You are driving with a clear destination in mind, listening to music, minding your own business when suddenly two voices pop up in the back seat.
What if we never get there?
We should have turned left back there.
What if we don’t like it when we get there?
We should not be listening to this music.
What if we get in an accident?
We should stop for ice cream.
Meet What If and Should.
Two little gremlins. They are always back there.
What If and Should like to completely disregard the decisions we have already made.
What If and Should think that they get to be in charge, that they have the right to question and challenge every move we make.
What If and Should sit in the back seat and make their demands as loudly as possible. They get louder as our resolve begins to crumble.
FINE! we say. WE WILL STOP FOR ICE CREAM! JUST STOP NAGGING ME!
Hopefully, this metaphor is clear.
What If and Should question and challenge every move as we craft our stories.
What if it’s not the right story?
I should go do the dishes instead.
What if no one likes it?
I should be a better writer by now.
Something to consider: might we just let What If and Should say what they want to say without agreeing with them? Might we muster as much patience as possible to let them chatter in the backseat and continue on the path we chose when we first set out?