Sunday, March 18, 2012

Writing: Learning to Honor Whatever Arises

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© 2012 Sean M. Madden. All Rights Reserved.

Yesterday's writing workshop — entitled Activating & Fulfilling Your Creative Potential — went beautifully. As always, we had a great group of folk with us, a mix of new and longtime students.

So whether workshop participants are professional writers or newbies makes little difference, as the foundational practice is learning to trust in and honor the process. This requires that we move beyond self-limiting judgments as to whether our writing is good or bad, or better or worse than the others in the workshop. Instead, we nurture a sense of letting go of the heavy, and thus sometimes stultifying, creative burden and simply write in response to whatever the writing prompt might be. And we're asked to acknowledge with great courage whatever comes up in our writing — to truly honor whatever flows through us and onto the page — and decide, separately from the act of writing, whether to share any given piece of writing with others.

In the process, we recognize that we needn't wait for inspiration to come. Rather, we learn that inspiration is far more likely to come in the doing. This is a hugely liberating lesson to learn. Initially, students might need to take my word for it, and have faith. But very soon, as quickly transpired during yesterday's workshop, faith is replaced with experiential confirmation.

And if the specifics of the writing prompt don't speak to us, the suggestion is to make it our own, to change it up as a means to make it pertinent. For if the writing topic matters to us, there'll be lots of energy to tap in order to help us break through the inertia of getting started.

We might also find that our writing is flowing well and then suddenly veers off into uncharted, utterly unexpected, territory. This is not only fine, but is to be embraced, as allowing our pen to meander this way and that without a set destination can inspire all sorts of fresh musings to arise which otherwise might not if we stick to the straight and narrow.

So, in your own writing, nurture the sense of letting go of control, and allow the pen to go where it will, as freely and as unhindered by our internal censor or editor as possible.

Take ten minutes right now to put pen to paper ...

Start anywhere — with the tiniest observation, a distant memory, or the most pressing of personal questions — and simply write. Stay grounded all the while by keeping a simple, uncomplicated awareness of your physical body. Feel whatever you might feel there without judgment, and allow the ink of your pen to flow onto the page like the blood through your veins. Trust in the process, both short- and long-term, and honor, truly honor, whatever arises, without judgment or comparison.

— Then share, in the comments below, your experience of putting pen to paper. How did you feel before, during and after taking just ten minutes out of your day to write?

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