This is #2 in the Writers Series of encouragement for folks writing for personal and public purposes. In community we thrive and dare to fly.
Joni Mitchell bounces between writing music and painting moods. George W Bush balances statesmanship and painting portraits. Thomas Merton wrote of the contemplative life then showed us with his artistry how loudly a small sketch can shout. I am beginning to understand why creatives move between outlets of expression, and why the creative bounce brings more, not less, of the soul and satisfaction to each effort.
For a long time I (fearfully) thought to leave a project was to interrupt the magical transmission, or end the fire of inspiration needed to see it through. I used to (naïvely) think creativity had to come in one full and perfect single rush, but anyone who has tried to move their craft from private to public, with the necessary eye and sufficient scalpel of a much needed editor, knows that is not how it works.
Now I am learning to show up, stay in the river, and trust myself and the process enough to bounce between projects.
Have more than one painting in the works.
Go ahead and start and court more than one manuscript.
Try it. It helps us show up to each effort with a fresher view and with less strident determination to force it to completion. It creates more room for the soul to emerge as playmates and stems the taskmaster of the mind insisting on perfection.
Allow and explore for yourself the power and delight in the creative bounce. And, see for yourself if your soul might not shine a bit more brightly in all that you do.
This is the first in the Writers Series of encouragement for folks writing for personal and public purposes. In community we thrive and dare to fly.
“You’ve got to give it away to keep it.” That is what they taught me when I got sober. I am hearing it again now as I walk away from the work of publishing my first book, ROSETEARS, and begin my next project.
This next book is going well. It is easier, I notice, because I now know that writing a book is possible. I can do it. It won’t kill me. And, as much as I wanted to pretend that some amount of work could make it perfect—and minimize potential of appearing the fool—it won’t. But, on the other hand, putting the work in can make the book better—and a reality.
Now, on this side of publishing my first book, I am answering a deep desire to listen and encourage others in their process. Sharing my experience, limited as it is, and supporting other writers feels natural—like a spiritual tithe back to the spaces where the creative flow started. Being involved in other’s work, as a sort of creative cheerleader, feels like the fuel I need to push past procrastination of doing my own work.
And so we begin.
I will be sharing, from time to time, what I have found frustrating, helpful, and hopeful. In this space I welcome comments, questions, and encouragements to other writers. Also, feel free to drop me a note below in the comments section or through the contact tab above. I would love to hear from you.
I have finally admitted to myself that this time in our world is not so temporary of a state as to just “keep a stiff upper lip”, or to hold my breath and wait it out. I am finally being honest with myself that all of this is bigger than what my usual tools of faith and service can handle. I can no longer afford to pretend that I have “got this.” I don’t. It is time to pull out all the stops of self care.
I believe this time, this very strange and terrifying time without borders or end dates, magnifies all feelings and circumstances that have been laying fallow—waiting for our attention and in care of our soul. I believe in these hours and days of isolation and stillness, what has been buried or obscured by busyness or distraction is rising—insisting to be seen. Noticed. Dealt with in resignation or protest with prayer and reaching out to others.
Out of the corner of my eye I thought the sign said, “I’m Courageous Inside.” Cool, I thought. I stopped, and upon closer examination realized it was of course the predictable, promised “Gorgeous” hook often used when the outside of a house looks a little old, or sad. Continue reading Sign Of Love→