Missing The Writing Life

I have been writing memoirs for over ten years, with oneself published book and a handful of poems and short stories floating around the worldwide information highway. These days I am miss writing fiction. I have more than a few notebooks filled with half-finished romance, thriller-type stories needing my attention. To be truthful I have been filling my time with ego-related activities that are pushing me away from the one thing that I love. Writing. How do I get back to my routine of writing every day? Practice. I do write morning pages every morning. It is how I start my day. It is where I dump all the stuff filling up my brain that needs to be shuffled to the corners so creativity has space to play. I haven’t been writing much after my morning pages. I go to my day job and after eight to nine hours, I started to tell a story that I didn’t have time to write after work. That is downright a lie. I have all the time in the world to write after work. I just need to sit my butt down in the chair and at least be in front of a notebook or a laptop and start writing, even if it ‘I have nothing to write’ something will show up after the pen or fingers start taping on the keyboard. I have to remind myself of this.

Other ways I get back to writing. Reading about writing. I am a big fan of reading other authors’ books about their writing experiences. At the moment I am reading, Turning Pro, Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, by Steven Pressfield. Steven is downright truthful on how to become a better writer, he doesn’t hold back. You either want to write or you don’t. There is no waffling. Yes, there are hurdles to jump to get to the writing life, but it comes down to one thing, do you want to write or don’t you?

I want to write

One of the chapters (which are either one to two pages ) that I have posted around m writing room is: qualities of the Professional, Steven shared these habits and qualities in, The War of Art, another inspiration book about the writing life. It comes to the habits and qualities that the professional possess that the amateur doesn’t:

  1. The professional shows up every day.
  2. The professionalstays on the job all day
  3. The professinal is committed over the long haul
  4. For the professional the stakes are high and real
  5. The professional is patient
  6. The professional seeks order
  7. The professional demystifies
  8. The professional acts in the face of fear
  9. The professional accetps no excues (something I need to work on)
  10. The professional plays it as it lays
  11. The professional is prepared
  12. The professina does not show off
  13. The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique
  14. The pforessinal does no hesitate to ask for help
  15. The professional does not take failur or succes personally
  16. The porfessional does not identify with his or her instrument
  17. The professional ensures adversity
  18. The professional self-validates
  19. The professional reinvents herself
  20. The professinal is reconized by other professionals

This is a big list and there are more qualities Steven shares with us. I will share these qualities in the upcoming blogs in September. I can look at this list and say that I am not a professional. I have the qualities of a professional, but my habits are of an amateur at the moment and that is my motivation for being a professional. I have to stay put in my writing room and keep writing. I will start with number one, the professional writes every day. I can say that I do write morning pages every day, but I know I need to work on my other writing projects every day. I will start creating a habit where I spend at least 15 minutes on my writing projects every day. I will share my progress publically and honor my commitment because creativity chose me to work through and I have to show up to honor that privilege to be chosen by creativity. It has to be that blunt for me. Sit down and write for 15 minutes and after that 15 minutes see what happens. Keep writing or get up knowing I honored my commitment to myself and creativity. It feels good to share this commitment with all of you. Now back to the writing.

Thank you for being here with me today. If there is anything I can offer to help you with your writing commitments please drop me a line at marionann.berry@gmail.com or message me on social media. I am here to help and support your writing life.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Habits ~ Amateur vs. Professional

An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. ~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro ~ Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work

Steven Pressfield doesn’t hold back. Why should he? There is no time to dance around the subject of your writing career. You either are all in or not.

Pressfield goes on to say,

‘We can never free ourselves from habits. The human being is a creature of habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones. We can trade in the habits of the amateur and the addict for the practice of the professional and the committed artist or entrepreneur. It may help, as a jumping-off place, to consider the interior world of the most passionate and traffic creative of habit – the addict.’

I have been listening to other writing/spiritual wellbeing books, most recently, Gabby Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back. I am fully aware of my spirit guides, I have been on silent meditation retreats, ran a meditation retreat resort where I was surrounded by nature, and supported my creative life. I am connected to the earth. Nature is my power source. When I am outside in nature, around trees, water, the earth, I am grounded to my true self. I am aware of this. The past year and a half I have not been as grounded as I know I can be. We have been living in a pandemic and for the past few months, I was feeling full-on Covid-19 burnout. But even before that, I was stuck in a story that I created. It was my bad habit coming back to bit me in the butt. Like, Steven Pressfield, I can not hold back any longer. There is no time to dance around my ego anymore.

