Last Saturday I attended a Nonfiction Summit hosted by the Rocky Mountain Chapter Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I arrived sans ideas—I was going purely to learn and be open to whatever might come my way. I have published some nonfiction in the past, but it’s pretty much out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write any nonfiction.
No ideas leapt up to grab my attention while I was there, but I was deeply inspired by the faculty and fellow writers. One writer and friend in particular inspired me deeply. She shared that she’d just been accepted to the Vermont College MFA in Writing. This is a very prestigious and competitive program and I was thrilled for her!
But what I was more thrilled about and inspired by was her trust in her intuition. Early on she had had some concerns about doing the program as an older adult and also paying for it. But something told her this was what she was supposed to do and now everything is falling into place for her.
Listen…and Follow Guidance
I truly believe the Universe supports us in our the goals that are aligned with our Life’s purpose and talking to this writer was a beautiful reminder of that for me.
Over the last several months I have been blessed with an abundance of riches when it comes to invitations to speak and teach. To me this is validation for me to continue to pursue my love of sharing what I know as well as learning from others and having that personal interaction that it is so important to me.
At the same time I felt gratitude and said yes, I was feeling a niggling to slow down, to get back to my own writing. Each yes meant hours of preparation, preparation that was fun and exciting and that I loved, but took me away from writing.
“That’s okay,” I told myself. “You love this. You love the writing. You can do both.”
Which is true. But I wasn’t doing both. I’m still not.
A month ago I wrote about a promise to work on my novel every day, even if it was just for a few minutes. Two weeks later I noted that I hadn’t done it.
I’m still not doing it.
It’s painful for me to write that. I’m always telling writers to make time for the writing. To schedule it. To cherish and honor it.
I suck as a model for this right now.
But the niggle has turned into a gentle but firm nudge. It’s subtle because intuition is never loud and obnoxious. It requires stillness and attentiveness, something I was too busy to give it.
But the nudge cannot be ignored any longer!
So I said no to two invitations to speak last week and am sitting down to see what my current career commitments are and how much time they will take. I will look at my personal commitments and do the same.
And I will write.
And I will tell you I have written.
Having been inspired by you so many times, I’m very thankful to have given a little of that back to you! Reading this blog was a real warm fuzzy for me 🙂
I’m so glad! I’ve been thinking about you so much since we talked – thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration!
And I’ve been thinking about what you said about not writing every day – I keep thinking of something a shaman I studied with decades ago once said to me: to have peace in your life you must follow the patterns in nature. Plants don’t grow in every season, they rest in winter. The tide comes in and goes out, but it will come in again. So maybe it’s unrealistic to think we “have to” write every day. Maybe we could ease into it, like how fall eases us into winter. And maybe it’s okay that sometimes we write (like the tide being in) and sometimes we put our energy elsewhere for a little while. As long as we come back to the practice, and for as long as it is a joy for us to do so. I write almost every day, but sometimes I miss for a day, or weeks, occasionally even months. But I always come back to it, because I love it. Making it a “have to” makes it less fun for me. I like to CHOOSE to do it because it makes me happy, even when I have no idea what I’m doing, or only have ten minutes, or have no idea what happens next. It’s easier to do it every day when it’s a choice I make to nurture myself, which is why I do yoga almost every day too. (This shaman also said that humans are a pretty silly bunch, to have gotten so far away from what is natural, and then beat themselves up for it. Guilty as charged!) 🙂
This is so beautiful and just what I needed to hear. Thank you so much. I do think there can be a rhythm to things, an ebb and flow. I also know that not writing/creating nearly every day chips away at my soul. So for me it’s less about “have to” and more about ignoring my soul’s call to write and paying the price in less joy and fulfillment. I love that you studied with a shaman. It’s no accident that the Universe is bringing people into my life who are connected to nature and themSelves–capital “S” intentional. Thank you for taking time to share and support me–I am so grateful for you!