I get excited when I am onto something and it gets validated shortly after, this is the gift of taking time to listen. You can hear the whispers before they are glaringly loud, screaming in your face, keeping you up at night. Recently I cracked open and started yet another journal. I use it as a place to write down the cruddier thoughts that are not blog worthy and this process really works well for me lately. I have a beautiful moleskine, that is asking me to treat it like a sketchbook, so I have been.
Turns out this is actually a good technique. I am sure I read about this at one point or another, but this time I just started doing it and am still staying committed. Yeah yeah, its still early on, I am still motivated. But I remember last week, I almost gave all of this up and was trolling LinkedIn, Staffing Agencies and non-profit sites for a job?
Anyhow, I’ve been reading “Writing Down to the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and each page has been a little gift of validation. I keep smiling because I am a step ahead of each chapter. She talks about demons (or as I call them gremlins) too. She describes the process of journaling as composting and says,
When your writing blooms out of the back of this garbage and compost, it is very stable. You are not running from anything. You can have a sense of artistic security. If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you. Besides, those voices are merely guardians and demons protecting the real treasure, the first thoughts of your mind.
Yes, exactly, ah—guardians and demons. I always hear them inside. The fight and roar, gnashing teeth and all, they have kept me in fear for a long time. Here is how I composted recently. Ever since I wrote this out, I have felt the floodgates open. The demons and guardians have given me entrance to my vault of riches.
Reason’s I can’t write. 1. I don’t know how to write 2. Nobody will read it 3. Everyone has read it already 4. It’s already been done 5. I won’t make money 6. I will fail 7. It will suck 8. Everyone wants to write 9. Not many succeed 10. I have nothing important to say 11. My story is boring 12. I don’t have time 13. I won’t have time 14. I should have started years ago 15. It’s too late 16. I am too old 17. I have no talent 18. I won’t finish 19. I haven’t started 20. I don’t write enough.
Reason’s I can write. 1. I have a story to tell 2. I want to share my story 3. I feel it calling 4. I can practice everyday 5. It doesn’t have to succeed 6. It doesn’t have to make me rich 7. I can work on my story little by little 8. I carry a rich past 9. I have a strong voice 10. People will like it 11. It will free my soul 12. I can know I tried 13. I will regret not doing it 14. My story should be on paper 15. My story needs to get out of my head 16. My story will be a good adventure 17. My story will be my legacy 18. My story will set me free 19. My story will help me heal 20. My story will help me forgive.
From what you say, it looks like you set out to prove you couldn’t write by listing the reasons, and then found yourself proving the opposite. That’s awesome, even if the true story is more nuanced.
I like the compost metaphor. I see my writing a little more vulgarly as crap that comes from me digesting everything I see and feel (a little self-plagiarism from a near future post of my own — not intended as self-promotion).