to write, I stared at the screen for awhile, then quit.
Then a second thing happened when I discovered Substack. I found I could quickly write about a memory, do a fast edit, hit send, and it would be out there for the kids. Often I wondered if I would regret what I sent, but other people started finding my Substack, too, and cheered me on. In the three or so months I have written my stories, I have hit send on almost 120 sketches. Not masterpieces, not even very good writing, but a picture is taking shape of my life so my kids can see a bigger picture of who they are and how they fit into the world. I am grateful I can leave them this written legacy that almost never happened.
While it is still true that many of my 8 billion earthmates could write circles around me, they aren’t me and they haven’t lived my life. That is reason enough for any of us to put words to screens and hit send. Each of us has a unique story worth telling, so just tell it. Don’t overthink how to do it, just tell it. Don’t worry that someone else could tell it better, just tell it. The picture that will emerge will be a one of a kind, we in all our human condition special edition that must be heard because our little personal stories, our voices, tell the world who we are and why we mattered.