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Today was a very good day. I felt totally blocked. And never let it bother me.
I’ve been working on editing the manuscript for my new book, Mindful Writing, and also teaching an introductory course on the same topic. Both of these have prompted a lot of thought on what it takes to become a mindful writer.
Most writing classes and books focus on craft. Craft is vital, no doubt. I’ve invested a lot of energy trying to improve my writing. And I’ve worked with many others helping them to do the same. Working on building crafts skills is satisfying. The results are clear and visible and show up relatively fast.
But when I step back from the obvious and think about what has helped me most in my writing, I don’t find myself thinking so much about craft. At the top of my list is “Faith in my own creativity.”
Sounds a bit squishy, doesn’t it? Can’t be measured. Can’t prove that you have or lack it. I don’t know what it looks like, tastes like, or smells like. Yet, the more I think about it, the more faith I have that “faith in own’s own creativity” is the single most important trait for the mindful writer.
Or is it even a “trait”? Or a talent? Or a temperament? Or … doesn’t really matter.
For every writer, there are fifty who “mean to write,” but don’t. I was one of these for years. Why didn’t I write? I could say it was lack of time. I could say it was family or job or no place to write or my pencil was broken, but truth is, it was lack of faith in my own creativity.
How to bolster that faith? I think there are actually many ways. Here’s a big one, and I’ll probably return to this topic again in the near future – unless I lose my faith, in which case this may be the last ever blog on this topic or any other.
Here’s my tip for today: Expect self-doubt. Expect faith to waiver. Expect times when you feel blocked. And instead of fighting such feelings, move towards them. Accept them as teachers. Notice them, without judgment. Write about them. See if you can establish a relationship with them. Watch your ego resistance slink a bit off to the sidelines. And watch your creativity swell with pride.
What about you? How’s your “faith in your creativity”? What do you do to bolster it? What do you do when it waivers? If there is any writer out there whose faith has not seriously waivered, please contact me so that I may come and worship at your feet.