I forget the power of mania.
[When I started that sentence, I thought there was going to be a whole string of adjectives describing emotions, but I could come up with only two….]
… I find ways of avoiding my fear, or my sadness.
Right now, at this moment, I have this big (not-so-big, really) piece of writing I need to do. I’ve alluded to it before. At the end of the day, it’ll be somewhere between fifteen and twenty-five pages. Not a huge amount. And it will concern material with which I’m intimately familiar. And about which I have very little doubt.
That’s not quite right.
It will concern material about which I have lots of doubt, but the doubt which I have is entirely welcome, and appropriate.
So anyway: I have this writing project. And I do. not. want. to. do. it. I don’t want to do it for at least two reasons: first, because I don’t like the assignment. I didn’t choose it. It isn’t the one I’d give myself, if I were in the writing-assignment-giving position. And second, because I’m scared. [Did I mention that?]
I’m scared because, after I write my little project, I have to defend it. It’s not a Ph.D. It’s not a dissertation defense. But it’s along those lines. I have to sit in front of a bunch of greybeards and discuss it, and, at the end of the discussion, they’ll either raise or lower their thumbs. If they do the former? Nothing really changes. If they do the latter? Well, nothing really changes, either, except that I probably will do the same thing all over again a few months down the road. Or not. It’s entirely up to me, and it truly doesn’t matter.
But here I am: paralyzed by my manic defenses against my terror.