Creative Life

Making a commitment to write consistently in my blog is a scary thing. Being able to write from the heart and block out the internal editor is a practice that reminds me of my early attempts at meditation. I get this restless, fidgety feeling that coincides with being overwhelmingly sleepy. Sound familiar? I know I am on the right path because my poor ego is kicking and screaming.

I love writing. It is a freeing act to pour an idea, thought or feeling out onto the page. To give voice to the swirling images and sounds that float through my mind. I love the feeling of crafting sentence and paragraph, honing my skills every time I sit to write. I grew up around artists and artisans of all types. Creativity is part of my upbringing. Writing gives me the same feeling that I get when carving a piece of wood, sculpting clay, or in the rhythmic dance of knitting needles. There is something cathartic and exhilarating in letting go, opening up, and letting the words flow. The dedication to turning an empty page into my David. Finding the heart of the message and removing what is not essential to my truth.

The process is lovely. And scary. I spent far too much time in too many classrooms to believe that judgement and criticism are not waiting on the other side of the ‘Publish’ button. In reality it is only my own criticism that hounds me. My internal editor is not always nice. After making a commitment to post something every other day, I can see the same resistance to writing that I had to meditation in the beginning.  There is the feeling of being vulnerable, being exposed and the feeling that I am out on a new edge of my being and my definition of myself. In the same way that meditation challenges you to focus your thoughts and redefine your own boundaries, writing pushes me to turn within and reframe my life.

I spent years frozen in paralysis in front of the keyboard when I wrote my Master’s thesis. The looming thesis defence was enough to shut down my abilty to press even a single key without a full adrenaline wave of panic. In the end I got through that block by blocking. I blocked the eventual possibility of criticism out of my mind. I made a commitment to finish, a commitment to begin again, to return again and again. To sit. To write. Write just one more sentence. Then one more. One more.

I also turned inward. I asked the universe, God, Goddess, the Divine, my higher power, to ‘hit it’ every time I sat to write. There is something profound in stepping aside, getting your ego out of it and allowing the Intelligence within you pour itself out. I do that nearly everytime I write now, whether it is poetry or technical writing. And it makes a difference. The writing is better, cleaner, clearer. I get nice crisp, juicy sentences ariving in my consciousness. Ready to be picked, plucked and placed.

Sitting to write with regularity is much like meditating regularly. There is an initial battle with my scared/tired self who would rather shrink back into the shadows and take the easy way out. But I gently remind my little self that it is only a paragraph that qualifies as a post, that my Higher Self will do all the work and I only have to sit still for a few minutes and wiggle my fingers. It seems to work. I sit. I write. I create. I connect. Something deeper connects and when I am done, I am different.

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Thank you for this post, Geneva! You have inspired me to “hit it” and keep my inner critic in check.

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