Light at the End of the Tunnel, Tunnel Vision and Writing

Sometimes we find ourselves in tight spots.

We may be overwhelmed with our writing, or work, or relationships, or feelings.

Our heart feels clenched shut. Emotions feel like pins prickling our skin.

If I just get through this week, this month, this year. . .

We don’t finish that thought.

Hope waits for us at the end of that ellipsis.

So, we make declarations.

I will push through this rough patch.

I will grit my teeth, clench my fist, suck it up and get it done.

Then, we utter this pithy saying: “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Sounds familiar?

When these words hit the air, let’s pause.

What if we thought about this scenario differently?

When we are in the heat of the moment, we are not aware that these situations, the ones we want to run away from, are precious beyond measure, especially for writers.

These moments and how we handle them are sacred: they are the material for our writing.

Yes, it is true: Light is at the end of the tunnel.

But…

Light isn’t only at the end of the tunnel.

Light can be dancing inside your eyes. Light can be coming from the glow of your heart, the sheen from your skin, your smile that dazzles the tunnel into silence.

The tunnel has so many adventures, so many stories, so many lessons for you.

Stay with the tunnel for a bit. Breathe in the darkness. Become friends with the curved hollowness of this structure that holds you in its embrace. Listen to the rocks crunching beneath your feet. Become one with the sounds of nature’s whispers.

Similarly, with writing and with life, if you hit a road block, or feel yourself speeding through to reach the “light at the end of the tunnel,” pause for a moment.

Slow down and take in the “tunnel.”

Feast on the little delights, wonders, blessings and “caress the details, the divine details,” as Vladimir Nabokov would say, in your writing.

You may be grasping for the light at the end of the tunnel while your written pieces may be dying to give voice to the life that is bubbling to the surface at the very place where you are standing.

Here is a question: what is your relationship to the tunnel?

The answer to that question changes everything.

 

 

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