Here I am, slightly more than an hour after I sat down, starting on a 10th page of this Moleskine after so many days where I barely scratched out a sentence if I even picked up the pen. How do I recapture this level of productivity day to day?
Could it all be as simple as Somerset Maugham said so many years ago — “Fortunately inspiration strikes every morning at 9 a.m.”? If so, what keeps us from sitting down at 9 a.m. each morning and opening the tap? What mythic monster crawls between our temples and blocks the sun?
If it is as simple as simple as sitting down and doing it, why do we need the encouragement? “Do or do not, there is no ’try,’” Yoda asserts. “Just do it,” Nike cries. And, by the thousands, we don’t.
It’s as monstrous as a monster can be. I am literally afraid to stop writing for fear the next time I sit down I’ll find the blockade has resumed and the words are only trickling again. Me, who wrote a book called Refuse to be Afraid. They say — who are “they” anyway, speaking of eternal questions — the hardest advice to take can be your own, and here I am, being afraid, at least for a moment.
The knowledge that I filled 10 pages in one sitting will be here the next time I sit down. That is, surprisingly, enough to chase the fear. The knowledge that I did it once (and this was not the first time, by any means) will bring me back and set me on the journey again.
The fun, of course, is in finding out where the journey will take me next time.