Moving Forward

Author’s Note – I debated whether or not to write a blog post this week. The events swirling around all of us, combined with a very sad loss for me personally, seemed so much more important than anything I could possibly have to say. But then I realized that was exactly what I had done in 2020. I held off on my creative journey and kept waiting for a good time to move forward again. Except there never was a good time. Something always—always—happened. The result was a creative paralysis that I’m still trying to break.

So I decided that I had to keep moving regardless. Like a shark. Even if my little creative light is feeling kind of dim at the moment and all of us are dealing with much bigger things.

And thus, a blog post was born.

This post features Betsy, of course. Also present is Harry, who a White Rabbit and the Guide on Betsy’s Quest to become a successful independent author. Better still, The Muse, who needs no introduction, has decided to show up to offer some guidance. Thank heavens.

Let’s see what’s going on…



*Betsy is sitting in the field surrounding the deep lake at the center of her mind* *She has her knees pulled up to her chest and is staring out at the water in the lake* *It moves back and forth, back and forth* *An unexpected wave splashes up and Betsy ducks her head* *Water washes over her* *The wind gusts and the tall grass of the field whips violently* *Betsy raises her head to stare out at the lake again*

*Harry hops up to crouch beside her*

“What’s wrong?” he asks.

“I’m sad,” Betsy tells him without looking away from the lake. “And I guess I feel lost. I don’t know which way to go. I can’t seem to move.”

“I thought you were getting past that.”

“So did I.” Betsy shrugs and puts her chin on her updrawn knees. “But then lots of things happened and it all got dark again. Maybe I should just sit here for a while.”

“Huh.” Harry looks around. The field is brightly lit with a ray of sunshine, but all around them is utter blackness.  “Yeah, I see what you mean. It’s pretty dark out there. I can’t see anything either.”

“I know,” Betsy whispers. “Everywhere I look. I mean, how can I move when I can’t see in front of me? How do I know which mountain I should head toward when I can’t even see that it’s there?” Betsy looks at Harry with tears in her eyes. “What do I do?”

*Harry shakes his head and settles on the grass beside her*

“Where do I go?” Betsy asks.

*Harry shakes his head again*

“And this is the challenge of trying to live creatively in the midst of difficult times,” the Muse says. She steps gracefully across the field and drops to sit cross-legged in front of Betsy.

“Muse?” Betsy blinks at her. “You came back from Bimini?”

The Muse shrugs her shoulder. “It seemed like a good idea.” She holds up a finger. “But listen to me. You keep jerking me around and I’m gone for good.”

“Oh.”  Betsy rests her chin on her knees again. “I guess I’m screwed then.”

“No.”  The Muse smiles, reaches over, and lifts Betsy’s chin. “All you have to do is move.”

“How can I move? There’s so much going on, so much swirling around and around and around. Everyone is angry and upset and frightened. I can’t even see the mountains. How am I supposed to move?”

“You move because you have to.” The Muse holds up a hand when Betsy starts to protest. “Listen, I know that it’s been a lot. Not just last week, or last month, or last year, but always. There is always a lot. I understand that things build, and if the darkness gets darker it can be hard to find your way. I get that right now you’ve gotten to a place where you can’t even see the mountains you’re aiming for. I know that you just want to sit still. But you have to move and press forward.”

“Why?” Betsy droops.

“Because, my treasure, that is life. More, it’s your life. If the darkness gets darker, you will feel more and more trapped until you won’t think you can find your way out of it at all.”

“Is it too late?” Harry whispers.

“No.” The Muse smiles. “There’s always time to make a decision and there’s always time to move. It just gets harder the longer you wait.”

“What should I do?” Betsy asks.

“Stand up.” Muse directs. Betsy, Harry, and the Muse all stand.

“The thing is,” Muse says, “you’ve been letting yourself get pulled OUTward. But you have to go ONward instead.”

“To the mountains.”


“That I can’t see.”

“Yes. It’s okay.  The most important thing is not really the destination, or even being able to see the destination. The most important thing is that you don’t stay still. That’s how statues and unhappy lives are made.”

“I guess that’s what I’ve been doing, isn’t it?” Betsy asks. “I’ve been staying still. And then I was going to move, but a lot of stuff happened, so I didn’t.”

“Yeah, you’ve been afraid to move anywhere because the world is so uncertain. But the world is always uncertain, and waiting for it to not be that way is pointless.  You have to move because that’s what creativity is all about.”

“So when I stayed still—”

The Muse gestures to the darkness around them. “The creative process goes dark. And the longer you wait, the darker it gets.”

“Will I ever be able to see again?”

“Sure. If you start walking, you’ll chip away at it every day.”

“The world seems different now. What if I fall?”

The Muse shrugs. “What if you don’t? Look, the truth is that we just don’t know what’s ahead. Look at 2020. Look at last week. We don’t know what’s coming. Not even me. The best we can do is try to expand, not contract. Life is about the journey, not the destination and all that jazz.”

“I’ve heard that before.”

“Some of my best work. Remember, you’re not making a journey if you don’t take a step.” The Muse looks at Harry. “And you, too. Just keep doing what you know you need to do.”

Harry bows his head. “Yes, ma’am.”

The Muse vanishes.

Betsy looks at Harry. “Do you think she’ll come back again?”

Harry shrugs. “Not if we stay here.”

“Okay.” Betsy draws in a deep breath. Closes her eyes. Points. “Let’s head that way.”


Remember, my friends – there’s a lot of crap happening in the world these days, but in our lives—and for our lives—it is important that we keep moving on our own personal journeys.

To be continued…



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