Imagine with me that you are at a beautiful mountain lake. (Yes, I realize that my picture is of a river – that is the ‘imagine’ part of this exercise)
Anyway- back to our imagination. You are standing on a small outcrop of rocks that juts out from the shoreline. You are thinking of jumping in the lake. You are in fact, planning on it and looking forward to it. And yet – you hesitate.
You know that the water is cold. Each of your friends that has jumped in has reemerged screaming and gasping for breath because of the abrupt chill. But now they are swimming happily, yelling for you to join them, claiming that it is ‘not so bad’. It looks fun and it even looks refreshing. It would feel good on your sunburned skin.
Maybe it has been a long time since you have been swimming. Maybe you are worried that it has been too long. Do people forget how? Is it like riding a bike? But, you also remember loving swimming
Maybe you remember very clearly the last time you did it. Floating in the water, the top layer warmed slightly by the sun, you could feel where the sun’s influence ended. There was a spot about half way down your leg that the water temperature changed and became colder. It felt darker, deeper, and maybe it even seemed thicker. Images of monstrous prehistoric fish nibbling on your toes flitted through your mind. Perhaps being unsure of the exact depth of your plunge has you a bit unnerved.
Or a combination of it all. . .
I am feeling this right now. My post-pregnancy brain is starting to feel like it is returning and I am ready to plunge back into my book. Only I hesitate.
Why? There are a lot of other people swimming around in their writing right now. Saying that the ‘water is fine’. I should be able to join them, right?
It has been a long time since I was able to work on my writing. Have I forgotten everything? I do remember really enjoying it though.
Or maybe it is that I know how deep the lake really is. I can see that prehistoric fish waiting for me.
I think I am looking a a major rewrite. I have been trying to figure out how to put a complicated back-story in without an ‘info-dump’. I am realizing that perhaps my main character doesn’t even need the complicated back-story.
Does it really add to the story? Not just that, but is it essential to the story?
If not, then the whole purpose behind her being where she is changes. And that, changes everything.
So I stand perched on my cliff, ready to dive in and join the swimmers.
My question for you is: What thing are you wanting to do in your life and yet you hesitate? What is keeping you from plunging in?