Tuesday, March 4, 2014

taking the scenic route and befriending uncertainty

Edit: When I wrote this post, I didn't realize it was time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a group created by the incredible Alex!  This group is a wonderful place to offer support and encouragement to other writers while also sharing some struggles and insights of your own. 

In a lot of ways, I've been a late bloomer. For some reason, I have trouble accepting this when it comes to writing. I set deadlines and make plans and become frustrated when things don't go according to schedule.

One thing writing has given me is a better relationship with uncertainty. Years ago, uncertainty was a mysterious stranger, someone I was content with not knowing, someone I actively avoided. Now, uncertainty has become the best type of friend: challenging but constant, exciting but stable. 

In medicine, there's more or less a set route with training. Medical school, residency, fellowship, then practice. But with art, there is no route. As it turns out, there's nothing more liberating than surrendering.

I have to learn to give my goals wiggle room. To remember that time is never wasted if it's spent in practice and everything is practice. 

Now, when people ask me what I think I'll be in several years, I'm happy to say I don't have a plan. There are a lot of virtues I hope to accomplish but there are many routes to get there. Some might come quickly. Some might take triple the time. Some might not happen at all. 

How do you deal with uncertainty in life? 

*Also, this Brain Pickings article describes the importance of uncertainty much better than I ever could: 

“The job — as well as the plight, and the unexpected joy — of the artist is to embrace uncertainty, to be sharpened and honed by it,”   Dani Shapiro

*And of course, a quote by the incredible DVF: 

“I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.”