I see many writers (mostly talking about fiction), some published, some not, whose main focus seems to be on hitting the right number of pages. They see a formula that they assume equates to success, because it worked for others. And THEY got published. Or THEY got an agent. And so on. So they sit and struggle and sweat and try to craft paragraphs and structure and pace their characters in such a way to hit that mark.
But what if...we just unplugged from that idea? What if when we sat down to write, we just wrote. What if we clear our minds and instead of trying, pushing, and forcing a picture to materialize in our minds' eye, we simply...stopped thinking. What if we just allowed inspiration to find us. Trust our intrinsic value, our connection the Source that inspires us? Sit and be a vessel, channel those signals, that magic, those ideas that come effortlessly. Those thoughts that fill you up, make you tingle, make you queasy, those things you don't want to share with others because maybe they are just too big. Or don't make sense. Or don't fit. Or make you feel too much. That's the stuff to pay attention to. If you feel it, your readers will feel it. This is how you find an authentic writing voice. Write from YOU, from your inner voice, from your gut. We view and observe and breathe it in, and we interpret our world to share with others. This is the call of the writer. To take it in and learn, and pass it on. We are storytellers. We gain insight or inspiration and in our sharing, we inspire and give insight to others.
So, my thoughts?
Keep it simple, keep it authentic. Write the story that only you can write and it will touch people. It will be relatable. Because it must. There are too many of us, for your creation not to strike in chord in others, especially if it is born from within, in the truest sense. Don't waste time worrying and wondering about how to get it to market, who will buy it, how to make money. If you write from within, you will write because you simply have to. Because you have to get the beast out, the unrelenting passionate thing that lives inside. And you will crave the beauty and awe in finally releasing it, in setting it free, like a newborn, to make its own way in the world. Let your work be born in you, and give it wings to fly. If you connect in this way, you will know it will be read. You will just know. Because the message is too important, or beautiful, or humorous, or impactful not to share. If you write to fill pages, to squeeze into a genre, to hit a page count, to churn out aliteration, to prove your comfort with a thesaurus... it will feel like work. And thus, it will read like work. Write joy. Write fear. Write sadness. Write ecstasy. Write pain. Write laughter. But write true. xoxo
So I came to the realization a day or two ago that Facebook was a black hole, or at least it could be. I let it become that: an endless distraction. A ranting place. A big marketplace where some of us search for meaning or approval.
One day after spending my lunch hour outside, with the trees, and the narrative inside me... I decided I'd had enough. What a time waster, let it go, just write the book! Finish the book! And I did let it go... it didn't last very long. I enjoyed my FB Page, and what I share there, and knew that people from countries all over the earth check in and read and share things that I post. I wanted to keep that. So I set up a dummy account and made that account administrator. And that would be it.
I saw that FB friends were finding me with that new account. Where did I go? What happened? Was it something they did?
It wasn't you! So today I realized that sometimes, despite what we think or feel about how we interact, that we do make an impact. Not just talking about social media here, zoom out. Yes, more allegory, if I may.
What I mean is... we have value. It's not about validation or acceptance or seeking attention all the time. It's realizing that just being who you are, authentically, is a gift. To the rest of us. Beyond FB, Instagram, and all the rest, it is enough to just know and be yourself. Beautiful, flawed, authentic you. Because guess what? We're all flawed. We're all beautiful.
Be you and find out what other wonderful people get it, because they will. Do not filter yourself or adapt your being to suit an expectation; the only person you will trick is yourself. And it's tragic to lose oneself.
All that said... simplifying and cleaning up can shift your focus back inward. Get rid of clutter and get back your focus and inspiration. It is that simple. We spend too much precious time and energy thinking and worrying about things, rather than just waking up, smiling, counting our blessings, and being loving peaceful folks who just want others to be happy too.
It's all a journey. Step forward, step back, cha-cha-cha. But always learn, always stand up, always be ready for what's next. And note to self: FINISH IT! Just write.
It's been bugging me that I haven't written a post in about a month. I've been in the process of moving and adjusting and as of now... I am still surrounded by boxes, despite weeks of sorting through years of my life in a series of "things," tossing some out, letting go... and keeping some.
I would think about this blog, try to come up with a topic, and I have just been too busy and mind-cluttered to think of something worth sharing. Then it hit me.
Creating time and priorities.
I had actually allowed myself to become so immersed in the process of packing, moving, unpacking, working, writing, caring for a toddler... that I nearly postponed a doctor visit to guarantee a refill of my thyroid medication. This used to be a pattern for me... all obligation and putting myself last.
I did go. Only missed one dose, which is no big deal.
It was all a great reminder of how vital it is for us to intentionally create time, for ourselves. Even if it's only fifteen minutes. A few minutes to breathe, quiet the outside; the demands, the expectations, the ways of old that we became so accustomed to and need to release.
Sometimes we get so busy, we put so much in front of us, that we get lost in the shuffle.
Insist on that time. A few moments with no gadgets, TV, noise, music blaring, no running around... just to sit and be... makes a world of difference.
And here's something I've learned... I have to do it all the time. I think we are constantly growing and expanding, but we are also knocked back here and there to absorb some lesson, some truth, that will help us. Help us to heal from the past, shed illusions, purge our self-limiting thoughts and behaviors. This is all a part of it, a part of the journey, to becoming our true, limitless, and amazing selves. And it is all about the journey. Appreciate it.
So when I used to fear and fight against struggle, doubt, and all the rest... I now welcome struggle. To face obstacles, to struggle, is a gift. A blessing. But we must stare them down, all the inner-ugliness... push through, see ourselves clearly, learn the lesson, and keep moving forward. Our struggles reveal our strengths.
So... once I stopped thinking, it seems I had plenty to write about. There's a lesson there...