This post is a little of this and a little of that. Lots of stuff on my mind. But as I think about what I want to write about, I think I'm seeing a theme...
I finally finished my 52 Stories piece for this week. I really struggled. But I got it done! I am feeling very proud right now, not because of the story but because I was having a really rough week--lots going on, some heavy emotions, a yucky spring cold. I didn't want to write. I just wanted to hide out and read and play games. But I got it done! That feels so good, sitting down and doing the work even when everything was really rough. This feels like a breakthrough.
I've had a couple of big mind shifts this week. First, as I mentioned back in mid-May, I'm participating in Lisa Sonora Beam's Creative + Practice course. I am behind. I'm struggling to sink into the work, I keep letting things get in the way, and I keep getting annoyed with myself for not doing it. And then, yesterday, I had a realization. This work isn't a one time thing. I will be going through many of these lessons and activities over and over again. And, as with any practice, the beginning is rough, filled with skipped days and skimped-on work. But some days the work is happening. And I'm thinking about it, thinking of how to make it easier to show up for the work every day. And this is how I am building a practice. By returning to it, moving forward, keeping at it. It's not about doing it perfectly, especially not right out of the gate. It's about doing it and doing it again, and coming back to it over and over again. I don't have to be perfect, and I don't have to keep up with the weekly schedule for this to be working and helping me build a creative practice!
My second big realization this week came because I jumped in on Jeff Goins' 15 Habits of Great Writers challenge. On the third day, the activity was to get up two hours early to write. I read that, and I became argumentative, angry, agitated. I have done that get up early to write thing before, and it's been awful every time. My body clock doesn't adjust to it--I'm not a morning person, and I never have been, and I never will be. But in the past I really tried to follow all those programs that tell you that you can reset your body clock and so on. I've also done Julia Cameron's morning pages. I just end up cranky, exhausted, usually end up sick because I'm run down from lack of sleep, and I start to resent my writing. I don't want to resent my writing! I want to love it.
And then came the breakthrough. I've done this part of the work already. I have given it a try to see what happens, and I know that getting up at 4:30 a.m. doesn't work for me. I don't need to do this again; I've done it already. I'm already enough of a writer to know that the early morning time slot doesn't help my writing, it hurts it. I am a writer, and I know this about my own process!
So yeah, it's been a big week, and now I know three new things:
- I can write even when life is rough and I'm unmotivated and resistant.
- Practice is built from perseverance, not perfection and sticking exactly to a schedule.
- I am a writer, and I don't work well in the early morning; I work best in the afternoon and early evening.
Week 5: And So It Begins