A little over a month ago I reached out to an author that I had met to see if he wanted to get coffee. On Friday we finally got together for that coffee.
I’d be lying if I said I was completely cool about this one. I was not. A more accurate way of putting it is I was really nervous for no good reason. I knew this was just a cup of coffee. We weren’t discussing anything groundbreaking or of any potential career making. We were just getting coffee. But I think that was a part of my nerves; I didn’t really know what to expect.
I got there a little early, got my coffee, and waited for a short time until he showed up. Poor guy was super sick, but came anyway. I hadn’t grabbed breakfast before going, so I got a bagel with cream cheese in addition to my coffee. It was a little awkward at first, mainly due to the fact that my cream cheese was making a mess of me and I was attempting to stay somewhat professionally while cycling through about twenty napkins in an attempt to get all the crap off my hands. Very smooth.
But I’m sure a lot of the awkwardness came from me asking to meet with him with no real idea of why I wanted to or with anything in particular to ask him about. Pretty soon though, we were on a roll. We got to talking about my book and he threw out a ton of ideas. We also talked about story structure in all different mediums and just jammed for awhile about all sorts of random, like how you never see wild colors on cars. As we were leaving I felt really good about the meeting and was so glad I had jumped out there to talk with him. I felt so pumped, wanting to get cracking on my book immediately and was actually a little bummed that I had to go to work.
But as the weekend wore on, I got a little down and actually began to question the whole experience. I felt stymied and didn’t really understand why. The work on my book that I was so jazzed to start felt overwhelming and impossible. After a little self analysis, I realized that not only had I not explored the ideas we had discussed to better see what my own thoughts on them were, but that I am not yet in a place with the book to execute the ideas we bounced back and forth. All that put together equaled me feeling like a bad writer. I began to doubt my abilities and fell into a bit of a funk.
Luckily I pulled myself out of it with being totally consumed. I’m beginning to see that this is a bit of a pattern for me. Getting ideas and thoughts while in the midst of the creative process is a tricky and sensitive thing, and in no way do I put blame for my not being able to handle it on anyone but me. Thankfully I’m starting to recognize my own neurosis surrounding this and hopefully will begin to catch it sooner and sooner.
And maybe I was able to keep my crazy under wraps enough that he’ll be open to meeting again.