How I finally started writing again (haven’t we been here before?)Read More
Trying to find the right moment to write won't get the writing anywhere. Trying to find the right words to write won't either.
Trying in general doesn't really get one anywhere.
If you want to go somewhere with writing, with life, do move against that which proclaims "rightness." Challenge when inspired, take heed when called, and at any time, know that you can walk on past.
Road signs and guideposts can help outline a path, but good stories always begin with a trip in the woods.
"No one ever has 'talker's block'" - Seth Godin
Yes, and in my head, there is no thinker's block either. But there is a critic's mallet. A gavel thunders down after each thought. Most thoughts.
When I try to listen for it, however, it starts to fade away, like when you catch your friend who constantly mumbles by surprise and genuinely ask, "What did you say?"
Suddenly, a voice that couldn't shut up realized it was being listened to and then clams up, unable to speak for fear of actually being heard.
To equal out the equation, I can help my thoughts become words and become posts by forgetting that anyone might be reading this anyway.
And if I listen to the inner judgments and innocently ask, "What did you say?" I can start to remove the barriers between the truth and my heart.
Every day is a new beginning, and presumably, I'll have a new thing to say. (At least that's what Seth Godin has to say about it.)
I do have a new thing to say because I always have something to say.
Lately, I've been working on saying more by saying less. This is one of the keys to good writing. So why not try again? Every day, find something worth sharing, something worth saying. Say it in the least amount of words possible. But say it (or write it!) nonetheless.
Every new habit has a "honeymoon" period. As I get deeper into this commitment to SUSDAT (Show Up, Sit Down and Type), it starts to have a little less thrill and a little more weight of "What am I going to write about?"
This is a very early morning of a full day and I know if I don't do this practice right now, it won't happen. So I'll take this moment to acknowledge that I already feel good about several of the posts done already, which would not have been written without this commitment.
My first poetry mentor encouraged me to write a poem a day because statistically, that's how we begin to grow a volume of good work. It might only be 10% of what we've written, but we also have gained experience, tons of salvageable material and the feeling that we can do it.
Well, this is just showing myself that I can do it.
As I "Show Up, Sit Down, and Type" today, I am reminded of the thought of something better that often haunts me as I write. It is part of why it is so easy to be distracted from writing, so easy to judge oneself for any fault whatsoever, real or imagined.
I will often share with the students in my meditation classes that the mind lives in the realm of ideas and ideals, which is not always connected with the ground of right-here-now. The mind helps us in many ways, especially when we need to use logic to accomplish a task. However, it is not the whole story.
When you have the thought of something better, whether it be as mundane as an insight in rearranging or the life-changing consideration of what your life would be like with a different partner, see if you can recognize the most crucial truth of all:
It is just a thought.
It might be a wonderfully indulgent thought, or a thought that makes all sorts of sense. But that doesn't negate that it is a thought. And thoughts are just projections of the mind. And the mind is not the whole story.
Joan Tollifson beautifully demonstrates in her book, Bare-Bones Meditation, that "Thoughts are not facts," though they make great cases to persuade us to believe they are.
Next time you recognize a thought of something better, see if you can emphasize the thought part of it, and see if it changes your sense of the something better part.
It has been almost a year since I had my last post on here. Ironically, it was about why we have interruptions in writing.
It has been quite a year for sure. Since last August when we opened our first "store" and started to move forward with our vision of the Upward Spiral Center, we've manifested our own space in our home neighborhood of Seminole Heights. We've been building this vision throughout the summer and our now ready for a full Fall season.
I've been inspired by Seth's Blog post from today on SUSDAT - Show Up, Sit Down, and Type. For someone who teaching the virtue of "just sitting down to write" I could use more of this discipline in my life.
So let's see if the next year will show more time spent "just writing" on my side and we can see where it gets us. Or I can see where it gets me. Because let's be real, I'm not writing for you (no offense), I'm writing for me.
In the middle of writing a post for my business website, I am suddenly distracted by the urge to write a post on this blog about how I'm suddenly distracted to write something else. [You know, now that I have this window open and am writing this post, I am thinking of going back to the first one...or write about the whole things on Facebook]
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN???
I see this tendency in all that I do. Well, most of it. To date, I haven't actually just stopped a massage session because I remembered that I needed to make a phone call or suddenly wanted a piece of cheese. But when I'm by myself, able to construct time the way I want to, it seems that between what I am doing and what I am planning to do next is this incessant voice that the "thing to do next" is somehow always better than what I'm doing now, more so enough that I should just abandon what I'm doing currently.
It happens in yoga and meditation. It happens in cleaning (if anyone ever videotaped me cleaning the house, I'd be afraid to actually see how many times I go in and out of all the rooms). It happens, I dare say, in intimate moments where the sensible part of me is appalled at the fact that I could be thinking of payroll at a time like this?!?!?!
And it happens in writing. Actually, now that I am observing, I've written most of this in just one sitting. I guess when you are so engrossed in a topic, it just spews out. Until you get to a point like this where I'm not sure what to write next. ... [maybe I should go back to that other blog post...?]
I'm in the middle of a few days to myself at the beach. Its a time when I can do literally, whatever I want. This means way too much work for vacation and then giving into impulses that are very far away from work (lets just say I've eaten more doughnuts in two days than I typically eat in an entire year...). But it also means for an extended amount of time I can just really look at myself. This is what those moments of reflection afford us. This is also why we distract ourselves away.
Life is like a constant game of tetherball - I feel continuously flung around, moving away towards something else then being pulled back again to the center and eventually unwinding away again.
Can I see the distraction as just a part of a process? Can I not judge it? Can I revel in the dance?
going to finish that other post now ..
It is funny how the same feelings emerge and re-emerge over and over again. I've started to recognize that each time I go to write or post a blog, this intense churning feeling arises in my stomach and often keeps me from posting.
What is even more funny is I teach classes on this idea of "just sitting down to write," and yet I struggle with it regularly.
And by "funny" I mean ridiculousness in the sense that I need to just get over myself. Life is full of contradictions and I am no exception.
I created 101 Days of Gratitude originally with the idea that it would help me to post more regularly on social media. It worked the past two years though this year it has fallen away far more than before. I haven't posted in many days, weeks...possibly longer!
It has been so long that when I think about posting, guilt comes over me. I hear some voice in me saying, "You started this project and then abandoned it? How hard can it really be to post everyday? Everyone will think you can not follow through with projects..." and on and on
But then a calmer voice inside, one that seems a little more like it is worth listening to, starts to remind me that I am posting about what I am grateful for. It reminds me that I tell everyone else that "you can't do this project wrong." The voice tells me to just post and post often! Hey, I could post twice a day, who cares! That would at least take care of talking myself out of posting because "maybe there is something better to post about."
Now I am rambling. And feeling a little better. Maybe I will go post after all!