Eyes need a break from the screen?
Listen instead. Press play!
Committing to a weekly post has been both a really fulfilling and at times, I'll admit, really frustrating experience. Writing is so much fun when you're full of ideas, creativity is flowing and the words just seem to spill out onto the page one after the other. But what about those days when writing is more the slow process of staring at a blank page with no idea where to start and no clue what to say? You guessed it, not so fun.
Maybe it's that we're in the heart of winter and my energy is always lower at this time of year. Maybe it's the lack of inspiration that I'm feeling during my slow season - which I'm okay with and wrote about last week - but for some reason, I've had a lot of trouble getting words out recently. I told myself I would have this post finished days ago and here I am, finally tackling my blank screen because Monday morning is here and the 'editor' of this blog is pressing me for the finished product - that's me!
What got me to finally sit down and start writing? I wish I could say it was my incredible work ethic, my ability to self motivate and my commitment to myself as a writer but no, it was actually my old friend Sting. And by old friend, I mean I saw him being interviewed on Good Morning Britain as I sipped my coffee, in my robe and delayed my writer's block a little longer. They asked Sting:
"You get to write songs for a living and you love music. That sounds amazing. Does it even feel like work?"
To which Sting replied:
"I love finishing a song. But I don't love looking At a blank page in the morning and wondering how I'm going to fill it"
Thank you Universe. I hear you loud and clear and am quite pleased with the celeb you picked to give me the little push that I needed to get back to this blog. You guys, the work isn't even easy for Sting but he still does it - imagine this world without songs like Every Breath You Take?
If he can do it, so can I.
And if I can, so can you!
It's way too easy, especially for us spiritual, yoga lovers, to fall into the trap of thinking that if we feel stuck and the work isn't coming naturally to us, then we should just give ourselves a break. You know, step away, pause, drink a tea and after some 'self-care' come back feeling inspired. There is absolutely a time and a place for that, but I think it's important to check in around how much time you're losing sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike. I've had times where a 'tea break' turns into several months, okay fine, several years of avoiding putting words to a page.
I've learned that writing is a practice and it's not always going to be easy. Whether you're a writer or not, a lot of things in life fall into this category. Work, love, fitness, happiness - at times these things will flow naturally and at times you're going to have to work harder at them. One of the most powerful lessons I want to share with you from my experience writing regularly this year is that you have to be willing to work, even when it's hard. I can't really put it any better than writer Anne Lamott did in her TedTalk - which the Universe so perfectly played after another TedTalk I was listening to this week while avoiding the blank page I didn't know how to fill.
"Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts but they keep their butt in the chair. That's the secret of life. That's probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it."
It's a simple and not so elegant question that gets straight to the point. I'm going to be asking myself this regularly this week. Is my butt in the chair? Am I actually willing to do the work or am I off somewhere else saying that I'll get to it eventually? With writing, it's a literal question and right now the answer is yes, I'm sitting at my little desk, with my butt in my little chair and I'm doing the work. With the other things in my life, it's still the same question. Is my butt in the - figurative - chair with my business, my health, my relationship? I think you should join me!