For years, I believed the notion that self-confidence was the key to top performance in nearly everything, including writing. But in a yoga book, I came across another thought that made me think that faith may be more important than belief.
If I believe I am a good writer, for some reason that isn’t so solid, even though logically I know that is a true statement. But if I have faith in the process of writing, that feels solid. I do have faith in the pr0cess of writing. Poems do hang together, plays come to a satisfying ending and I can use the same faith to know the novel will hang together and come to a satisfying ending.
I don’t know why belief doesn’t connect to me and doesn’t help me write, where faith does help me pound the keys.
Just thinking of this, I wrote three poems this week, including one for my friend Jim, whose birthday it would have been, but he died last September.
Knowing that the writing will come together gives me impetus to write because one of the beliefs that cause my writer’s block is the feeling that I will get half way through and have no place to go. Although that hasn’t happened for me in any other writing.
Even is single image will trigger a whole poem that might not be finished completely until I edit or do several more drafts, But the heart of the poem is there. And it is pretty easy to modify each draft. When I wrote the play, I knew how it would end. But everything else that I imagined turned out to be historically true and the scenes melted into one another until the play was finished.
So there is no reason for me to think the novel will be any different and having faith in the process of writing encourages me to write. Where belief in myself doesn’t work. I may be tired, sad, angry or something else that would limit me but faith in the process of writing doesn’t depend on me. That’s just fine.