I shared in a previous post that I would be going through Mr. Pressfield’s, book, Turing Pro, as I believe we all need help to stay on track to maintain our creative life.

The next chapter (The chapters are one to two pages) that I am going to dive into is about resistance and addiction.

Steven shares that when we are younger, we experience a calling. To our art, to service, we experience positive aspirations. We see our higher purpose. Then it is immediately followed by resistance. Resistance can look like the following:

Fear, self doubt, and self sabotage.

Though we know we are called to do something with our art we don’t know where to begin. We are asleep, we don’t know how to fix something that doesn’t feel right. We become restless, bored, angry. We want to create something but we don’t know where to start and if we did, we’re so afraid that we don’t take the first step.

Then a habit replaces the aspiration. I tend to say that my ego slips in the smallest crack that I thought I shut tight, but in a blink of an eye, when I am not pay attention to my true self, ego will take any chance to slip in and find their favourite habit to mess me up.

What is my habit? Routine. My week-day habit. More so, after my day job routine. I leave my job to head home where I can’t wait to start cooking because I enjoy cooking. But that involves that glass of wine while I cook. That glass of wine turns into another while we eat and chat about our day. Then after dinner, I don’t have any energy to head to my writing room to get just a few words down or spend on my work in progress, promotion of my writing. I slip into the routine of sitting on the sofa and zoning out on whatever Netflix or Amazon Prime show we have chosen to put on as background noise as I start to scroll on Instagram, read articles, do everything but write. It has been this way for over a year now and there are weeks where I will break the cycle for a day or two, but it is so easy to slide right back into the routine of sinking into the sofa rather than sitting at my writing desk.

So how am I going to break the habit this time and replace it with a professional habit? I am pulled to meditate more, to spend more time outside in nature. I crave to sit in silence to get myself ground, so I am going to follow that calling. My writing life depends on it and I have to take it seriously. I can’t do this half-assed life any longer. I have manifested for far too long to waste what the universe has provided. I am sitting at my writing desk in a house that I envisioned on a farm since I was in my mid twenties. I have always said I am a write who happens to be a manger at a hotel. This is now true. I am a writer who happens to work at a hotel. The hotel provides me everything I needed to get to this very moment. I don’t ignore that. I am grateful. Now it’s is time to live the life as a writer who has a job to maintain and excel the creative life.

Next week I will focus on my progress of the after-work routine. I am committed to making this change to ensure I am focused on my calling. To creativity. To my true self.

Thank you for being here with me. Are you struggling with any habits that deter you from your true calling? How do you deal with them? I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

On The Road Again…

It’s not what you think. We are not moving but I am moving on in the hotel life. I have given my resignation as the General Manager of the beautiful hotel I work for because I accepted a position at another hotel as their Director of Human Resources. It feels good to share this news. I am nervous and excited for the new adventure. How I stumbled upon this wonderful opportunity has to do with intention of my true self asking for what she wants and needs to maintain her creative life.

What you resist, persists

It’s been a trying year for all of us. We have been tested with the novel Covid-19 virus and maybe some of you have learned a little more about yourselves than expected. I have know a few things about myself that I need to deal with and the things that I have been resisting have persisted and showing up saying, “Hey, pay attention and deal with it!”

I was provided with a wonderful opportunity to be the General Manager of a beautiful hotel in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I have been in the hotel world for over twenty-five years, being of service is in my blood, but to my own fault, it can take over your life and in a blink of an eye. A year goes by and your true self is waiting to have her turn to speak up. She has been waiting patiently and I love her for her kindness while I have been struggling with the ego slipping in and out over the past year.

“I am grateful for this amazing opportunity that is being provided to maintain this beautiful creative life.” ~ This is my mantra I write over and over in my gratitude journal, morning pages and on top of mind, always. I am truly grateful for every opportunity that has been provided. Every experience has brought me to this very moment, here and now.

