Midlife crisis. Existential crisis. A crisis of faith. All well known, well defined states that don’t need much explanation.

But the Writer’s Crisis – that is another thing altogether. Finding yourself in that place where you doubt every word you have written or will ever write, where you are afraid to put a word on paper because it’s sure to be the wrong word, where your instincts are suspect, your skills impoverished, and there is no solid ground.

Yep. That’s where I’ve been.

Like all such crises, it was of course a learning opportunity, and once the scars are healed I think my writing will be stronger for it.

As I was flailing about in despair, I mentioned to a writer friend that I felt like I was climbing Mt. Everest without a guide. He heartlessly reminded me that many people have survived Everest, some of them in goatskin tents. He advised me to take up my goatskin shelter, stop blathering, and get back to writing.

I owe him a great deal for this sage advice.  The truth is, I am not alone in my predicament. Other writers have been in this place before me, others will follow. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’ll be here again.

But at the moment, I’m packing up the goatskin and moving on. The sky is blue, the air is balmy, and I see a clear path before me of where this story is heading. I even like what I see.

So I’m back to writing with confidence until I reach the edge of my vision and get lost again. But if and when that happens – I’ve got the goat skin tent and the experience of how to survive.

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