Writing is one of the hardest and one of the most joyous activities for me. If you relate, this blog is for you.
Sometimes, the words just flow out of me – fiction, website content, sales and marketing materials, journal entries and all the writing that I do that I can’t even think of right now. Other times, each word that comes to my mind feels ‘wrong’. Really, what it feels is unworthy, not good enough for the page or the prospective reader. I’m not sure what all the factors are that contribute to the joyful flow writing – although I know they include rest, playfulness, and a clear sense of purpose. I’m also not sure what all the factors are that activate my mean, critical voice – although I know they include fatigue and loneliness.
What I know for sure is that I want to write. I want to write A LOT. Novels, articles, non-fiction books about motivation, Jewish practice, parenting and who knows what else. I know that sometimes the joy from writing stands alone – the joy is the pure result from putting pen to paper or tapping away on my keyboard and watching my thoughts appear in front of me. I also know that sometimes the joy follows the struggle, that, in fact, persevering through struggle is one of the birthplaces of joy.
I have been writing for the past year more than I ever have in my whole life. I have written for work, for pleasure, for therapy, for friendship and relationship building. The more I write, the more I want to write. There is something truly delicious to me about the pairing of the words ‘writers write’. I write because I am writer. I write because I want to grow as a writer. More and more, I write because I feel compelled to put words around my ideas and then share them with the world.
I am writing a ton to build my mindset coaching business – articles, website content, marketing materials, workshop curriculum, and more. This kind of writing has me putting on a philosopher hat and then exchanging it for a teaching hat, then a student’s hat, then a mother’s hat and then an advocate’s hat. It’s like being Bartholomew Cubbins in one of my favourite stories by Dr. Seuss.
None of this writing is fictional (at least not intentionally…). The fictional works that I’ve started in the past year feel like books that I’ve begun to read and put down, but whose stories haunt me. I want to know what happens. I want to know the characters better. I want to feel what they feel, taste what they taste.
So. Despite the fact that I’m in the process of building my business. And despite the fact that I’m in the process of ending my marriage, which also means selling my house and moving. Despite the fact that I have three children who I want to pay attention to and spend time together. Despite the fact that I have A LOT GOING ON, I have decided to also focus on writing fiction. Writers write.
Writers write and planners plan. I am a dedicated planner, goal setter, motivation generator. Here’s my plan: I’m going to follow Julia Cameron’s Artist Way’s program for the next 12 weeks. I started this morning. Want to join me? Want to cheer me on? I would love either! I’m going to check in, through my blog, weekly and let you know how it’s going, what I’ve been doing and how following the Artist’s Way program is impacting my writing. I have followed this program twice before, both times to the 6 week point, and both times have been astonished with how much writing three pages every morning, making time for a 2 hour “Artist Date” each week as well as following the various weekly assignments have impacted how I think about myself – both as a writer and as a person.
The Artist’s Dates set the stage for turning off my phone for Shabbat (if I can do it for 2 hours, why not 25?)
The Morning Pages helped me find my writing voice and got me in the habit of writing daily.
The Affirmations demolished the pervasive thought “I have nothing to write about”.
I’m so excited about what is to come in the next twelve weeks. The beauty of growth and change for me is that I don’t always know what’s coming, but I know that it will be wonderful. Literally – full of wonder – of what I can offer to the world and what the world is offering to me.
Tune in next week for the second instalment.