I have shared many times in my morning pages, with friends and family that I didn’t want any more responsibility in the hotel life, but I tend to take on more to help the hotel, the employees and my colleagues. My experiences have provided me to be offered positions that have provided life lessons and sometimes I have to go through the same experience to learn that life lesson to really learn it.

So, now, I have learned twice that I am not cut out to be a General Manager of a hotel, but then on the flip side, never say never. However, in this season of my life I have come to terms that I don’t want the level of responsibility that comes with being a General Manager of a hotel. My over-all well being depends on the quality of my habits. Being a GM is not easy task. I have excellent soft skills and that has helped me grow my human resources experiences. I have always been that person people come to and tell me their story. I enjoy sharing life experiences that may help someone in a similar situation to simply say, ‘you’re not alone’. The same things apply in the hotel world. Everyone starts somewhere and no one is alone in their experiences.

It wasn’t easy to tell my boss that I was leaving. I put my heart and soul into the hotel for the past year and half. I put the hotel, employees and owners a head of my own happiness. I didn’t see the repercussions of my choices until around December 2020. I wasn’t writing as much as I needed to be. I was not fully invested in either my creative life or the farm life. I was on auto pilot trying to live two separate lives, but it wasn’t working. It didn’t matter how many podcasts I listened to about leadership, setting boundaries, striving for the work-life balance that I use to preach about. I tried to reread writing reference books to get me back on track, but I was not fully invested. I was always worried and thinking about how the phone would ring on a Sunday afternoon from the hotel. I was not living my best life, how could I lead a team when I was in the ‘fake it till you make it’ mind frame for over a year. How could I be living my best life when I wasn’t happy with my choices. I simply asked the universe for some help, I remembered Julia Cameron’s commitment to creativity,

“Okay creative force, you take care of the quality, and I’ll take care of the quantity.”

I have asked creativity, once again, to help me so I am able to write the ideas that creativity is providing me. I asked, I stood back and now I am receiving with open arms the help and support that is being provided. Thank you.

I have a week off between jobs and I know I may be called by the hotel for assistance from time to time, but I am turning off my phone when I am writing because creativity deserves my time. I deserve time with creativity. I have to start practicing the quality of my habits that reflect the quality of my life. Honor myself to honor others.

Have you have a recent life change, a shift in your life plans? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Is A Balanced Life Attainable?

To keep my engagement relatively on point with social media I join a monthly writing challenge and see how the daily prompts trigger my creative life. On Saturday it was “Saturday Snippet” share something from your WIP. Today I shared how I felt about a balanced life and if it is attainable. I like to think so. Then life sometimes has other plans. This is where my ‘go with the flow’ mantra comes from. You can’t control certain things, but you can control how you react to the situation and move forward.

I share and write a lot about having a balanced life. What a balanced life looks like? Good question. It may look like from the observer that you have everything put together. You seem organized, time management is on point. Smiling all the time meaning you are happy and want to share the secret of success. I use to tell anyone who would listen how life is great and we need to grab ahold of our dreams and don’t let go. I would post a motivaila quote on my social media with an extra something from me, for example; Shine bring my friends! This reflected my attitude towards life. I wanted to live the life I saw myself living. Setting goals and crushing them successfully. Why wouldn’t we want to live the best life we could? And we can, but that’s a whole other topic. I was striving to maintain my work-life balance and shifted my thinking to more of my day job providing what I needed for my ideal lifestyle which is making my creative life a priority.

I thought I had it all under control. I worked for a beautiful hotel that provided me with time off when I needed to spend an extra day or three to write. I was surrounded by loving and supportive people. I was living my best life. While this was going on, my hubby and I were looking for a house on the east coast to be closer to family and start a small scale farm. One of my dreams! I wanted to live on a farm since I was a young girl when I would spend weekends at my paternal grandparents farm. Something about growing, harvesting, and preparing your own food appealed to me. I also liked that my grandparents worked for themselves. Their income came from the farm, the things they loved to do, having u-pick fields of berries, honey bees, corn, lumber to build unique pieces of furniture, baked goods, quilts, and homemade knitted mittens. Everything I witnessed was magical and creative. I use to write short stories and makeup games while helping on the farm. I thought I could do both, write and work on a farm. If my grandmother could do it, so could I.

