There is this idea about writers, infact it applies to creatives in general. The idea is that our best work comes from a place of negative experience that serves as the poker that stokes our flames of creativity.
I enjoy writing about being a writer, mainly because it’s a title I struggle to attach to myself as a blogger. However, here in this space where all I do is write, I suppose I am a writer.
There are all these ideas about the way that writers should be and it’s strange that we cling to them, even the negative ones.
A common one is the idea of the tortured writer. For them the writing process is like some sort of possession where it takes over and you have no choice but to sit and write until you are possessed no more.
I used to carry the belief that the best work or at least the best of my own work had to come from a place of sadness, anger or frustration. It’s not that I looked for those things but I found myself happy to use experiences that brought on those emotions as opportunities to write something.
Then one day after catching up with a dear friend, I left with a full heart and inspiration to write. When I started to write, the words poured out with such great ease like they have so many times before. the only difference was that this time I was full of joy.
In that moment, I realised that I had debunked the myths that I had once believed about myself as a writer.
Sometimes all it takes is to tune into a random passing thought.
Perhaps there is something that has been on your mind for a while or maybe it’s something that you’d totally forgotten about. Either way, you’ll get a thought that serves as a call to action that gives you an idea of what to do next or how to progress with something.
Often, when we feel stuck or we’re not sure what changes we need to make, we think we need to brainstorm, plan and come up with ideas.
We unknowingly try to force something because we feel like we need to know now and that to wait is to waste time.
But your mind is rarely clear when you’re trying to rush something, it’s actually more beneficial to slow down and patient.
Then all of a sudden, something will come to you and you’ll know exactly what you need to do next.
Sometimes difficult things are only difficult because we choose to perceive them to be.
But if it works one way then maybe it can work the other way.
Maybe, difficult things will become a little less challenging if we choose to perceive them to be easier to overcome.
Write more than one post a day. Even if only one of them is worth publishing and the other one, two or 5 are just a few phrases.
Writing and sharing something everyday becomes easier the more you write.
And on the days when coming up with something from scratch doesn’t feel easy you can go back to one of your drafts and flesh out the 2 sentences you wrote last week.
It’s getting to that time of year when the Out of office goes on with an automatic reply that goes something like:
‘ Hi, I am currently on leave until 4th January and will respond upon my return. If urgent please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in my absence.’
However, for daily blogging there is no break or time off unless posts are pre-written in advance.
And sometimes that can be challenging when you want time to plan what direction to take things in the future or just want to take a break.
There is no out of office for daily blogging and once you start you commit to never being able to take time off.
It can feel daunting but it isn’t all bad because there is so much to gain from committing to a writing practice every single day.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
A common phrase that essentially means, if something is going well don’t change it.
We don’t have to wait until something is broken before we decide to fix it or change it. You could be in the habit of doing something like eating chocolate chip pancakes everyday for breakfast. You never miss a day and always make time to sit and relax whilst you eat.
Essentially, nothing is broken.
But you might be better off eating fruit, or oats instead.
Just because something isn’t going badly, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth thinking of how you can make it better.
There are some cases when, if you don’t know what to say the best thing to say is nothing at all. But that doesn’t apply to every situation.
In fact, in some scenarios saying nothing is one of the worst things that you can do.
Sometimes we hold off from speaking up because we think that less than perfect is not good enough. However, the perfect composition of words shouldn’t always be the aim.
At times it’s better to speak up in the moment, to perhaps let someone know that you care instead of staying quiet. The alternative is to wait until what you have to say is closer to perfect but by then it will be too late.
When something is on your mind and you choose not to say it, the result is often unideal.
Let’s think of the thing you choose to hold in as a tennis ball. If you say it, you can drop the ball but if you don’t say it, you have to carry the ball around with you.
At first, it doesn’t really bother you because a tennis ball isn’t particularly big and you can carry it in one hand with no issue.
But after a few hours, days or weeks it starts to become an inconvenience.
We sometimes kid ourselves that things don’t bother us but then a few weeks later it’s still on our mind, the tennis ball is still in your hand.
And like with the tennis ball concept, we end up telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter because it’s small or easy to carry. But if you apply this mentality, you’ll find yourself carrying several tennis balls.
The point is that you don’t have to.
When you allow yourself to hold on to lots of little things, they eventually become a great burden instead of a potentially short conversation that you can move on from.
I think what many are craving is a sense of ‘normal’, the way things once were.
If you’re lucky, normal might have been just fine but it’s worth acknowledging that that’s not the case for everyone.
Of course the easy thing to do would be nothing and just let things go back to what they were, after all you don’t have any issues.
I think that’s the mindset that limits us and stops progress.
We’re so afraid that better for them means worse for us that we’re willing to let them suffer.
It might not be so explicit in your mind but if you take some time you might realise that’s the reason behind your mindset.
When it comes to trends, movements and change there are leaders and there are followers.
There are people that go around regularly talking about something, doing something or wearing something, to the point where that they become known for that one specific thing. Then on the other hand there are followers, those that have to see it done before they choose to do it.
There is often a negative connotation of being a follower. It’s often associated with someone that is weak minded or perhaps does not have a strong sense of self. But what I rarely see discussed is the positive impacts of people following when it is in support of a good cause.
For example, if someone is campaigning for better working conditions, it’s not much use if there is only one person willing to stand up for the cause. If there is only one person then change is much less likely. The followers are a necessary part of making things happen.
Campaigning for better working conditions might not be your idea or perhaps you didn’t have the courage to lead. But that shouldn’t stop you from joining in and being a part of it.
“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.”Idowu Koyenikan