This post is for those days when you don’t feel like showing up, for “adulting” or getting to the work that you know needs you the most – your creativity. ALL of us have those days, but we must learn self-care in our writing practice – and that means finding consistency, even when you would rather collapse…
Today I am grieving. I am flailing about inside of myself. My life doesn’t make sense to me today. An old version of me is departing and a new life is arriving, but is not completely manifested yet.
My to-do list is a mile long and I have taxes to prepare for my daughter’s financial aid packet, bills to pay, endless e-mails to respond to, marketing copy to write and a house that needs cleaning. And, I need to write this to you because I committed myself to writing for you. Oh, and then there’s my one woman show, that I have committed to myself to write and perform this year. That needs attending to. Sigh.
Honestly, I don’t feel like showing up for you or for myself or for the page. I don’t want to show up for life. As a popular meme on social media says “ I don’t feel like “adulting” today”
I want to bury my head under the covers and hide. The last thing I feel like doing is being an adult. I’d like to blow off all my responsibilities and most especially, my writing.
And, sometimes it’s ok to do this. Sometimes it’s ok to do this for an hour, or a day.
But, honestly, in my experience, it’s not so great to do that for much longer than that. Until we are firmly committed in our creative practice as something that is non-negotiable, we are vulnerable. Skipping a few days turns into a week. A week turns into a month. Pretty soon we’re not showing up regularly and with devotion to a space for our creative work, and, guess what? We begin to sink. Like I’ve said before, you do not have to write or improvise every day. It’s great if you do. Your creative muscles will develops faster that way. But, even if you are showing up only three times a week, make sure that you do show up those three times per week. And we learn to trust ourselves and our creative self learns to trust us by showing up no matter what we feel. We don’t go into collapse. We feel our feelings, cry and pout a bit, call a friend, eat some chocolate and then we sit down to write.
Once, I asked Natalie Goldberg (an incredibly grounded Capricorn) how she managed to write every day. She plays tennis or swims then writes. She never varies her routine. For her, a practicing Buddhist, there seems to be a huge element of chop wood/carry water philosophy in her practice.
I’m a watery Cancer with a Scorpio Rising and a Moon in Pisces. (Have I lost you yet? Does this just sound like Santa Fe speak to you? Forgive me if it does!)
To translate, what that means to me is that much of my life has been ruled by emotion. It’s an incredible gift when I am feeling flow, but I also have a tendency to drown in my emotions. In the past, I would use that as my excuse for not writing. Also, my schedule is messy. I change it every day. Sometimes I write at 7:00 a.m, sometimes at midnight. Sometimes I write for hours at a time and sometimes I do the bare minimum I’ve set for myself.
But I have learned, over years and years that it is always worth it to show up. Even writing these few paragraphs to you has already shifted my bad attitude to one of manageable acceptance.
No, I don’t feel like adulting today, but I am. Do I feel inspired in my creative flow today? No, but I am glad that I sat down and at least wrote this to you.
Now, I am going to get myself to an Al-anon meeting because I need some support, then meet a friend for lunch. And then I’ll get back to my to do list and yes, to working on my larger writing/performance project.
A commitment to our deep well of creativity and to an abundant life is a devotion. We don’t show up for a devotion only when we feel like it. It’s very much like being a parent. We don’t get our kids to school only on days when we feel like it.
When people work with me with an attitude of “I’m waiting to be inspired before I write” I know that we’re both in for some re-education.
It’s amazing to have days when the writing simply flows. We are plugged in and everything feels inspired and easy. And then, there are days like the one I’m having. And, I am showing up for myself, you and life itself, regardless.
Write on the Topics:
How have I committed to show up for life and my creative process, no matter how I feel or what other responsibilities seem to be interfering?
Then, do 5-10 minute free writes on JOY, ADUNDANCE AND HIGHEST VISION.
Go back and re-read them.
Extract a plan for what your commitment is to each of these qualities. How are you showing up (or going to deepen your devotion to show up) for each of them this year? Please be as specific as possible.