My friend Fran needs to make a life change.
It might be BIG change like selling her home. It might be less drastic, like renting it while she goes travelling.
Her inner knowing is screaming that she must change something; that it’s essential for her well-being.
Yet she doesn’t have a clear picture of what her new situation is going to look like.
So she’s paralysed.
This stuckness begins to take a toll on her health. She comes out in eczema all over her body.
It reminds her of a story in Women Who Run With the Wolves in which the skin of the woman who is really a seal, begins to dry out. She knows she must return to live in the water.
Fran is like the seal-woman. She’s drying out because she needs to swim into uncharted waters.
Eventually there comes the day when she just can’t ignore it any more. She knows she has to take a tiny step into the unknown. Any step.
The next step. The next thing to be done.
It might be going to the estate agent’s to ask how much she could rent her home for. And how much she could sell it for. Or emailing to find out details of that travel package that she’s secretly dreamt about.
None of these steps in themselves will actually change Fran’s life. But, yes, a string of these tiny steps.
(The way adding one small pearl at a time to a thread, eventually makes a necklace.)
Once she’s done the first two, then she just needs to figure out the next one. Then she needs to do that.
And rinse and repeat.
The Doctorow quote at the beginning of this post, doesn’t only apply to writing novels. It works for any creative project.
And for life itself.
We don’t always need the route planned out in advance. Or even to know the destination.
We just need to be able to see as far as the end of the headlights. And keep driving.