Thinking is overrated
I was talking to my business partner recently about the perceived pressure of writing a daily blog. He said that he sometimes struggles to think of ideas on what to write. I was perplexed by that until I realized how I don’t think during the writing process. Well let me clarify, I think some, especially when I’m proofreading afterward, but I mostly allow during the writing process. Even if I’m creating on a longer work, like a manual or a book, which means I’ll probably use an outline, I sit still and allow ideas to surface. Then I let them tell me what they want me to write about them.
I guess I take this allowing or letting go method for granted because these days I never really get “writer’s block.” I don’t find myself straining for an idea of what to write. Once upon a time I did, though. That was back when I was required to write fiction for classes in college. You see, they make you do that when you’re pursuing a creative writing degree. However, they didn’t offer an emphasis in poetry and essay, only poetry and short story or novel writing. No way was I going to write a novel, so I had to do the short story stuff. And I was awful at short story writing!
But that’s just it. The struggle made me realize that I was not meant for doing fiction, and I still don’t feel a pull to do fiction today. The older I get the more I realize that life doesn’t have to be about struggle unless we choose to interact with it that way. (It’s one of the things we do get to choose!)
Last week, a local church sponsored me to give a presentation about resumes to a group of job seekers. The audience was amused by my comment that sometimes a resume speaks to me – it tells me how it needs to be written. They laughed, but I wasn’t joking. It’s absolutely true that even in resume writing, I mostly allow rather than mostly think. And, you know what? It’s a helluva lot more fun to write this way.
I’ve also learned that the creating process doesn’t have to be hard for the work to be good. Sure, there’s the whole skills and practice part that sometimes feels like hard work. And, there’s some truth to the adage, “The more you do something, the easier it gets.” But when I was a kid, poetry flowed out of me very easily, and it wasn’t half bad. Later, I did buy into the myth that creating something requires struggle. But now, as I approach the midway mark of my 40’s, I refuse to let the creative process be a struggle. I now know that whatever comes to and through me with ease is aligned with my purpose and passion. When I allow, it produces the best possible outcome anyway. There’s too much evidence supporting the truth of this wisdom for me to ignore it.
Case in point… I allowed the idea of the group coaching program I’m starting next week to incubate for almost 2 years because when I tried to force it to manifest last year, only one person signed up. It “failed” in spite of two important factors: it cost less than my new program, and I put more energy into promoting it than I have this new one. I’ve learned the hard way that a vision will be born when it’s damned well ready, and that’s not always when or how I THINK it will be. This new program almost filled up within 2 weeks of my announcing it. As a matter of fact, we have room for only a few more people. Talk about being in alignment with the creative process!
However, I want to make the distinction between allowing and not moving forward because you’ve put some barriers in the way. Scott Ginsberg, in his article, How to Trust the Process, Even If You Don’t Know What the Hell You’re Doing, says “…if you always waited until you knew what you were doing, you’d never do anything.” Amen! It’s important to do a gut check and ask yourself, “Am I not creating something (whatever that might be for you) because I sense it’s not time for it to be born yet, or am I having some fear around this?” Notice that this is definitely not a thinking process. When it comes to the creating process, I’d say that thinking is definitely overrated!
Angela Loëb helps people rediscover and use their gifts so they can bring who they are to what they do. To learn more, please visit: www.insyncresources.com.