Writing and Distractions

One of my favorite sayings as a writer is “the tyranny of the blank page” and for the earlier part of this day it proved to be true. I’m in Atlanta doing some workshops and private sessions at this incredible new age/metaphysical bookstore called Phoenix and Dragon, while Jesseca is attending a six- day intensive from 9AM to 10PM every day on the Enneagram. The way my schedule worked out is that after doing the first workshop and some private sessions, I’d have one full day set aside for writing. I have a couple of blogs, an article and three book projects in various stages of development.

So today is that day! I have a whole day in front of me. So I started to write a blog I’d been working on. It was going extremely slow. The creative juices weren’t flowing at full speed. It took four hours to come up with three paragraphs. Good ones, but still, only three when I’m going for twice as many at least. Besides, it’s not a matter of paragraphs but writing what you want to communicate. And it has to have heart and be done in a way that others can relate to. Yet in spite of all this, it’s amazing how many things I can think of doing other than writing when I’m having trouble coming up with the perfect way to say what I want to say.

For instance, first thing this morning I discovered when I sat down at the computer ready to roll that I was really lagging on my emails, both personal and professional ones. So of course, I had to take care of that. There were several good articles that others had referred me to that I had to read. And I’m sure you can understand how important it is to keep up with current events, what with all the changes going on in the world all the time. Then, of course, there’s Facebook; have to see what everyone is posting.

Yet, in all that, I still feel compelled to write.

After a few hours, instead of stewing in word hell, I decided to take a walk. Went around the perimeter of the hotel we’re in. Looked at the stars, listened to the geese occasionally still honking. Went back inside. Took a few breaths, sat down, focused in, and the words started showing up on the pages. Then sentences. I spent quite a bit of time tweaking this fairly complex piece on sacrifices and choices (stay tuned). Didn’t finish it, but I have the first three paragraphs. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this is the creative process, one that is nurtured by focused attention and listening to that inner voice, then translating it into intelligible and (hopefully) meaningful communication. I also remembered sometimes the words and sentences sometimes come quickly and sometimes slowly, that every piece has its own rhythm and it takes patience and persistence to join that rhythm. It takes patience and persistence to wait until the words come together. Like Buddha said, “Don’t just do something; sit there.”

Why Does Anyone Write?

Earlier today a friend of mine, Betsy, posted a question on Facebook and got a number of responses. The question was: “A question for writers: Other than getting paid for it, why do you write? What is your “other” pay-off?”
Good question and it generated some great responses. Among them:
♣ I write to get it out of my brain
♣ Writing is one of the ways I make the world around me more understandable
♣ I write because I want to provide something for people to enjoy
♣ I can’t NOT write! Something takes over and I HAVE to do it
♣ I do this because otherwise I would have to go out and get a ‘real job’!
♣ It’s in my blood, in my breath. Every part of me is drawn to writing, to taking pen to paper and letting the words flow.

The question really worked me. About halfway through the day I returned to Betsy’s string of comments and added my own: 1) Like **** said, “I cannot NOT write.” 2) Words are like a paintbrush. This is my art. 3) It releases whatever is in my head and onto the computer/paper. 4) I LOVE WORDS!

I think that’s the bottom line as to why anyone writes. Love. Love writing.

If you feel called to write, or for that matter to engage in any expressive creative process, go for it. It requires you to listen closely to your imagination, to the voice and images inside you. You become a translator of that rich internal human experience that you are privy to by your very identity. Spirit becomes conscious of you as you become conscious of Spirit in the process of creation.

It is written!

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