We tell ourselves stories all the time. Especially as writers, when our tool is language, we can use language to tie ourselves in knots and keep us stuck.
I have found in my work with clients that it sometimes helps to think more like a priest or scientist at first, and this can lead us to the deeper work we long to do.
The first ingredient to untie the knot of your inertia is honesty.
Honesty is not trying to be anywhere else than where you are.
Those stories in your head that keep you stuck? They keep you stuck because they take you out of the present moment, which is the only place you can get your work done.
So take out your journal and get honest.
How do you feel right now? What is around you? What is wrong? What is right? Begin there and write the words as if only God will hear them – and not judge you.
The second ingredient (the one that scientists use all the time) of moving forward is observation.
Observation in non-judgmental awareness of what is.
Simply observe what is happening in your body. Around you. Thoughts. Feelings. You become the character, and you let your mind simply read the character’s story. Opening yourself to observation in this way lets you maintain a sense of awareness and calm, and practicing it regularly then will make your writing times much more enjoyable because you will be getting out of the way of your own resistance.
Once you’ve begun practicing honesty and observation, this clears the way to imagination.
Imagination is when your fingers begin to fly.
Something new is created, not out of thought, but from the motion. You are more like a dancer or painter at this stage. There is no such thing as lying when you create.
This week, practice honesty, observation, and imagination. And see what happens.
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a writing coach with 20 years of experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels in universities, as well as in diverse community settings. She specializes in working with women in academe.