I started a new book last week. I mean, technically, I “started” a “book,” but all that means is I have a few scenes from a hypothetical story outlined in a notepad and sketched out on my computer. That’s not a book. That’s not really anything. In fact, I stumbled over the first line of this blog for some time, because even saying, “I started a new book” sounds like a fraudulent statement.
It’s funny how the tiny beginnings of major happenings can make you feel exactly like that, like a fraud, just pretending to be something you have far more fantasies about than experience. It’s like referring to yourself by a fancy new title on your first day of work, or commenting on your marriage the day after your wedding. The claims feel sort of contrived and uncomfortable. Technically, you are those things, but it still feels like you’re faking it.
My husband is really careful about his hands. Sometimes I give him a hard time about this, but, as a guitar player, it’s a valid concern. Anything that happens to his hands happens to his career. They break, it breaks. As failing to be concerned about things is probably the quality about myself that probably deserves the most concern, I’ve never before applied any similar reasoning to myself. Ninety percent of everything I do comes from my brain, so I don’t feel especially wary around hammers.
Then, after having a particularly difficult time transitioning from the holiday fog into January productivity this year, a horrifying thought occurred to me: What if I got permanently stuck in the fog? What if my brain didn’t shift back into critical thinking and creative expression mode? Anything can change the way a brain works – hormonal changes, chemical changes, injury, disease, simply aging – WHAT I IF STOP THINKING GOOD?