December 3, 2010 § 2 Comments

#Reverb10 Prompt: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I have a confession to make. As soon as I began talking out loud about how writing daily has become an important part of my life, I started fighting it. I have been struggling to fill my journal (often filling in some days after the fact), and worse – my little book of gratitude* has been carried around with me, untouched, since I first mentioned it. After months and months of a daily activity that I never thought I’d be able to keep up with (but knew was necessary), now I’m resisting.

Is it because I said it out loud and now I’m rebelling? Is it because I’m out of words? Or do I just need a break from my own stories?

I don’t have an answer. A small part of me is doing it’s standard thing – feeling a bit disgusted with myself and wondering what it is that I am NOT processing that will bare it’s teeth later. But the other part of me (contradiction)- the part that I’m really listening to – isn’t concerned. The discipline is important, (I do need it), but no part of myself can argue NOW that I am incapable of consistency, of sticking with something, of seeing things through. This state that I’m in is usually accompanied by detachment/sleeping too much/other unhealthy behaviors – This time, it is not. There may be some issues here that I will only recognize in hindsight – but at the moment I feel surprisingly content with where I’m at, even though I may not be writing as consistently as I “should” be. Maybe…. I’m having just a bit of peace**. I’m not sure I know what that feels like really. I think it’s different from happiness. Would I recognize it?

I am still writing a bit (#Reverb10 is helping). In fits and starts, drafts and partial paragraphs, half formed thoughts and ideas. I am still processing, maybe in a less verbal way. Tomorrow or the next day, or maybe in two weeks, I will write pages and pages, scrawling to get it all out of my brain. And then again the next day, and the day after that, {repeat}, emptying more pens and filling more empty books. In the meantime, I’m not sure I really need to eliminate whatever it really is that’s keeping me from my writing practice right now. There will be times when I will need to be more strict with myself, and I hope that I will be aware and not let myself off too easy – but now does not seem like one of those times. Now seems like a time to be gentle, to let the words out as they come up rather than forcing the structure. I read recently that the best way to move through resistance is to embrace it as necessary and essential to real growth. I’m not sure that’s what I’m doing here either. ‘Embrace’ sounds too passionate, too joyful. It may be more an exercise in calm acceptance of where I am. Some breathing space in between all the intensity of my process this year and… what? Whatever comes up next, I guess.

*I would love a clever name for it, but I am not that person – the one who comes up with adorable names for things!

**I’m having these moments in meditation practice – where I’m not thinking at all (until, inevitably, my mind has to proclaim the fact “Did you catch that?! I wasn’t thinking at all just then!”) – and it is blessedly QUIET. I need silence in my life – External silence. But internal silence is not something I have ever really experienced – except maybe in sleep. There are other moments in practice when I am thinking and I recognize that I am thinking, but I’m not INVOLVED, if that makes any sense. It’s not completely silent, but I am totally calm. Two very different experiences, both super interesting, both valuable I suspect.

§ 2 Responses to Writing/#Reverb10

  • SisuGirl says:

    It is amazing how well *you* can put into writing some of the things that *I* am feeling. Always makes me smile.

  • heatherknits says:

    When I think about the word “embrace,” it conjures acceptance rather than joy. Not to say it can’t be joyful, but to “embrace” other than in, you know, movies from the 1940s, to me is not about feeling some way about something. You could embrace something you don’t like, even, that doesn’t make you feel joyful. But you accept it and then… that action fosters peace.

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