The Error  Of Writing A Story From A to B - And The Anxiety It Provokes

The Error Of Writing A Story From A to B - And The Anxiety It Provokes

2 min read

What does it mean to concentrate? Specifically when it comes to writing. Let’s throw in our usual disclaimer when it comes to creative work, and writing is no different, everyone has their way about it. Equally so, and regardless of this disclaimer. We all have to land in the same airport, of actually manifesting the words in the order we want.

I spoke to my friend the other day on the phone, in the background his four-year-old son was taking his first strides on a bicycle. Eventually, the kid got on the phone, claiming a conquistadoral victory over the porch. I asked the kid how he was biking. In the four-year-old’s answer some of the common creator’s dilemma showed it's teeth. “ I was careful of not going in a straight line,” the kid said. “I created my circles and that’s how I got from one end to another.”

This is a question I often ask myself, what is the specific reason I struggle going directly from point A to point B? Anytime I find myself orbiting around that question, it takes on a life form. It tells me that I can solve this equation, so often I spend a lot of time when exactly that, solving it. While at the same time, I know it is a layered procrastination trap. The question starts toying with me, “come on you can beat me, I am simple, it is so easy to go from point A to point B, everybody knows that.” The question bears an alarming similarity to the voice of my friend’s kid. Innocent and arrogant at the same time.

When this happens, again and again, aversion towards the question starts to arise. We avoid thinking about it, and it becomes easier to step onto the merry-go-round and only focus on orbiting the question. It becomes painful to think about. I hadn’t really thought about this dangerous, energy-sucking trap until recently when I stumbled upon a quote from a book I’m reading:

“I will not avoid thinking just to avoid the anxiety that thinking provokes” - Eric Maisel from the book Mastering Creative Anxiety

The presupposition error is thinking that there is a solution because in the end there is no question being asked. We want to go from point A to B.  We have a story, we know how it begins, we know how it is in the middle, and we know how it is in the end.

Regardless of that, I’m starting to suspect that writing is not about going between these points, from start to finish. I’m starting to suspect that creating circles is closer to the point, than writing the story.  And if we honor the primal desire of reflecting our identity through an original method; through creating our brand of circles, we might arrive at a place, were going from point A to point B become secondary, and thereby easy and effortless.

Olaf de Fleur

Creative unlocker. At your disposal. I direct and write films. Two-decade experience. Fifteen films. Sold high concepts. Corporate consultant.