Writing. On the surface, it sounds like such a simple thing. Put your pen to the page or your fingers to the keyboard and do it.
The trouble is that writing is never just about writing.
It's always about something else. I talked to a writer today who's going to write a book, and while it started out as a way to honor someone close to her, she realized that it was actually about herself. Claiming her own story and her own voice.
Another writer told me that she wants to finish her book because she wants to feel the sense of freedom that comes from finishing it. To know that she can do it, and that when other ideas and opportunities come along, she can say yes.
And still another writer recently admitted that her lack of progress is somehow related to self-doubt. Who is she to want more from life? To want something different than a 9 to 5 and a steady paycheck.
So doesn't it make sense that writing rules aren't always enough to get us to the page?
Here's what I know: every time you make a bold decision, it's exciting and scary as hell.
- Who am I to write a book?
- Who am I to have anything unique to say?
- Who am I to want more?
It can be enough to kick your fight or flight response into gear.
I tend to fight. I've quit jobs before thinking it through, signed up for programs without telling my better half that I was going to spend the money, pitched half-formed ideas, and submitted less-than-stellar work.... all out of a fierce and stubborn insistence that THERE HAS TO BE MORE.
You might choose flight. Avoid what you want. Pretend it isn't there (or that you didn't spend the money), or get half way through something and decide that it's easier to stop.
You might bounce between both. Either way, know this: You're worth it. I know this whether I know you personally or not. Because every time I see a writer let go of the fight, or give up the flight, I see extraordinary things happen.
You find your voice. You say yes to opportunity. You discover that you can have more.
So what are you doing right now with your writing? Are you avoiding it? Are you plowing forward without taking the time to honor it? Whatever you find, don't judge it. Just acknowledge it, and think of the one thing you wish you were writing. Brainstorm a list of 5 scenes, images, ideas or questions you have about that piece. Put 15 minutes on a timer, pick one, and begin.
Just 15 minutes. See what happens.
P.S. Only two spots left in my book planning and writing retreat. Check it out!