I have a friend who says, when faced with a problem, "The only way through is through." I have been spending time with her lately, and maybe that's why I woke up the other morning with this vivid image of myself standing at the top of a ski slope. I was on skis, looking down a steep, mogully slope, the words of my old ski instructor (a hottie, from my early 20s) echoing in my ears: "The only way down is down."
A ski slope is a different kind of problem than...well, a "problem." For one thing, everytime I've ever gone skiing I was choosing to be there, excited to be there, hopped up as if on drugs to be there. I love skiing. Even so, not being world class at the sport, I frequently found myself at the top of a slope that was a bit too challenging for my taste.
I could stand there at the top for a long time, squinching my skis and poles around, maybe doing a long traverse and quick crowhop turn then another long traverse across the slope. Finally, far behind my skiing buddies, I'd have to go for it. "The only way down is down," I'd mutter, and point my skis down the hill.
That's how I've been feeling about tackling a new writing project. I want to be here. I'm glad I'm here. I choose to be here. But I still find myself filled with dread, making those silly big wedgie turns (what are those called?) and hesitating.
It's time. And the only way to write the next thing is to write it.