Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Writer Girl: Where are you Storing all Your Good Ideas?

Day 5:
In spiritual life there is no room for compromise. Awakening is not negotiable; we cannot bargain to hold on to things that please us while relinquishing things that do not matter to us. A lukewarm yearning for awakening is not enough to sustain us through the difficulties involved in letting go.
It is important to understand that anything that can be lost was never truly ours; anything that we deeply cling to only imprisons us.
Jack Kornfield

I find myself in the furious flow of momentum which is something I have never experienced before. Ideas come in the middle of the night and I am making the dreadful mistake of thinking I will remember them in the morning-I NEVER DO! In the past, I would have an idea and I would wake myself up literally every hour and rehearse the idea in my head convinced that this time I would retain the inspired thought only to wake up with NOTHING. The constant awareness of the thought throughout the night would play so vividly, the idea danced in my head like a carousel.  Now if only I would get my tush out of bed and write it down.

The biggest fear in all this flurry is that the flow will end. I admit I am a pessimist when it comes to the idea of a writer being able to make a living from her craft-surely one would run out of ideas after awhile. So, rather than enjoy the bounty of material for as long as it lasts, I calculate the endgame and whether or not this is the most practical use of my time given the length of time a windfall of ideas could possibly last.

These thoughts are hilarious given my state of life at this moment-I am a stay at home mom of a toddler-which, given a certain amount of discipline, offers an incredible amount of time. I am a type A, multitasking woman who has incredible amounts of energy. I have about 10 books I am in the process of reading. Three "books" I am in the process of writing. I have started crocheting a scarf. I am creating a name plate for my little girl's room. I am in the process of co-organizing an abstinence conference for teens. I am organizing a book club.  In a month, I will be training to become a facilitator of a support group. Yeah, time is not really the issue; it's focus.

Now I will cut myself a little slack in that the generation of all these seemingly unrelated projects in part offer incredible solace. I have a tendency to bore easily, hence the need for a three-ring circus in my life. And, thank God, I reach for constructive activities rather than finding a self destructive means of amusing myself. Plus, all of these projects are incredibly flexible in that they have the capacity to be interrupted based on the needs of a toddler. So, if my girl is painting, then I will incorporate my deal with her thing.   She still naps so that is a set amount of time in the day as well that I can write. 

The interesting outcome in this flurry of activity is that when I go back to writing, I find a stream to draw from. For the first time since I can remember, I "thought" of a hook for a fictional short story. I am still staring down the fear of writing a complete story but I did free write with the concept for a few paragraphs just to flesh it out a bit. I took Heather Seller's advice from her book "Page after Page" and used the technique of "butt in chair." Yeah, another one of those simple concepts which simply means sit your tush in the chair and write. Pretty much this advice ranks in importance right alongside the advice of writing an idea down when it comes to you.

Priming the Pump:
Do you have any blocked artists around you?  If so, does it fuel your desire to want to break through and write or challenge the idea that writing is a valuable use of time?
Write 100 words OR write for 15 minutes (set a timer to help you focus and whatever you get down on paper for 15 minutes let grace hold you – well done!)

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