So, I have plunked myself down with my second cup of tea in front of my laptop and conjured up Annie Lamott’s voice: you gotta sit your butt down in that chair (I’m paraphrasing). Anne Lamott is one of my heroes, so I will do it if she says to.
The only reason I am not distracting myself with one of the other twelve tabs open on my laptop is because I am naming that distraction to you.
I guess I’m building my writing muscle again. Just like whenever I take a few months off from exercise - I find myself wanting to get back to it, setting aside the time for it and still only getting to it 30% of the time.
If I want to write, and I have the time set aside, why do I avoid it?
I think I want to seamlessly re-enter my writing life where I left off, without the discomfort of starting back up, of feeling rusty and out of shape. I want it to be easy and invigorating; I want the words to flow off my fingertips and paint beautiful pictures; I want my writing to lead me to where I need to be.
Well, if my yoga practice is any clue, taking a few months off does not mean jumping back in with ease and effortlessness. With yoga, maybe it did in my twenties, but we all know that boat has long since sailed.
Perhaps the key here is in the word practice. What if my writing were a practice? If it’s practice, then it’s done in the spirit of learning, getting better, growing. There’s no pressure to produce something perfect or finalized.
I’m noticing that it makes keeping my butt down in this chair a little easier.
My writing, just like my person, is a work in progress. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Scratch that, it's not true. Part of me would like it to be true. Instead, I think the truth is that I live in the tension of wanting to write (and live) fully and imperfectly, just as myself, without hesitation or second guessing and wanting to produce something that’s kick-ass and worth applauding.
The good news: those two things are not mutually exclusive. The not so good news: my ego is getting in the way (again).
I am very aware in this moment that if I choose the path of seeking applause, I may find myself vastly disappointed.
On the other hand, if I choose the path of living and writing fully, just as myself - it could take me anywhere.
What are you avoiding in this moment? What makes that thing feel hard? What would make it feel less hard?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.