So it’s been a pretty long drought. But I can finally say… I finished another book. Mal’s book, MINE TO BREAK, is finally going to release on July 25th! You can pre-order it for $2.99 on Amazon here, but I will be uploading this book wide to other retailers if Amazon is not your jam. (It just may not be up for pre-order, though I’ll see how it goes once I get edits completed.)
So how did I finally grow some words in a barren, cracked earth? It took some doing, that’s for sure.
The number one thing that helped me was a class I took in May at the Margie Lawson Writing Academy, called Write Better Faster with Becca Syme. It’s a little pricey for a class ($75) but highly recommended and well worth your time.
But don’t go into the class expecting some secret handshake that suddenly helps you write 5K a day. It’s not that kind of class. First off, she had us take personality and strength quizzes. What makes you tick as a writer and person? Once you delve into personality, she helps you tap into the proven tactics that increase productivity and performance for your unique situation. This includes an hour on the phone with her talking through the results and things to try.
For the planner lovers, we even had a session on which planners tend to work best for your personality.
But for me, none of that was as illuminating as the class on essential pain. That’s the idea that sometimes change and growth and work can be painful. It’s a natural human survival tactic to want to avoid pain (unless you’re a masochist!), so sometimes we avoid doing what we know we need or want to do, just to avoid that pain, without even realizing it. Ironically, we end up causing ourselves MORE pain with that avoidance.
So I realized for a lot of reasons I can’t get into publicly that I had started to avoid writing, because I didn’t want to face that other pain. As Jane Yolen says, a writer has to “tell the true.” And I was avoiding the true. Which caused me more pain, because I lost the thing that was giving me sanity and pleasure when I most needed it.
The other thing that has really helped me this year, and especially this past week, is daily meditation. I use HeadSpace, available in your app store. This week, I started the creativity track and WOW. It’s so illuminating, literally. When I was avoiding writing, avoiding the true, I ended up making myself smaller.
I was drawn up tight in a fetal position, just holding on for dear life.
At first, I was trying to protect myself – but when you’re small, you take up less space, and nature abhors a vacuum. Others start taking up that space, squishing you even smaller. And smaller. And smaller. Maybe intentional, maybe not, but it’s hard to gain space to breathe.
But as I started to uncurl and look around and push back against the crowded confines I’d gotten used to, I realized… hey. Why was I allowing myself to be made to feel so small? It wasn’t protection – it was prison.
The creativity pack starts with a visualization, that your creative energy is a spark inside your chest. Small, but bright. And then you visualize it growing. It fills your body, the room, envelopes your house, the world, the UNIVERSE. It’s not small, it’s HUGE and wonderful and you sit there imagining all this warmth and sunlight and energy all around you and I’m thinking
DAMN! WHY DID I GIVE THIS UP?
And then in the next heart beat, I’m thinking
I’LL NEVER LET ANYONE MAKE ME FEEL SMALL AGAIN.