Writers are like cats. We don’t like our lives disrupted.

Put us in a room. We’re fine. Make that room smaller, lock us in the bathroom: If it’s the life, the space, we know, no problemo .

But throw our lives into chaos, and we’re hiding under the bed. As fast as that.

I’ve been hiding under the bed a lot during the past week. Hiding and yowling. Like a cat, a broken routine is very nervousmaking. And with this post, I announce a public message to myself:

Get over it.

One can be confident in one’s talent. Joyous in one’s willingness to listen and learn. And, at the same time, shaken to the core by doubt.

Get over it.

One can see the dumptruck of thoughts, of unexpected tasks, wheel up to the front door of one’s head, and watch as somebody pulls the “dump” lever.

Get over it.

Being the victim does not sit comfortably with me, even when it’s the demon that sits square on my chest and stares down at me with beady, delighted, malevolent eyes. So time to invite that demon elsewhere. There is a magic totem that will help do that; an incantation that may not banish the ugly critter, but will certainly shut the door on him for a while….

It is what it is.

That little bit of NY Zen is a writer’s best friend. It sends the beast into exile. It clears the decks for the one-thing-at-a-time thinking that helps her head function at its best. It is the quiet of the inner space. The perspective. The possibility.

Suddenly, “what if” isn’t the haunt in the room. Suddenly, there aren’t 80 things that might go wrong. There is one good thing that can go right. And another. And another. In a long, steady line that can get a scared-stiff writer through the night.

You’ve got both arms, both legs, and your head still stuck on where you last knew it to be? Good. Then move on.

Don’t worry about what it might be. Think about what it is.

Lynn is back.