“It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the machinery, but the friction. Fear secretes acids, but love and trust are sweet juices.” Henry Ward Beecher
Worry. Anxiety. Stress. Doubt. Fear. Pick your acid: Whatever we call the corroding force or forces that get in the way of our writing, the result is the same. They’re pen poisoners, computer gremlins: They creep into our day and “rust”the blades of our intention – dulling the work we’re doing or even stopping it cold.
These work-deprivers can affect us in so many ways. They can make us feel unworthy or too inexperienced to do the job we’ve set for ourselves. They can spark worry about whether we’re on the right track. They can make us unsettled and unsure, robbing us of our purpose and focus. The list of woes these writing “rusters” can visit upon us is legion.
What to do? What do do? Our boy Henry has given us the antidote: Instead of letting our creative blade be dulled by the acids of fear and worry, we can step back and realize that we have a whole other set of tools in our writer’s kitbag: “love” and”trust.”
“Love and trust are sweet juices” – and we can reach for them.
When we do our work with love – with joy and thanksgiving — the work itself rewards us. And when we trust that we are following our calling –- that we are doing what we are meant to do — then fear and worry fall away. When we call upon our focus and the self-discipline to keep going, trusting that we will find the right path slowly but steadily, then our fears and worries fade. They shrivel away from lack of attention or abandon us and find some other poor writer to pester.
So what’s it going to be for us today? Worry and fear, acids that rust and rankle – or the sweet, lubricating juices of love and trust? May we all choose wisely as we write on!