My latest Steven Pressfield email has landed in my inbox, spurring a response to his “Wilderness in a Corner Office” blog post.
You can have a great career, a loving spouse and family, the respect and envy of all who know you … and still be in the Wilderness.
You’re in the Wilderness if this career/family/respect is for a calling that is not yours, that doesn’t arise from your truest self.
In a way, this is the most excruciating form of Wilderness because you’re in hell and you know it, yet you get no sympathy for your suffering, even from yourself. In fact, if you dare to express your misery (even to yourself), you are looked at as an ingrate, a cream puff, a weenie.
You’re not. Your wilderness is real. Your suffering is real. And your peril is real. – Steven Pressfield
What hit me is that while technical writing was once my “wilderness in a corner office,” writing fiction has now become my wilderness. It is no longer the dream, if it ever was. I was motivated, for sure, to write every novel, novella, and short story I wrote. And it was a step in the right direction from technical writing. But it wasn’t my final destination.
My desire for writing has been dwindling ever since I came face-to-face with my real desire, which is all about music. My original audience is gone, if *my audience* means the people who propelled me to write those stories in the first place. That need to be heard, especially by those people, was real but is no longer a thing.
So instead of continuing to work the 90 Day Novel exercises, which may be part of what’s killing that desire to write, I need to focus on music. So much to learn. The more I learn, the more I learn that some things can’t be learned. I’m absolutely terrified to keep trying! Who am I to make some noise and call it music? I absolutely do not feel good enough!! Just writing this is scaring me.
But I absolutely love it! And if I must put my ass where my heart wants to be (ala Steven Pressfield), well, music is absolutely it! For more motivation, I can read my novella, She’s Not That Good – lol!
And every time I see this sitting on my desk next to my mic, well, I feel the nudge to press on. Terrified or not. Because the fear tells me how important it is. Like the first time I auditioned for a solo part in my high school choir’s spring program. I was absolutely terrified, but I knew I absolutely had to do it. And I got the part. I’m still that girl.
The problem is that as soon as I make a pronouncement such as this, my muse starts whispering stories it wants to hear.