I believe everything happens for a reason and the universe hears our prayers and intentions. Sometimes it takes years, moments, seconds for things to unfold. Sometimes you have to experience certain situations to be prepared for what you have intended. I’m sure I would have been able to figure out how to self publish a book myself, but I met a good friend through very random events and she was working on learning how to self-publish her books and after her third book and started her own book formatting business, I was ready to publish my book. She helped me every step of the way and that helped me maintain my creative and hotel life.

Then life changed very quickly two and half years ago. I published my debut memoir, we bought a house on the east coast and a year later we drove across the country to move back to Atlantic Canada. My creative life, the balanced life I thought I was living was gone. New home, new situations, new job, new drama, new everything. I realized I asked for exactly what was happening, living closer to family, our home is on a 5-acre property and the farm is well on its way. I asked for a job that would provide as my previous hotel had. It all came to fruition. I am grateful and blessed. Now to be honest.

For the past year and a half, I have struggled with a balanced life. It doesn’t help we are living during a global pandemic, but that is no excuse. I have slipped away from my creative life far enough that I see it off in the distance. It feels like creativity is at arm’s length. My new year’s intention is to get back to my creative life while I take some time to help with the farm and work at the hotel life. It is a balancing act and I am living in the moment during each moment. I am currently focusing my writing this weekend mixed with farm duties. I am embracing the amazing opportunities that are being provided to maintain and excel this beautiful creative life. Thank you universe.

How is your creative life? Do you have any speed bumps that you have overcome? How do you deal with work-life balance? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Common Problems Creativity Can Solve

Are you tired, stressed, or feeling like your stuck in a rut? I have been down each of these roads and the one thing that gets me out of my funk is creativity.

cre·a·tiv·i·ty noun

the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Anytime I put pen to paper and start putting words down the magic starts to happen. The ego struggles and wants to list things to complain about the human experience but creativity has another objective and it is to share a story.

When it comes to writing about your stress or any other problem, creativity can pull you out of the black hole of focusing on the negative and take you to the other side of the door and shows you the way out of the darkness.                                                      For example: start to write about why you are stress, why do you think you’re stressed, where does the stress live in your body, where does stress take over in your life. This is your experience and the blank page is there for you to dump all the thoughts of your mind onto. It’s okay to write, I’m stressed…over an over again, line after line. It may take 20 lines of writing the same words over and over again or two lines and then all of a sudden you start to write about more than the words, I’m stressed, you might start to write, I’m stressed because I don’t like my job, or I’m stressed because I know I drink too much, or I’m stressed because I have a big presentation due and I’m afraid to fail…the excuses start to flow onto the page as the ego wants to list things to justify why you may feel stressed.

The next thing that may happen is when you write about your stress, something else is unveiled.                                                                                                                                    For Example, I am stressed because I don’t like my job because it is taking me away from what I really want to be doing, I know I have so much to offer and if I only had the time to work on my art then I would be able to leave the job that consumes my time. You see where this is headed? Writing has started to unravel what you need to see to make the steps to move closer to your passions and goals. You are no longer stuck in the rut because you have been totally honest on the page and why is that? No one else is watching, it’s you and creativity being completely open to what your heart sings for.

How to start this process

Find yourself a notebook or journal, a pen or pencil you love, and start with one word and go from there. I know it sounds easier said than done, but trust me, put some words down and keep writing words down, and then you will find yourself writing more and more about your true feelings.

I hope this helps you with your writing journey. I am happy to help out where I can. I am a cheerleader for creativity!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Writing Life During a Pandemic

I love to people watch and as a writer, I can sit and watch people and their behaviors for hours. This helps me fill up my creative well. When I am working on my fiction work I draw on observations and experiences to help shape characters and stories that I am working on.

My hubby and I started a small scale farm and our focus for the first year has been microgreens where we sell at the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market. The reason I mention this is because I am in people-watching heaven. Pre-COVID there were hundreds of people walking by, stopping to chat, looky-louers, and everyone else in-between. It was a melting pot of personalities and behaviors. During the heart of the pandemic, the farmer’s market was closed and my people watching days were minimal. I would go to the hotel and maybe see two guests plus two of my colleagues. The grocery store was where my people watching was being fulfilled, but, honestly, it was not the same. Everyone was (and still are) about the virus spreading – the way we grocery shopped was changing, I noticed people staring at the floor more and avoiding eye contact. I was feeling depleted as well because what I normally could get out of people watching was changing. I had to find a new way to look at the bigger picture.

