When you get into a tight space and everything goes against you…never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
I’m confused. How often do we feel this way in our writing?
Now, there was a time when a muddled state of affairs would drive me to despair. I’d throw up my hands and tie my mind in knots and feel like quitting. But after many a slip and slide, I’ve learned that “The Land of Confusion isn’t really a bad place to be. Here’s why: because it shares a border with “The Land of Possibilities.”
It’s counter intuitive, I know, but confusion often proves to be a very productive, fruitful state. When you’re confused, you don’t know which way to go, so your best strategy is to look at everything: to come up with a bunch of ideas that might fit the situation you’re in and try them on for size. Certainty limits you; confusion frees you. It forces you to stretch yourself to find something fresh and new.
But here’s one really useful thing I’ve learned about being confused: The worst thing you can do when it hits you is to run around in a tizzy as if your hair’s on fire. The best thing you can do?
Stand still and let ideas come to you. When you are calm amidst confusion, when you are the quiet center of the storm, when you let everything swirl around in your head without panicking, when you know that this, too, will pass — something magical happens: You enter “The Land of Possibilities.”
Ideas arise out of the muck and mist. They may have been waiting there all the time, just hoping you’d get quiet and listen to them so they could speak their piece and give you the help you need. Now, some of these ideas are bits of coal that turn to ashes when you test them out. But somewhere in the silence, there’s a gem — an approach, a sparkling flash of brilliance that’s exactly what you need. It’s just waiting for you to notice it, to pick it up and play with it.
Confusion is an illusion: It’s magic waiting to happen. Write on!
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