Going With the Flow
There are times I accumulate topics like leaves on the tree outside my office window. Other times, I have to really dig deep into my subconscious to find something worth writing about. Either way, the words eventually flow, and a blog is born. Is either situation better than the other? I don’t think so. One merely requires more of a priming of the pump, so to speak. The words are always there. Sometimes I need a little extra effort to get out of my own way.
It’s a lot like life, I believe. When we try to force things, what comes out isn’t always optimal. It might be a convoluted pile of garbage because we made it come out instead of allowing it to emerge in it’s own time. Kind of like a butterfly. If you allow it to emerge from it’s chrysalis when it’s good and ready, resting as needed, and hydrating its wings at the proper time, it’ll emerge as a beautiful, healthy creature. If you try to help it along, forcing nature as it were, the poor thing may never fly, and will forever be disfigured.
I’ve learned writing is a lot like emerging from a chrysalis, at least for me. I have to allow the words, my characters, my scenes to flow out of that deep, dark nether region of my brain where all the ideas float around in mental soup until they form into something that’s ready to emerge whole and essentially complete.
Lately, my dreams have been especially vivid, forcing me to write them down more frequently. I suspect an idea for a story is stewing since I set a couple of intentions:
- Do NaNoWriMo this November
- Start writing more fiction, and especially some short stories
I have no due date for the second one. I simply put the idea out there. I’m doing really well keeping ahead on my blog posts and Medium scheduling. It’s time to spread my wings and explore currently uncharted waters. My dreams indicate I’m more than ready to begin the journey. Still, I tell myself: “Just a couple more blog posts. You’re 3 weeks ahead now. Why not make it an even 4?” It’s tempting to acquiesce—to reach the goal I set months ago to finally be 4 weeks ahead.
But can’t I do both? Can’t I stay 4 weeks ahead, and add to my repertoire of fiction, and get the rest of the chapters of “Sasha’s Journey” edited and published on ChapterBuzz? Of course I can. It’s all a matter of discipline. Once I would have said I lack the discipline to make these dreams; these intentions a reality. Now I know better.
A Multitude of Accomplishments When You Shut Off the Inner Critic
In the last 2 years, I’ve accomplished so much more than I believed I could.
- Consistently schedule blog posts at least 3 weeks in advance
- Consistently have all Medium posts scheduled at least a week before the next month begins
- Maintain a schedule of thrice weekly gym visits
- Release 20 pounds and keep most of it off
- Edit and upload chapters of “Sasha’s Journey”
- Finish the first draft of “Rebuilding After Suicide”
- Finish the first edit of “Rebuilding After Suicide”
- Create separate files for each chapter of “Rebuilding After Suicide” and start the second edit
There are a lot of little things I’ve also managed in this relatively short span of time too. Each one is a building block which allows for the larger ones. Probably the biggest, though is maintaining my Morning Pages for the last few years. I may miss a day or two here and there, but it is by far the most long-lived of my healthy habits to date.
Checking In and Being Grateful
One of the biggest reasons I’m able to build on my healthy habits is I learned to take a step back every so often and give myself credit for what I’ve accomplished. Nothing is too small or too insignificant. Sometimes the most innocuous habit is exactly what I need to put something a whole lot bigger into play. It’s the cog in the wheel without which the whole dynamic wouldn’t flow.
What began as daily gratitudes for people, places, and things has grown into daily gratitudes for myself. It took a long time for me to realize I deserved some of my own gratitude too. Once I did, the number of things I found to be grateful for grew exponentially. Once I recognized the gratitude-worthy things in myself, I shone a spotlight on everything else in and around me which was also worth recognizing and appreciating.
Giving Inner Guidance Free Rein
Take blog topics, for example. Most days, I sit down at the computer without a single idea of what I want to write. I simply have a day which needs a blog post. It’s on the schedule, and that’s reason enough. At first, I’d have to sit for 10 or 15 minutes typing nonsense until a topic appeared. Then it was maybe a paragraph. Now, it often takes the suggestion that I need to write, and nothing more.
I sit down in front of the computer, tell my internal editor to go play on the monkey bars, and let my fingers tell whatever tale they have in mind. Today it might be about gratitude and the progress I’ve made. Tomorrow, it might be another health discovery I’ve made. (and stay tuned. My latest book is “Liver Rescue” by Anthony William, and a mere 3 chapters of it has been seriously enlightening!) Another day, it might be something that came from a dream, or an observation I made while I was “peopling”.
The point is, the mind is a maelstrom of thoughts and ideas. I can try to corral those thoughts and ideas, or I can give them their turn to come out and play. Intention setting is powerful. Sitting my butt down in front of the computer and letting whichever one wins the race to the top come out and play is my only real responsibility these days. I’m merely the vehicle. The ideas have lives and minds of their own. I am incredibly grateful for all those little minds fighting each other for the chance to flow through my fingers.
Without them, I’d have written very few words. Only the first of my blog posts involved an effort to maintain control. That’s a battle I no longer choose to fight. It was long and frustrating, and the words it yielded needed major editing before they saw the light of day for anyone but me. Nowadays, when I allow the words to flow on their own, I do minimal editing. What you see is what came out in pure, unadulterated flow. It’s what has earned me the reputation of writing rawly and honestly; a reputation I’m honored to hold.
Telling it Like it Is
I’ve never believed in sugar coating things. It’s gotten me into trouble over the years because I didn’t live up to the standards of the people I attracted. It took years to learn there was nothing wrong with me or the people around me. I needed to get better at attracting.
If you’re reading this now, and have stuck around for awhile following my ADD brain from topic to topic, you’re someone who can appreciate how I write and what I write about without getting offended. You don’t have to agree with what I write, and I hope there are plenty of areas of disagreement because it makes for a good discussion. As long as we disagree respectfully, and maybe even learn something from the other person’s point of view, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.
I share my ideas and you share yours. We get a chance to learn about each other, and maybe ponder ideas which differ from our own experiences. If you ask me, it’s a win-win situation. It’s an intention I set long ago, and am both happy and proud to keep nurturing it.
Grateful for Everything, Large and Small
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for intentions both fulfilled, and waiting their turn.
- I’m grateful for people whose opinions and perspectives differ from mine. They allow me to learn and grow instead of stagnating in a comfortable little rut.
- I’m grateful for warm, sunny days as they help me get my butt back in gear to keep body, mind, and spirit healthy.
- I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned about keeping my creativity flowing, and for learning sometimes it’s all about sitting my butt down and starting.
- I’m grateful for abundance; love, writing, ideas, myself, joy, sunshine, blue skies, rain, opportunities, motivation, energy, friendship, joy, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward