The way of physical things is to erode and wear down.
Over time, statues crumble, great landmarks change and fade, and as time passes, we grow older. Our batteries drain.
Hopefully we remain enthused and growing, manifesting our vision, regardless of our situation or age. On the one hand, time brings us infinite possibilities; we’re on a conveyer belt towards unlimited potential. On the other hand, as time moves along, we may feel that things are taken from us — as one chapter begins, another one concludes.
We’re in this flow, and we do ourselves a service when we acknowledge that it can be very humbling. However, humility brings with it a unique opportunity: to be small, lean, grounded.
Maybe your book didn’t do as well as you’d hoped. Maybe you had a bad writing day.
There is a way of positioning ourselves so that the same even-mindedness which gets us to stay motivated and press onward can help us quietly affirm what we love best. What is most true remains true when things retract with the inevitability of a pending autumn.
Humility helps us take the long, long view, to believe in the best of ourselves with absolute rootedness. To be willing to be wrong. And to be willing to let things go.
Remember the mantra: easy come, easy go.
When you write, you’re just putting words on a page, just letters on a screen. If you are not sure that some parts of your writing fits with anything you’re working on, you can always cut them from your working document and paste them into a special “cuts” file. Maybe they will never again see the light of day or leave the “cuts” file. But moving deleted material to a cuts file is a safe bet since you retain the opportunity to review everything in the cuts file at any point, salvaging what might still have life.
One moment’s trash is another moment’s treasure. If you feel stuck with your working document, mine through your cut material and take several sections and use them as a jumping off point for a new freewrite.
Humility goes hand in hand with enthusiasm. To manifest the best of ourselves means to allow for periodic refinement and alchemization.
Clear the clutter. Don’t try to keep everything that you write. If you can spare it, cut it into a dedicated “cuts” file. Maybe you’ll use it someday, maybe you won’t. But thanks to your humility, it won’t clutter up your working document.