Sage Cohen, in her book, “Fierce on the Page“, talks about focusing on what is working, instead of what is not (chapter 13). As I took a look at myself, all I could think about is what is not working, what I am not doing. Obviously I am focused on what is not working if these are my thoughts. Especially since I am struggling to pinpoint what is working in my writing life.
So, in my writing, what is working? I thought I would sit down and work this out in a blog post, as my last blog post kinda sucked (again, focused on what is not working.) You can do this with me. What is working in your creative life, in whatever way you express yourself creatively?
For me, one of the things I love about when I am writing is when I sit down and sort of fall into a flow state, AKA “The Zone.” When I just get lost in a story I am telling, and it’s like I am experiencing the story at the same time I am writing it. Which, going back to what is not working, why it hurts me so much, why it sucks so much, when I loose the thread and can no longer “pick up” the story. I hate that!
Something else that works for me in my writing is how some things I am working on seem to resonate with me. I have a bunch of shortcuts on my desk to various documents that I felt strongly connected to at the time I created them. I will likely write in one of these. It is so satisfying when you open up a document, and can “pick up the thread” as it were. When this happens I absolutely love it!
Another thing that was working for me in my writing and might work again, is my chosen established writing time. It wasn’t a huge victory, but enough of one that I noticed, when I managed to establish a writing habit. I accepted that I am a writer, made it clear to the others that live here when I am writing and identified myself to them as a writer, then wrote at that time. When I was doing this, it was nice to have that small victory in my writing process. It is also easier to fall back into it now that I have been away from it a while.
I love the high energy, high frequency, high vibration, positive state I am in when poetry comes. Those days when multiple poems would come at once. Nothing phased me, I was in love with the world, engaged with it and all I was experiencing around me, whether it was scenery I was watching or a breeze playing over my skin or the sounds of water flowing, or children playing. If I knew how to live in that state forever, I would. But when I find myself in this state, especially after long absences away, I just enjoy it, relish it and the poetry writing flows effortlessly.
I loved the stories I was able to complete. The short horror stories and, to my eyes, the satisfying endings. I loved creating those endings, and most if not all of the time I never had it planned out in my head. I had this idea for a story. I created a character, plunked them into the story and built it around them based on the idea. Then I watched things develop through their eyes, from the beginning to the end. I went through everything they went through. I lived the story with them. I got scared when they got scared. Then I would wrap everything up, and it hardly ever felt wrong. It felt right. It felt complete. I would like to return to writing short stories like that, and I would LOVE to be able to write longer tales the same way!
I love how certain things I read can have such an impact on me, even to the point of affecting my writing. I once started a story that was completely in rhyme, inspired by the Tolkien books. Managed to get through the first chapter or introduction, then lost it. But I would like to figure out how to access that way of writing, and do an entire short story, or even a novel, completely in rhyme, I am sure I could do it, if I could just figure out how to fall into a state conducive for that writing to happen.
I loved the beauty of that piece I linked you to in my last blog post. I can barely remember when I wrote it. But on discovering it, and reading it again all this time later, I cried a little. It spoke to me. I can hardly believe I wrote it. I can’t even recall the spirit or state I was in when I wrote it. I have some vague idea, but nothing concrete. Yet it says so eloquently what I wanted to say at the time, what I still want to say. I strongly desire to write more parables and things like this. I mean it worked for Kahlil Gibran!
I think that if when I sat down to write I experienced more of these things I enjoyed and loved and less of the struggle I have been wrestling with I would write a lot more. I would develop and grow as a writer much quicker. I know I denied this aspect of myself all these years, and there are consequences for that. I likely have a lot of slogging uphill in the mud to do before I get anywhere in my writing. But I am looking forward to that sunny, green hilltop. That alpine meadow with all the flowers, birds and a few hardy trees. That space where my writing has become more than habit, it has become my life, and I am literally putting my life energy into every word I type. Bleeding on the page energetically, in a state of ecstasy. I look forward to that day, and desire it to come soon!
So, reader, if you are a writer, what are the things that are working in your writing? If you are an artist what are the things that are working in your drawing, painting, sculpting, etc? Any advice or thoughts that you would care to share with everyone? Please comment below.