The Market reopened – Good News!

When we received the news of the farmers market reopening I was happy to get back to some type of normal, the “new normal”. I was more excited to get some much-needed people-watching in to fill my creative well. Little did I know the sheer number of people would be cut into three-quarters of how many people usually attended the market. People were afraid to go out, let alone be around people not in their family bubble. There are only 80 people allowed in the market at a time and many of the regulars still have their routines. They want to get their cheese first and then they forget they have to go around again to get to our microgreens and other vendors. I watch the same people each week who are loyal to their routines and that is okay. I latch onto certain routines and have had to let some go due to COVID and I’m readjusting every day as new information comes out and new regulations ad restrictions being lifted.

I am sitting here at the market today. I am watching the loyal market-goers walk quickly passed our booth right to the cheese vendor, they wave and say hello and a ‘I’ll be back…’ I have many questions about human behavior from time to time and I wonder why they don’t stop to get their greens first and then get their cheese? I should explain that the cheese market is a permanent stall, it is more of a brick and mortar of the farmers market. It is well known by generations of locals. I have learned this from the year we have been at the market. The owners and dedicated employees are amazing, they know everyone’s name and are downright genuine. You can’t teach that kind of customer service.

As a vendor and more importantly a concerned citizen we have to wear a mask and that’s okay with me. We are in a situation where we can not guarantee being 6-feet apart. Our local customers like to chat and we can’t hear each other due to the masks, so we lean in to have our conversations or talk a little louder. Then there is the other side of social distancing or the lack of. I watch people and sometimes I get a little discouraged with humanity when I see people not wearing their masks and they say they don’t need to because they are with their bubble or I have even heard people say that COVID is made up and it’s all a hoax to get people to buy more cleaning products. I wish I was making this up, but I’ve overheard too many conversations where people think the pandemic is not real. I won’t get into the numbers as we all know the truth and for me at this moment all I know to be true is I’m sitting here on a Saturday morning, selling fresh microgreens with my mask on as I have been asked to by the city of where I live to make sure we are practicing social distancing to keep ourselves safe.

I am aware that I am all over the place today with my thoughts. My mind is racing these days with trying to keep with the writing life that cries out to me to get back to. Creativity is waiting for me and I am trying to run back as fast as I can. This is my writing life during a pandemic.

How are you doing during this novel time in our lives? I love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling the Creative Well ~ One Writers Struggle

We are in the last days of June and I wonder how we have made it through the past four months? On March 19th, in Fredericton, NB we entered a state of emergency due to Covid-19. Life as we knew it changed very quickly and in a blink of an eye.  I am sitting here on our patio deck looking out at the beautiful trees that line our 5-acre property. I am blessed. Then why do I feel so defeated? I haven’t been writing as much as I need to and I haven’t refilled the creative well. I am tapped out.

What is the creative well? I will let Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way explain this wonderful process:

This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond. We’ve got big fish, little fish, fat fish, skinny fish– an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must realize that we have to maintain this artistic ecosystem.

If we don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked. Any extended period of piece of work draws heavily on our artistic well.

As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them– to restock the trout pond, so to speak. I call this process filling the well. 

I am aware that I haven’t used the phrases, should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, use to… in some time, because that is part of my meditation practice, my self-discovery process. I know this is the present and the past is literally that, the past, somewhere that something happened that no longer exists. This has helped me stay grounded and be right here and now. Writing grounds me. Writing for me is meditation. Writing for me is the present. I write memoir and that may sound oxymoronic that I chose a genre that draws me back into the past, but I am working with creativity and I trust creativity. The truth is that when I write about the past I let it go. I held onto it for so long that when I wrote my debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, my shoulders dropped from the relief of setting the past free. To share my experiences as a form of meditation. I peeled away a layer of the past that I didn’t need any longer. The ego did not like this, but guess what? The heck with ego.

