Completion is an ambiguous arena to navigate. Creative projects rarely feel done. Eat to Beat Alzheimer’s, a fairly small book, tapped into a place inside of me that had so much to say! It was while working on Eat to Beat that I realized this book was a beginning for me, not the whole. I couldn’t burden one book with all that I had to share. It was important to stay clear on what this cookbook was meant to be: an educational text for learning about nutrition and brain health with recipes to put that learning into action!
Diving into the research was both fascinating and overwhelming. I had to bracket off areas of interest that from the creative mind were relevant, but would have been too much for this book. The writing process, for me, has been about traversing this interior landscape of desire, passion, mission and drive. What is relevant right now? What continues to bring this book alive? Building skills for attuning at this subtle level is creative learning. While the writing moves along, the end point is always waiting in the distance. Are we on track with it? Have we veered off course?
Arriving at the end point isn’t as obvious as it might seem. It looks obvious from a distance. I know where I am headed. But getting closer to it, it’s harder in some ways to see. One has to let go of peering into the dark, and feel for the endpoint instead. Is this it? Are we at the end of the road?
The end can appear dark. I think it appears dark because it requires us to look in a different way than we are used to. Creativity, for me, is not about shining a flashlight under a rock and seeing it all at once. It is about traveling along a path. I think I know where it is going, but really can only see a short distance in front of me. So we must trust the path we are on, and trust that we will know when we are complete.
This article originally appeared on Linda Appleman Shapiro's blog.
Francie Healey is the author of "Eat To Beat Alzheimer's and has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is both a Certified Health Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.practitioner.