“We don’t say I can’t here; only I don’t want to.”
It’s really not that high…. And the trapeze isn’t as far away as it looks, but when you are standing on the top of a 5 inch round log, with nothing to hold onto and only air surrounding you it seems like the most impossible obstacle in the world.
Obstacles are funny that way; I suppose if they didn’t seem impossible they would just be called play-structures. The ropes course at Squaw Valley challenges you to face the thoughts that tell you something is impossible (although it doesn’t really do anything about the inner voice shouting‘this is crazy’).
Writers face plenty of these obstacles as they go through their journey. Some of them are entirely internal (you’ll never be able to finish it), and others are voiced openly and with such confidence you assume they must be true (do you know how impossible it is to get an agent).
And the funny thing is, I have found it doesn’t really help when eventually you do get published (because, believe me, if you stick to it, you will). Then the inner voice says something like, (no one will like your work) and the external ones talk all about the impossibility of making a living at writing.
Listening to these voices it is easy to forget that the reason I started writing was because I loved it. Rather than the sheer joy of writing, the obstacles begin to look like the purpose for my work.
At the top of a 100 foot tall pine tree I was so intent on ringing the bell that proved I had reached the top that I completely forgot to look at the beautiful scenery surrounding me. And ultimately that is the biggest problem with using the word can’t; I become so focused on overcoming the obstacle that I forget I am actually there because I want to be.
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