I’m a good cook. Everyone says so. Bacon is particularly impressed with my ability to crack an egg into a mixing bowl with one hand. He never tires of the trick. I learned it from cooking thousands of meals, not so much because I love cooking, but more because my family insists on eating.
On my best days, cooking is creative. I make cheesecake from scratch in a springform pan. I bake sourdough bread from homemade starter. I’ve seen grown men come to blows over the last square of my toffee-filled brownies. But, despite these Julia Child moments, I lack the confidence to turn an over-easy without breaking the yolk.
My brother George used to coach me to lift and flip. This advice came from a man, who baked only in a toaster oven and made waffles out of jalapeño cornbread mix. He used to say, “It’s all in the wrist.”
It’s not in my wrist. It’s in my head. Precisely at the moment the egg is elevated, I falter. Doubt sets in. I flip and splat! Humpty Dumpty splits on the Teflon.
How can I be so accomplished with the challenging and so clumsy with the trivial? If I knew the answer, I could defeat writers block, stay on a low carb diet, train for a marathon, and keep my house clean. Self doubt gets in the way. Flippin’ eggs is an issue of confidence.
Breaking a rule here. A while back, I decided NOT to write about writing. After all, I’m out to recruit readers not writers to my little slice of the internet. Crisply Spoken is supposed to be about developing my voice.
Problem #1: I got stuck. And when I have a problem, I’m miserable until I find an answer.
Problem #2: I found too many answers. The internet is loaded with advice. Most of it—not that great.
I read so many blogs about how to fix my slow drift into the soft haze of apathy, I started looking for a correlation. Wow. That sentence sure sums it all up into a tidy stack. The insight wasn’t tidy. It was NOT a Eureka moment. It was more like constipation. Like the hives. Like lactose intolerance. Definitely unbecoming. Absolutely passive aggressive.
In my search for the answer to writer’s block, the same title appeared again and again. Every creative with half a clue mentioned the same book. Since I don’t want to appear clueless, I’m sharing it with you.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
I won’t summarize. If you have a real problem, you need to read the whole book. It’s short. 190 pages. I will say this. Now, I don’t worry if I’m good. I don’t worry if anyone will read my work. I don’t worry about finding an agent or making a sale. I worry about showing up. That’s the goal. Every day, I sit down at my laptop and type. It turns out, showing up works for me. If you’re struggling, I hope it works for you. Read the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.