Paying Attention

   woman-cafe

How is your writing this week? Have you been able to make time for your craft and passion? It has busy week at my hotel life which I enjoy, there is inspiration all around me. Especially where my office is located and where guests sit and take a few moments to talk and share with their friends, family, lovers, ex’s, break up’s, just starting a romance….There are so many stories happening right outside my door.

I am happy to share that it has been a successful week where I was able to do some writing/revisions throughout the week, when normally I fret over when I can take some time to be with the writing. It takes practice to focus on what’s important to you, but I made sure I followed through when I said that I was going to take a half hour and work on some revisions or work on something new; because the muse likes to show up at any given time. The truth is that the only person I can blame for not writing, is myself. I want to be accountable to myself and feel good that I’ve accomplished at least the half hour I said I was going to work on my manuscript. I have to pay attention to the now and not the daydreams that float in so easily when the creative block wants some attention. Sometimes when we are blocked it can manifest itself as something else to trick you; Julia Cameron speaks about Attention:

Very often, a creative block manifests itself as an addiction to fantasy . Rather than working or living the now, we spin out wheels and indulge in daydreams of could have, would have , should have. One of great misconceptions about the artistic life is that it entails great swathes of aimlessness. The truth is that a creative life involves great swathes of attention. Attention is a way to connect and survive. ~ Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way.

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My editor has been sending me back pages with questions about certain details of my manuscript and he is not making it easy at all. I sometimes keep things at an arm’s length (which is one of the theme’s of my memoir), and he notes; guessing?” when he writes in something that connects my thoughts on the page. I will say yes or no. If I say no, then I’m required to tell all because if he doesn’t know the details then the readers won’t either. There are little details that need to be unraveled to have an interesting story to read. I can’t keep things at an arm’s length any longer. I have a lot of drama and emotional pain in my life and it’s okay to write about it now, I don’t have to wave my arm from my body thinking “just stay over there so you don’t see any of this.” This, being my messy memories of the person I once was but I am not any longer.

faces

 Writing about attention…It may be different for others, but pain is what it took to teach me to pay attention. In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember. I have learned to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me. Each moment, taken alone, was always bearable. In the exact now, we are all, always, all right. Yesterday the marriage may have ended. Tomorrow the cat may die. The phone call from the lover, for all my waiting, may not ever come, but just at the moment, just now, that’s all right. I am breathing in and out. Realizing this, I began to notice that each moment was not without its beauty. ~ Julia Cameron.

Before I read this paragraph I knew I had to pay more attention to the right here and now, and not focus on the past that was too painful to remember, and to think about a future that I was uncertain of, and still am, and that’s okay. In this moment as I reread this section on Attention I am reminder of a few other things that Julia shares about being an artist. (I’ve chosen the ones that speak to me more than others)

pen_and_paper

In order to be an artist, I must:

  • Show up at the page. Use the page to rest, to dream, to try.
  • Set small and gentle goals and meet them.
  • Remember that it is far harder and more painful to be a blocked artist than it is to do the work.
  • Choose companions who encourage me to do the work, not just talk about doing the work or why I am not doing the work.
  • Remember that it is my job to do the work, not judge the work.
  • Place this sign in my workplace: I will take care of the quantity, You take care of the quality.

How do stay present? What are you working on at the moment? How do you maintain your creative life?

Thank you again for being here with me, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Until next time, keep on typing.,.,.

typewriter

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2 thoughts on “Paying Attention

  1. I have a hard time paying attention to writing at times. I distract myself with all sorts of different activities and thoughts that repeat the same messages: “you’re not any good; you won’t get published; why bother?” It’s a vicious cycle.

    As far as what I’m working on, I wrote a draft of the first of my short story collection. My MC is conflicted because he doesn’t like his first name. And I made the scene too easy for him to solve. So, I’m brainstorming ideas to give him more of a challenge. Throw in another obstacle here or there.

    Like

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