Now I must get back to filling the creative well. I moved back to the Maritimes to be close to family, start a small scale farm with Adam and write more books. I have visited my family twice in 9 months and it would have been more if COVID did not shut down our borders and there is nothing I can do about that. I can not control the global pandemic. I am grateful for the times I was able to visit before the pandemic and now the borders for the Atlantic provinces have been lifted and I will be making a trip to my parent’s place in the near future.

 

We started our small scale farm and it is going very well. Adam’s planning for two years has paid off. He is so organized and every step we have taken has been in the right direction. We both work full time and here comes the list of excuses I have started to use as my new poor-me story of why I am not writing. I accepted the role of General Manager at the hotel I was working for and I knew what I was getting myself into. I have done this dance before and I knew when I start a new job I am pulled in a hundred directions leaving the one thing that makes me happy. Writing. I willingly let my job get in the way of writing. It is that simple. I know I can juggle all the balls in the air, I have done that as well. Sometimes a ball drops and something gets missed, but for the most part, I can write, work and help run a farm.

Where did the plan of writing books go? To that story the ego keeps whispering, more like yelling at me is telling, you can’t write another book now. You are working over 50 hours a week at the hotel and another 10 plus on the farm and that could be more time on the farm if you didn’t stay at the hotel for the amount of time you do.   Ouch! The ego can be downright mean, but I have an advantage. I’m onto the ego. I am aware of the self-doubt and negative talk the ego seems to think it can throw around. Do you hear me ego?

This is a commitment to myself and to creativity. I will take the time to fill the creative well and write more. I will make the shift and I have, for example, today I went to the market to sell our microgreens while Adam worked on the farm. I came home and meditated and then sat down and started to write this blog. Afterward, I will plant flowers in the new garden bed Adam worked on. The water is flowing in my well.

Thank you for being here with me today. Do you have a creative well that needs to be replenished? How are you doing at the time of Covid-19? I love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

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Are you Comfortable with Solitude?

Has a book ever presented itself to you? When you least expect it someone lends you a book because it reminded them of you, or they say, “I think you might like this book.” I’ve had many booked show up this way. One being The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. A friend of mine left it on a bench in the meditation room of a meditation retreat center I use to manage. I didn’t read the book right away. I was struggling with my writing and the balance of running a thirty room resort – there was a lot of responsibility on my plate and I “thought” I didn’t have time to write. Was the ego ever wrong on this thought. I worked through Julia’s creative journey book and somewhere between the pages and meditation a light switch was turned back on. I have always been a creative being, I just forgot for a moment. The Artist’s Way helped me get back on my creative journey path.

Over the years other wonderful writing books have been shared with me and most recently, Still Writing by Dani Shaprio has made its way to the pile of must-reads in my writing room. I bought this book a few weeks ago. I was standing in the writing reference section of Russel Books in Victoria, BC and I saw the title of the book, opened to the first few pages and read that she was an only child. Instant connecting, I bought the book and didn’t look at it again until recently. I knew the book was here to tell me or remind me of something. Books do that. Someone else has gone through what I’m going through, it’s nice to have that connection to know you’re not the only one.

We have to learn to be kind to ourselves. What we’re doing isn’t easy. We have chosen to spend the better part of our lives in solitude, wrestling with our deepest thoughts and obsessions and concerns. We unleash the beast of memory; we peer into Pandora’s box. We do all this in the spirit of faith and exploration, with no guarantee that we will produce will be worthwhile. ~ Dani Shapiro

I am very comfortable with spending 99.9% of my time in solitude. I like my own company, I like where my imagination goes when I have time to myself. The .01% of me does need some human interaction and get out of the house to feel the warm sun on my face.

Normally I would read a book from start to finish, but I’m flipping through the book and stop when a word or sentence grabs me in. I am breaking the rules to reading, I’m diving into the endless waters to see what I can find.

