If I didn’t have the record of it right in front of me, no one could convince me that I last wrote a few days ago. It seems like several weeks. It feels like my writing muscles are way out of shape. Writing seems scary and frozen and treacherous and unappealing.
It used to be that feelings like these could go on for a long time, accumulating and hardening over months. Now it feels a lot like that icky-sluggish-haven’t-exercised-lately feeling. The I-don’t-want-to-move-but-I-need-to-move feeling. The only way out of that feeling, I have learned, is to move.
This is a “ta-da!” moment. I have integrated writing into my life such that I get an icky-sluggish-haven’t-written-lately feeling when I haven’t! I start to feel clogged up. I get cranky and short-tempered and shut down. I go into a kind of exhausted fog. Not pleasant.
Since nothing else was in my reach this morning, I wrote about how I was feeling about writing; I wrote the material above. Then I went on a wandering rambling about an event I recently went to. Then I realized that was not going to make an interesting post, and let all that text go.
But those words played their role. I’m feeling a little better already. There’s more life inside my chest and more flexibility in my fingers. Writing seems less scary. The list of things I want to write about seems more inviting and less like a field of landmines.
There’s gratitude here too. Gratitude that there is something I can do each morning that is so magical to me.
I believe so strongly (there are few things I believe more strongly) that each of one of us is given something like this, some pursuit that feels right in us and renews our energy and makes us feel like we can walk safely in the world.
Some of us know what that thing is and practice it. But even we forget its importance from time to time, we lose it periodically, we fail to protect it from the pressures and demands of our lives. We fall out of the habit. We lack the courage. The fears win out.
Some of us don’t know what that special pursuit is for us, we don’t know what thing will be magic for us. Then the only thing to do is to follow the whispers that don’t make sense to find out.
What we discover is often not what our egos want. Perhaps you want your thing to be running but you are hearing a faint inner whisper about…about…playing a drum? Maybe you want your thing to be gardening but you know, from way back in childhood, that there is nothing for you like time with animals.
Giving up directorship and trusting what’s true are some of the first hurdles. Then there are other fears, of being a beginner, of “failing” or not being “good.” There’s no journey to reclaiming our loves that doesn’t involve facing fears.
The fears are worst at the beginning, I think, before the momentum of the pursuit you love has had a chance to sweep you away, before your love of the pursuit has been awakened enough to carry you over the fear-obstacles. Letting the early fears rule is like never having falling in love simply because of the butterflies in your stomach before the first kiss.
Now I’ve written. There’s a lightness in my chest, and an ability to face the day, and a sense of being me today. There are tears for the blessings of all that.
Because I live in this bubbling sprinting time of technologies and connectedness and tribes, I get to share this, right now. I get to take it out from this room and computer, into the world. People will read it, and respond, and there will be a conversation about it here.

I get to go out and take a walk and pour milk in coffee and stir and talk to the people in my family. I get to do the now-thing. Amazement.



Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • This piece will help and touch a lot of folk. You have a real gift.

    You know I understand. To say that I understand is actually a shabby representation of the empathy most bloggers would feel as they read this. I’ve inhabited that space. But notice I say bloggers. I have no doubt at all that you never feel like this about writing for yourself. If I may share something with you that I found useful? I stopped using the two words interchangeably. I even use the terms coachwriter and homelife coach to differerentiate the areas of my coaching work.

    For me, there are several facets to the magic: the writing itself, connecting, and feeling like I’m supporting folk. Some days, I can only manage one of those on my blog. If I feel more like supporting, my comment responses get longer; if I feel like connecting, I comment widely on other blogs. But, as you’ve probably guessed, the writing itself is my favourite.

    Last year, when the coaching newsletter I had a column in turned into blog format, I had a dose of coachblogger’s block. I never have coachwriter’sblock. It felt different seeing my monthly pieces in a blog, with that ominous empty comments box below. Previously, emails used to flood my inbox after a piece went out, and I loved those private exchanges.

    Some days, I feel I can’t share the topics on my blog that I’d like to, for security or family privacy reasons, but oh my God I could write about those issues with ease!

    Sometimes, I find blogging – commenting, responding, blog-reading, the technology, taking the right photos – tiring and time-consuming, but I crave time alone to write and edit properly, and never have enough.

    What helps me is to have a separate blog-post ideas notebook. In there go all the birdlike ideas that flit in and out of my brain: a recipe, a book review, a poem, a quote, a photo worth sharing, a post about haiku…I capture those whenever they land, in a carpark, at the tea table, when I’m doing dishes…

    It took the pressure right off, and let the ‘writing’ jug refill to the brim.

    You’re absolutely right….magic is the only way to describe the feeling when it all comes together.

    Thank you for letting me ramble here!

  • sophiashouse says:

    Hi Janice,

    This topic – blogging and writing and the relationship between the two – is so fascinating to me.

    I love your distinction of connecting, supporting and writing, and the idea that you can see what mood you are in and follow that. That resonates with me and I will use it!

    In terms of this idea of blogging vs. the juicy, open, clear writing….

    I’m kind of in a middle place, in that I see some of the distinctions between other kinds of writing and blogging, but I also don’t want them to become two separate things in my life.

    My experience is that “blogging” as its traditionally defined (especially in the personal growth space) produces articles that are often really pedestrian, personal voiceless, and made for people to skim rather than to really take in. In that sense, I don’t want my writing to turn to blogging.

    And on the other hand, I know that what I was first doing when I started blogging was not really appropriate to the medium – too long, too dense, too abstract, and really for me and not for readers. I’ve definitely gotten more practical, more headline-ish, etc.

    I too could write so much more on this topic, but will stop there for now.

    Thank you so much Janice!

  • Your use of the word ‘magic’ in this post certainly peaked my interest! I can relate to you with the writing part of things. If I don’t write daily, I start to get edgy. I feel like my thoughts are volatile if I don’t get them down somehow – that they will just dissipate never to return.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on writing – and your terrific blog – with the world.

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