Pride, Procrastination, and Zombies: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 9


My fingers slow down
offering an alibi
to a fear-numbed mind,
until I feel the stories
between breaths freeing my hands.

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads' Tuesday Platform and Poets United's Poetry Pantry 443.



Liner Notes for This Groove: I’ve learned to expect its arrival. Sooner or later, no matter what project I might be working on, I get invaded by the Attack of the Creeping Doubts. No matter how often I think I bury them, they crawl out of their shallow graves and come in search of my brain. Not so much to eat it, but to nest in it, carve out a nice little space to live their putrid non-lives in.

I think I’ve made a tenuous peace with the fact they aren’t going lay permanently dormant. After 40 (closer to 50) years of this I know there’s a pattern to this that I can’t by-pass. All I can do is recognize the feelings when they come, stop denying they happen, then progress with whatever it is I’m working on.

When Sen Rikyu, the founder of the major tea schools of Japan was asked about the secret to making tea, this was his famous reply:

“Tea is not but this.
First you make the water boil,
Then infuse the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know.”

The Zombies of Creeping Doubt are going to troop in and out of my life no matter what I do. But no matter where they are at the moment, I know what it means to be a writer. Pick up your implement of choice and start writing. That’s all there is to it.

by Magic Love Crow
Find more of her art on her blog and Etsy shop.

So dear Groovers, have you ever pushed forward with something when you were a little frightened? Tell me about it in the comments or just talk to me about what’s new in your world. My cyber home is open for conversation. As always, if you’d like to continue the conversation in your own cyber home, bring that up in your comments and hit me with a link.


40 comments:

  1. Do you know...reading your post, I can't remember the last time I had any doubt about my ability to achieve my desired goal....I guess the over 50 "no longer give a fuck" gene just melted inner doubt clean away :D So if you ever need me to sit on your inner doubt for a while...or maybe wrestle it out of your head for 5 mins, just let me know :D XXX

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    1. I may just take you up on that! :D I'm hoping the Give No Fucks Fairy visits me when I turn 50.

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  2. Oh yes, that devil is well and truly alive in my head as I work on my manuscript! But I like the tea zen- head down and write- that's all I need to know :) Thanks for posting!

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    1. It's much easier if I just let myself get caught up in the act of writing instead of freaking about what comes after. There's only the moment, and in the moment, there's writing. :)

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  3. I am familiar with those creeping doubts, Rommy. I’ve had so many I can’t count them. It’s only since I got over the first year of retirement that I realised I was suddenly immune to zombies. I like the way you sum it up in your poem as feeling the stories between breaths freeing your hands.

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    1. I think there is a certain amount of freedom that comes with age, when you can let go of some of the old baggage.

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  4. There used to be a time when I was afraid.. afraid that I wasn't good enough a Poet .. during the earliest days when I had begun writing. I look back sometimes and think to myself.. had I given up and succumbed to doubt.. I wouldn't be where i am today.

    So yes, hold on to desire .. for it burns more brightly than doubt ever can. Happiest Tuesday, Rommy❤️

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  5. Free your mind and your fingers will follow! Somebody said that. Oh, it was me!

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  6. Doubts are trouble but natural
    Try to keep slow fingers going
    Make it better another day
    If you can't fix it leave it be
    Some will like it that way--Surprise!!
    ..

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  7. Oh yes, I can relate to creeping doubts. One good advice I read from somewhere is, "Remind yourself of all the things you have accomplished."

    As for pushing forward with something when you were a little frightened...

    I'm engaged in the act right now; novel manuscript revision. And here's me procrastinating (blogging instead of writing) because I'm a little afraid to finish it and release it to the world...*sigh*

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    1. That step before the release, yeah it's nerve wracking. But it feels soooooo good once it's all done.

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    2. p.a. Forgot to thank you for buying the eBook, and for entering the giveaway at MagicLoveCrow. Thank you for your support. <3

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  8. Not so much frightened as reluctant – to exercise, to eat healthy ... but I just came back from a swim, because today I chose to push through that reluctance. And I feel SO much better for it.

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    1. I have to do the same. I know that if I do yoga regularly, it feels so good and I'm moving around as limber as I did when I was 10 years younger. LOL, skip it for too long and I feel 20 years older!

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  9. Ah, yes: The editor's mind. The one that wants to throttle every creative impulse I dare express before anyone sees it, since it must utterly suck! I usually outpace it as I write, and I tap into its aesthetic ethos only to revise posts and other works. But I have experienced its tyranny too often before.

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    1. Outpacing the internal editor - I like that!

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  10. I love the tanka, the way we can see those fingers shying back in slightly panicked hesitation from what must be born. I think this feeling is shared by all creators. And like your speaker, in order to give shape to our art-babies, we must find a ways (find something) that helps us breathe through the choking.

    On the rest, I'm right with you (and Sen Rikyu), when horror comes knocking all we can do is what needs done and what is possible at the moment. The rest will happen as it must.

    Here is my bit for this week: https://magalysblog.blogspot.com/2019/03/my-exercise-routine-mightve-left-my.html

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    1. LOL, "Keep calm and write on!" Because at the end of the day, I'll be more bummed I didn't try than if it just stank. Stink can be removed!

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  11. Yes, exactly --- when we doubt our ability to write, we have to challenge the doubt straight on and just write. We can try to overcome that numbing fear by doing what we have doubts about. We cannot let our personal fear demons win!

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    1. That reminded me of one of my favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Turns out fear demons will give way if you treat them like the insignificant pests they are. :D

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  12. The tea master - and you - both give wise advice. Pick up your implement and carry on. Yes!

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    1. Sen Riyku has an awful lot of cool sayings I'm fond of.

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  13. I am familiar with the doubts as well...I think we all are.

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  14. Doubts are like that... but I think we have to face them every now and then... but then you just do it anyway and forge ahead.

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    1. Because really what other choice do we have? Not writing? Pffft. Like that'll happen/ :D

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  15. Like/love the way you create the sense that your hands are almost calming you through working. I have a current project that, without reason, terrifies me. It wants to pretend to be more werewolf than Muppet and I, not being the family disciplinarian, let it. I tend to pretend an academic discipline (lots of notes, digressions about theme) to work my way back in. Also, notebooks that feel good in the hand.

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    1. Yes, exactly. Sometimes the calmness just comes in the doing. There's no shortcut to that. I hope you show that Muppet who's boss!

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  16. And then there I was not caring ...........

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    1. https://media.giphy.com/media/NvgkEvycaWhPi/giphy.gif

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  17. I always remember many years ago a friend saying "Write it down!" What good advice this is. You don't want that scene, that look, those words get lost so you can never use them.

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    1. I have a small armada of notebooks lurking around my house so I can quickly take notes when I need to. Ideas can always get tinkered with, unless you forget what they were in the first place.

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  18. You have articulated a compelling message/philosophy, succinctly with a deft pen - creating a post that is a pleasure to read.

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  19. Rommy, I am so sorry, I thought I commented on this post! Thank you again for using my art! Truly grateful and honoured!
    You have to push forward, when you are frightened. What's that saying, feel the fear and do it anyway. Fear opens us up more, to the wonderful things to be discovered! Big Hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much for allowing me to share it and for your warm hearted support. It does mean a lot to me.

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  20. I'm sure we can all relate to those doubts

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