I’ve noticed lately that writing has felt like a chore. As soon as I committed to really moving forward with it, the inspiration bucket seemed to run dry. If I’m not actively avoiding it, I’m skirting around it by re-reading things, looking for documentation of something or just typing a paragraph of gibberish before finding something else that absolutely needs to be done right this minute before I type another word.
I’m aware of what I’m doing and yet I am merely watching myself as a spectator and not taking too many clear and focused steps to move through the resistance. And with each passing day, the weight on my shoulders and the lump in my throat get just a wee bit bigger.
I have come a really long way to be right where I am and it was an often very difficult path and so I am really proud of myself. I am also very aware of myself. I know my patterns and my bullshit (though I also recognize that it’s more like cat shit these days). I’ve spent years breaking these patterns down and stepping out of my comfort zone and so I know when to call myself out and yet – I haven’t been doing that.
My writing usually happens through some sort of divine intervention and it goes something like this: I’m moving through my day, I notice something about myself or someone else that reminds me of something and an idea pops into my head. I then spend a few days allowing it to sort of roll around my heart and my brain before I sit down and pound it out. When this happens, it flows and it’s exhilarating and I feel like, “Damn! I got it!” A little editing ensues and then I send it off somewhere or post it on my site. It’s all one neat looking little package.
The comfort zone of my neat little package is somewhere around 1,000 words. It usually happens naturally that my idea begin to wrap itself up around 700-800 words and unless spirit throws me another bone, it will tie its bow about 200-300 words later. Easy-peasy. It’s a sweet spot that I’ve been in for several years now and it’s been good for me.
Even in that layout, I seldom publish more than one piece a month though, and although I’ve written with deadlines and such before, it was always under the structure of a specific topic being assigned to me and not because Spirit was whispering sweet nothings in my ear.
Recently I’ve been working on a book. Great, right?! It is so exciting and fun to talk about writing a book and secretly I’ve wanted to do it for years. I even started a fictional novel close to seven years ago and it was going really, really well until my inspiration well ran dry (read: Janet’s fear kicked in). Despite picking it up several times since then, not another word has been written.
And now here I am stuck in a corner with a new idea for a book that sounded great in my head until I had to sit down and write it. Every word within me has seemed to freeze. This is the most I’ve written in a good while now and it is because I finally hit the threshold where the discomfort of not writing is greater than the discomfort of actually doing it. I am struggling in this space outside of my comfort zone and finding it difficult enough to stick my head out the door let alone walk through it.
I’m sick of my resistance, my excuses, my utter lack of faith in myself to come up with an idea. I am so tired of my ego standing in between me and where I want to be. The truth of the matter is that I’m scared. I’m scared if I do and I’m scared if I don’t. I can sit here and wait for inspiration to strike and notice that I’m scared and do subconscious releases and heal, but at the heart of it all, if I don’t take action, nothing will happen. The words actually can write themselves, but I still have to sit my ass in a chair and allow them to glide through my fingertips.
Somehow I have found a way to flow in many areas of my life, so when I’m stuck, I notice it immediately and it becomes harder and harder to stay in a stagnant space. I want so much to grow, and expansion demands that I live on the edge of my comfort zone. I have to walk through it and let go of the old ideas that may have worked really well when I was a different version of myself (or may not have though I clung to them anyway). The willingness to change my thinking and try something new is a rather novel concept for me and one that has dramatically shifted my life. I don’t want to stop and I don’t want to shrink. And so I must move forward, one step at a time, regardless of how small that step might seem.
I am the only thing that ever gets in my way. Understanding this is liberating. Sometimes it might look like other things are the obstacles, and my ego would love for me to believe that, but in truth…It’s always just little ole me standing resolutely in the middle of the path staring right back at me. For such a small person, I can make myself really big when it comes to creating excuses and justifications for not writing. The reel goes something like this: I’ve been really busy! I have had a lot of sessions and I’ve been getting things in order and I have to run Jake around…Everything is great, but I just haven’t been able to sit down and write.
My boyfriend likes to remind me (all the time because I need it) that if we really want to do something, we make it a priority. All of the things that I tell myself that are in the way are valid and true with the exception of the fact that they are not actually in my way. They are a part of my experience; they do not block it unless I allow them to do so. Learning to maneuver the path with grace and ease is a skill that many very busy people have attained. There is always time and I have a choice in how I want to spend it. So as I look at this, I am able to see that time can in fact be on my side as long as I’m willing to be honest with myself about how I want to utilize it. Writing is an investment in me and my future and my wellbeing. Honoring that allows me to see that is the very reason that I hesitate to engage with it; it is the very reason that resistance tugs at my shirtsleeve.
Today I choose to allow the resistance to become le résistance! It feels good to write when I remember and acknowledge why I do it. And this has been a good reminder to be gentle with myself. I’ve never written a book before, so the first time through will be a little uncomfortable at times. I will have some false starts, as a dear friend recently shared with me. If I can just remember that and sit and write through the discomfort, inspiration will be able to flow from within me no matter where I am.