Remember, as you begin, that you are in a remote and exotic place – the literary equivalent of far eastern Bhutan. It’s a place where no one can find you. Where anything is possible. ~ Dani Shapiro

My creative being is jumping for joy. I’m filled with inspiration as Shapiro shares her writing life. This is what I’ve wanted to do ever since I can remember. In a way, I am sharing my writing life with you. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time alone.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

The Big Question for Writers – well one of them…

What if? A question that many storytellers ask themselves. What if a kid won a pie eating contest and then started a chain of puking from all the contestants and spectators? What a great question from Stephen King, in Stand By Me. Great Book, wonderful movie. Did Stephen King have any fear when writing the story of four boys on a journey to look for a dead body? Or about a serial killing clown living in the sewer? Tim Curry as Pennywise, who else couldn’ve been this insatiable nightmare? I couldn’t sleep for many nights because of this clown. In my opinion, this was and is a great story by an extraordinary storyteller.

I’ve been rereading The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. I know I needed a bit of a kick in the ass with my writing routine. I slipped back onto the sofa and got too comfortable watching Season 3 of Billions. The drama sucked me in and then I questions why I was so aggravated by the littlest things. Oh yeah, that’s right, I haven’t been writing whispers my artist within. She speaks the truth that I need to hear. My artist within is fighting against resistance and I am witnessing the battle of a lifetime. But I know fear is good. It leads to anger which is fuel to get my butt off the sofa to get to the page. This is why I am here right now. I had a day off and I spent most of the morning working on my manuscript, but I “thought” I needed a break. That break turned into a half hour of watching mindless drivel on Netflix. The fear of this being how I live my life moved me back to my writing room.

Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it…So if you’re paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. It shows what you have to do. ~ Steven Pressfield

I am not afraid of the work or the calling of creativity. I am afraid of not doing the work or working with creativity. This is why we are here together. To share our joys and tribulations about this great creative life we have been living. I am so excited to be here on the page and the only fear I have is walking away from this creative life. So I will keep writing and share the journey here with you.

So, what if a young writer knew they were born to write and had many stories to share but they never wrote?

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Why Do We Resist?

After I hit publish on last weeks post about barely surviving the A to Z Blogging Challenge I wondered if I was being fully honest. I was truthful but what I wasn’t doing was really diving in deep with the rest of my feelings about the challenge and what journey it took me on. The path was sometimes joyful but other times it was a dark path of resistance.

I have recently bought a copy of The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, to have on my bookshelf. I’m sure the library was ready to cut me off from renewing it again and really a book like this needs to be accessible at any given moment when you need a little reminder or two. I love all the writing reference books I have collected over the years and I’m happy that Mr. Pressfield has joined my collection. If you haven’t read The War of Art, I highly recommend it. The first part of the book is all about the big R word ~ Resistance. One of the many underlined quotes I will share with you sums up the month of April and how I blindly walked away from my Work In Progress to join my ego on another journey.

Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify, seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will please anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit. ~ Steven Pressfield

I can say the same thing about ego and really ego is resistance. It puts up a fight and tells you a whole lot of crap to get what it wants. My ego is on a major time out at the moment. I have been meditating a lot since the A to Z challenge wondering how I could do this challenge and stay true to my work in progress? I see other authors multi-tasking their writing projects or are the lying and struggling just as easily? How can one author have two or three projects on the go and then decide, oh I think I’ll do this month-long blogging challenge?! Yes, we prepare for it maybe a few months or weeks before the challenge begins. I wrote most of my posts a few weeks before and scheduled them on the right dates so I didn’t have to think about it. But I did think about the posts. Where they good enough? Where they long enough? Too short? Too Long? Enough content to be interesting? So many questions came to me during the month that I ended up tweaking some of the posts that led me down another path of resistance. A new idea for a story came to me – really!?!

Halfway through April, I realized that I did very little work on my WIP and I was angry with myself. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about my lack of productivity, or that all I wanted to do was go to bed and hide under the covers until the month was over. Wow, resistance really does bully you into your self-sabotaging old self at times. I witnessed all of this and I had to put a stop to the self-doubter. The ego had to be dealt with. So instead of getting upset with the new idea that came to me, I sat down and wrote the idea down, I spent some time with the new characters and their story and once I put it down on paper I felt better. I was able to go back to my WIP and really dive into the chapters that I needed revisions that I seemed to be resisting. Now, I am almost finished revising the last chapters and ready for the next step.

Do you feel resistance at times with your writing? What does it show up as? How do you take on resistance and put in the corner for a timeout? I always love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…