“What’s more important: Talent or Persistence? Talent is more important, but useless, in the majority of cases, without persistence.” – Duane Alan Hahn Rewriting and Revising –
(See more at: http://www.great-quotes-powerful-minds.com/famous-quotes-on-perseverance.html#sthash.3jqoGYI7.dpuf)
This commitment to daily writing always seems to challenge me on the days when I arise at a less-than-optimal hour. I feel like I’m already behind the eight ball, like I’ve thrown my whole day off by disrupting my “normal” routine. Not that consistency has ever been my strong suit. For a person so interested in habits, I am a horrid case study. Not sure if I find that amusing, encouraging or horrifying.
The only way out of it is to just get on with it. I go back to Anne Lamott in her quote from Bird by Bird, “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft—you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft—you fix it up.”
So often blogging is just a mediocre second draft. And I’m okay with that because the stuff found on these pages are not meant to be the next great American novel (not that I write fiction). It’s just me sorting through my life to discover the person God intended me to be. Some days I am inspired by myself and other days it’s just crap. More Lamott:
“Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here — and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.”
The last few days, I have returned to playing with resistance.
This writing every day takes discipline.
It takes commitment. It takes a willingness to be messy. It illuminates all of my addictions, the worse one of which lately is all the free e-books on Amazon. It brings me face to face with my fears, and then I wonder what it is I’m avoiding. It brings me face to face with my guilt. I ask myself the source of it.
“If you have a subject that makes you uncomfortable when you think about it, it means there is strong desire related to it. Which means it really, really, really matters. So finding a way to think about it and feel good is your work. But it is equally effective to think about anything else and feel good, and let it in. You don’t have to think about money in order to let in money. You just can’t think about lack of money, to let in money.”
Excerpted from the workshop: North Los Angeles, CA on August 13, 2001
So the guilt is that I haven’t let myself off the hook for what it is I think I should be doing. As much as I disregard the good opinions of others, I still have an awareness of what I think they are and how this somehow leads to an idea that I am defective by extension. Thank God for my friend, Brandi, who has been mirroring this for me by going through the same thing in a different form. It makes me so proud, watching as she blossoms into giving herself permission to shine. If I can see that defectiveness is bullshit for her, why haven’t I allowed myself to call bullshit on it for me?
Should, should, should. I am learning to let go of it. It is just an idea laid upon my life by those who think they know for me how I should be conducting myself.
“You did this to yourself,” the Course says.
I made it up. So I can unmake it. I can choose again. Doesn’t it feel so much better to let go of ideas of right or wrong, good or bad?
I have work to do and all of this circling around the same old stuff just makes me dizzy and keeps me from my work. I don’t have forever to do this. Another friend of mine died yesterday. The second in less than a month. I am tired of excuses. Excuses are just the walls I erect to keep me small.
“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself,
How alive am willing to be?”
How alive indeed.