I have always loved to write. There is something about the way that words flow from my fingertips before my brain can even decide what I should be saying. Ideas come easily, creativity grows, it’s like a meditation for me.
I am in the process of writing a book, a memoir. Even though I knew how much I loved to write and how therapeutic writing can be, nothing prepared me for this. Books are a different animal. I love and hate it at the same time. Part of me just wants to rush through it, to come up with an end result, something to show for my work. The other part of me knows the journey is what it’s all about. It’s not about churning out pages and pages but more about the healing process I go through when writing it. It’s about the experience.
So many times we rush through things to get the end result instead of enjoying the process. I am trying to enjoy the process and sometimes I have to force myself to slow down to do this. I have to consciously remind myself that with each step comes progress and I need to reflect on that progress.Throughout my life I’ve been results driven so this is a challenge for me.
It has been fun to see the many ways this book has opened my eyes to habits I have that I never recognized. For example, when the writing got tough (either through writer’s block, or when I was writing about less-than-happy memories) I turned to food. I would find myself abandoning the laptop and walking to the kitchen for inspiration (yeah, like that was gonna help).
Just goes to show, eating is never just about the food. I was yearning for comfort. I wanted the writing to be easier, the memories to be nicer and the book to be completed. So I ate. Does that make sense? Nope. But every day we do the same exact thing in slightly different contexts. We expect food to reduce our stress, fix our strained relationships and improve our career. I had no idea I also expected it to write my book, until one day I realized that my “hunger” had nothing to do with meal time.
I would also find myself on Facebook, avoiding writing with the excuse of social media. That certainly wasn’t helping me write my book or stimulate my creativity. It was just another way to turn off my brain, to stifle my thoughts. I never realized what a crutch it had become. I ran away from the hard things to my phone & status updates. Yikes, what a child of technology. I wish I could say I went for a walk in the forest, but alas, I stayed in my house and scoured my newsfeed.
I had to keep myself focused; no Facebook, no food, no excuses. As I plunked away at my keyboard I learned about myself in ways I could never imagine. I debated with myself, argued different points of view, relived my history, dusted off the memories and wiped away the cobwebs. I challenged myself in ways I didn’t know possible and really got honest with myself. It was a rollercoaster; one that I had gone into blindfolded.
So if you like roller-coasters, try a new ride. Sit down and write for a while. You’ll find a new voice inside of you that can’t wait to be free. You will learn about yourself in ways only your fingertips can tell you. Let your brain turn off and your mind take over. There should be no rush, no hurry. Just enjoyment of the process. Oh yeah, and leave your phone in the kitchen & then lock yourself out 😉