What if I’m Not Good Enough?

heart-shaped rocks on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Lakeshore Walk

Last week, I made a conscious effort to find a new place to walk and a different coffee shop in which to write. I usually use the elliptical at the gym or walk in a nearby forest preserve path. Similarly, I write at the local Panera. The booths are comfy, iced tea refills are free and they have outlets and free wi-fi. Everything about these walking/writing routines struck me as dry and boring.

I set out to find the lake. Not a small local lake…I was looking for Lake Michigan. I knew it was less than 10 miles from my house in the Chicago suburbs,  but unless I was having a touristy day in the city,  I rarely venture there. Considering my love of the water both salt and fresh, the stupidity of this hit me as I was in my car driving to my usual walking spot (driving to walk may strike you as stupid but…oh, nevermind).

Lake Michigan Lakeshore

Within minutes, I was standing on the pebble-strewn shore of the lake breathing in the air as I listened to the waves break. I wasn’t sure how far I’d walk as it was unfamiliar territory. I noticed all the shiny, smooth rocks embedded in the sand and decided to go just a little farther.

Last year (on a new adventure), I met this wonderful writer lady who collects heart-shaped things. I don’t know her well but we spent time together at a writing retreat and I was impressed by her warmth and positive outlook. She posts beautiful pictures of the heart-shaped objects she finds often accompanied by kind, generous and uplifting thoughts.

After we met, without meaning to, I began searching for heart-shaped things. Leaves, rocks, you name it, I’ve searched for them high and low usually without much luck. Most days, when I remember to pay attention, I find vaguely amoeba-shaped blobs that if I squint right and cast a shadow might pass as hearts…wounded ones.

heart-shaped rocks from Lake Michigan

The beach was strewn with pebbles, boulders and stones and I couldn’t seem to find one true heart shape among them. Like my inner writing gremlin, I began telling myself maybe I just wasn’t qualified. Maybe I didn’t have the inner stuff required to see something unique in nature’s debris. I wasn’t as nice as the heart lady. I wasn’t as “spiritual,” whatever that means.

heart-shaped rocks from Lake Michigan

On my writing journey over the past year I believed I was immune to writer’s block and determined I would not let my doubts keep me from taking action. For the first time in over a year, I’ve gone almost an entire week without working on my WIP. Still, I don’t think it was really a block – I never sat down to work on it. I’m not sure why but I’m back today. I’m pushing on.

heart-shaped rocks from Lake Michigan     heart-shaped rocks from Lake Michigan

Maybe we’re not meant to analyze why we get stuck or why we lack confidence. Maybe we’re just supposed to push on. Just like that day at the beach. I decided to go past where I was comfortable. The heart shapes were there all along,  beyond my comfort zone.

heart-shaped rocks from Lake Michigan


5 Thoughts on “What if I’m Not Good Enough?

  1. barb armstrong on May 11, 2015 at 9:53 am said:

    Sometimes your wisdom shocks me!!!!!

  2. Beautiful photos.

    Maybe you needed a break, it’s called re-charging! And I’ll bet that your seashore strolling has given you fresh inspiration. Hope so! You can’t keep a Brazil down for long!!! 😉

    Spiky hugs,

    The Hedgehog x

    P.S. Next time can I come with you?? 😀

  3. Hi Suzanne,

    I really enjoyed your story.. you must be a good writer as I felt I was walking on the beach myself picking up heart-shaped stones 🙂
    There’s always a reason why we get ‘ stuck ‘ , but as Angela said, maybe you just needed a break and a change of scenery.. Writers are artists, so I suppose going to the same coffee shop for a long period may not inspire you enough. Perhaps, in your spirit, there is something you are not quite satisfied with in your work and the story needs to shift it’s focus.. we have a deep wisdom that guides us to stop and reassess things. Ask yourself questions and you will find the answer.. trust yourself !
    The flip side of this of course could be… fear, doubt, lack of confidence.. So, building yourself up and believing in yourself could kick-start you in no time !

    Keep writing !!

    Orla. x

    • Thank you, Orla! Such wisdom in your comments. I am trying to recognize fear and doubt as signposts that I’m on an exploratory mission. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to connect.