Last year I started to write more than ever. Up until that point, I’d typically post something every 2-3 weeks and I was OK with that. Last year I increased the frequency of my writing to twice per week. One a shorter thought each week aimed at anyone who is wanting to live their life more fully. The other post would typically be 3-4 times as long with a variety of topics including leadership, change, coaching, business, life and more. My life experiences are the basis for my writing. I take a significant amount of fulfillment from writing, so why have I let it slip?
Over the past few months, my writing has felt like more of a chore. The number of longer posts I was writing was slipping, and I found it was difficult at times to put out the one shorter post each week. To be honest, there were quite a few posts I didn’t write until an hour before they were posted (yes I can procrastinate with the best of them).
I have spent lots of time searching my thoughts for what has been going on. One of the first thoughts I considered was whether I was losing my creative side. I was also wondering if I was losing my desire to write. I didn’t honestly believe either of these thoughts as I take a great deal of fulfillment from writing. However, I cannot deny the fact I just haven’t been writing as much.
Then one day about a month ago, I found myself in a mindset of shame over not writing as much. I know how much people value what I share about my journey, as I’ve heard so many wonderful stories from you the readers. So am I letting all of my readers down by not writing as much? No, I don’t think this is the case, as the only one who set any expectations was myself.
What I’m coming to realize is I’m just missing myself, and there’s nothing to be sorry for in those feelings. When I write it’s as if I’m spending time with me, getting more present with my thoughts and beliefs. It’s like time spent with an old friend, to chat about what’s going on in my life, and to get even more present with what’s important for me. I just want to spend more time with this old friend again.
In reflecting on this situation, I can see I’ve been holding myself in ways that do not bring out the best in me. For example, last year when I got into the rhythm of writing twice per week I was in a powerful mindset because of my writing. I was free, powerful and at choice in my life. The question didn’t even enter my mind of whether it was worth spending the time every week to do the writing. The time I spent writing felt joyous and I just want some of that back.
It would be easy for me to point to my customers and tell you how they keep me so busy, and it’s their fault I cannot find the time to write. However, that’s not true as not one of my customers asked me to give up my writing.
It would also be easy for me to point to how busy I’ve been, and as someone who’s self-employed, I have to take the work when it comes. All I’d be doing though is telling myself this juicy story which feels comfortable.
Oh god, I suck! I don’t have the discipline or tenacity keep my writing going. Apparently, I’m just not cut out to be an entrepreneur. So what I know is sitting in this mindset beating myself up isn’t going to change this situation.
So I just have to sit down and make it happen! No more excuses, I should just force myself to do it if it’s that important to me. I know this will only leave me feeling trapped, and I know I will rebel against that feeling of being trapped. So I know this just is not a useful mindset to use to get myself back on track with writing more often.
Letting my writing slip is hardly the first time in my life I don’t have what I want. When I am bothered by not having what I want in my life, what helps is to get present and listen to what speaks to my heart rather than my head.
In the case of writing, when I only focus on the act of writing I quickly lose interest. It feels too much like a chore or a task I have to complete each week. The act of writing speaks to my mind, and not my heart.
For me, writing is not about the act of writing. Writing allows me to be more present with myself, and on what’s happening in my life. It’s about baring my heart and soul and sharing it with the world as a way to bare it with myself. If my writing can touch just one heart, even if the one heart is mine, then the investment of time is worth it!
Just to prove my point, when I started writing this post I had no idea where it was going to take me or what I would find. I wanted to simply get clear on what was going on with the lack of writing these past few months.
I had found a picnic table, not far from the shoreline of Puget Sound. I just started to type and rift on this problem around writing I am creating for myself. What I’m noticing in the time I wrote this post is a shift away from thinking about writing as a chore. I’m now thinking of it as sharing my heart with the world as I know I can make a difference when I do that.
What do you want?
What are the things you want in your life for which for some reason they’re just not happening? Less weight? Lower Blood Pressure? More happiness at work? Love?
The problem just might be you’re wanting these things and moving straight to How you are going to accomplish them. For example, you look in the mirror one morning and sigh at the round belly you see there. So you decide you’re going to eat right and start to get more exercise. The problem is you’ve been on this treadmill of weight loss before so you’re wondering what’s different now.
I’ll tell you what’s wrong … you’re starting with how you’re going to accomplish this thing. Stop it. Instead, ask yourself Why is the thing you want so important? Once you have that answer ask yourself Why is that important? Once you have that answer ask yourself Why is that important? And keep asking Why until you hit the answer that makes you go; THAT’S IT!!!
For me, when I decided a few years ago it was time to lose weight, the epiphany answer I eventually hit was “I know one day I will die. In the meantime, I want to live a healthy and active life for as long as possible.” This understanding shifted my view of exercise from a chore to just something I do. The mindset changed eating habits from a feeling of missing out to one of finding enjoyable and healthy foods. Here’s to a healthy, long and fulfilling life.
Own it! Whatever it is you want to own is largely about your mindset. Whether it’s work, lifestyle, traffic jams or even politics. Only you can change your life, and all you have to do is choose to own it.
What are you creating, choosing or attracting to your life? Why not let it be the things you want.