As I begin to think about writing as a larger part of my life, I realize that I need to think about it differently. In the past, I’ve written only when it is bursting out of me. Only when there is that feeling in my chest that if I don’t put pen to paper I might explode. Only when I am inspired.
But this seems to happen only on days when the honeysuckle moves just an inch to the right and the sun is at a 40 degree angle to the horizon except on even numbered days when the scent of decay is coming from the northeast. Or, hardly ever.
In the last month, I’ve been making an (mostly, but not completely successful) attempt to write every day. I’ve found that if I sit down and force myself to write, if I am actively searching for words and my muse, it shows up. I don’t need to wait around until I feel like the scene from Alien is going to happen and creativity and words are going to splatter all over the keyboard. I just need to write.
And yes, we’ve all been there. There are some days when just showing up to write is incredibly painful. On days like that, this talk by Elizabeth Gilbert is incredibly helpful. Your role in the creative process is to show up – to put in the work. If you show up and put in the work and your genius doesn’t show up, that’s your genius’s fault. You can show up and try again tomorrow. But if you don’t show up at all…
Well, I will let her tell you.
And yes, it’s another TED Talk, but really, they don’t get old.