Proceed Without Caution

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

~Diane Ackerman 

So I am on a mission this week to re-ignite my fire and drive to become more productive in my writing career and I came across this article by Sage Cohen on ways to harness your fear and make that fear fuel your writing.  There was a specific tip about focusing on the process instead of the results and it struck a chord with me.  I am always focused on the end result of any and everything.  I have always been a planner (at least in my adult post-motherhood days) I suppose I am overly cautious that way.  I have this need to know how things are going to turn out primarily because I just can’t stand the not knowing. 

The reality of any situation and of life really, is that there is absolutely no way of knowing how anything is going to turn out.  There’s no predetermined outcome for things (well there is but only God knows what they are), it’s just a game of wait and see.  I don’t exactly know when I became so obsessed with being cautious about everything because I never used to be that way, at least not with my writing.  My writing was always the one thing where I just wrote and whatever came of it when I was done was what became of it.  I wrote and believed that whatever I wanted to make happen with it would become a reality as long as I put in the work.  

Over the years it seemed like I put in more and more work with my writing and nothing grand (the way I dreamt it up in my mind) was happening and I just started to doubt a little bit more and believed that caution was the way to go.  The problem with that is that caution and creativity don’t really mix well together.  I somehow forgot how to just enjoy the process and deal with the results of that process when they needed to be dealt with.  Now of course results do indeed matter, but not at the expense of the sheer joy of working your way through the process.  

Writing is an extremely rewarding, healing, and invigorating process.  However, by constantly agonizing over what the results are going to be when I am done, I have somehow stopped enjoying the actual process of it.  Maybe that means I need to take a step back and just fall in love with the process again, minus all of the cautionary measures.  Old habits are hard to break but I am certainly going to try to get back to that place where I didn’t worry so much about what was on the other side of the bridge I was crossing, just so long as I made it there.  

Caution can be good sometimes on your way to any destination in life but too much apprehension for anything can hinder you from enjoying the journey you are taking to get there.  I think I just have to accept that I can’t know the end to every story, especially when I am not the author of it.  What God has planned for me is what he has planned and the only part that I can control is the lessons I take away from the process.  I think God has been trying to tell me to enjoy the journey and let him worry about where I end up.  It’s about time that I start to listen! 


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”