December 15, 2015

When Writing Feels Like a Chore: Try This.

Hans Splinter/Flickr

So let’s cut right to the meat of this.

Our relationships with our passions in life can become rather dysfunctional, no?

Typically, I love to write so much that I do not even know how to describe this complex relationship that I have with my writing.

I even told someone the other day that writing to me has been like an imaginary friend that I have had for most of my life. It has always been there for me, not only as a coping mechanism but as a way to use my imagination and express myself as well—even when nobody sees what I write.

I grew up rather isolated and reading and writing were truly a lifeline for me.

But, I have been freelance writing now for a little while, numbers of views go up and down and are considered to be important to some. I have actually even gotten paid (gasp) to write and I am also in the process of writing a book.

This may all sound like it would be good news, but it has become increasingly difficult.

At times this is grueling.

There is intense pressure to write things that people will actually want to read—some externally from the publications themselves and some internally as I am pretty competitive in nature, especially with myself.

I have tried many different approaches to get myself to write more often, to adhere to some random daily word count goal, to make writing into a practice even, if you will—similar to yoga.

There have been stretches where I talk about writing, I read about writing, and in this case—I even write about writing (I consider this to be a success).

My personal struggle involves focusing mainly on what I want to create and what I want to say, rather than assuming what it is people want to read.

I write a great deal about relationships and the epiphany that I had recently has been somewhat of an important one for me.

When I write about the ideal relationship, I typically say that to be truly happy, one must not be focused primarily on the end result.

If we look at a new partner and become too focused on wedding rings, maybe a baby, a large house, or anything too far down the road, our present can become murky.

We maybe miss out on their smiles, or we don’t fully listen to them talk about things that they enjoy outside of the relationship. Or we maybe do not fully appreciate the bracelet that they gave us for Valentine’s day when we were hoping for, or expecting a ring.

My point here is that in any relationship—being with a partner or with a creative outlet such as writing, we are missing out on the moments and it’s in the moment that we will always find the love of anything in this life that we truly relate to.

Each and every moment is all that ever exists.

When we focus on the end result of anything, the opportunities can become obligations.

Talking about writing and reading about writing can help, but similar to reading the “How to Save your Marriage” type of books or going to couples counseling on a regular basis, none of that matters if you cannot find the love again somehow in a way that is real and even self-sustaining to a degree.

I have noticed that if I am focusing on a submitting a certain number of articles or a certain word count in my book, or even the publication of anything, the joy that I feel when I am actually writing decreases so significantly.

If we are sharing our words, this ultimately comes through to the reader, just as not being present in any relationship is likely perceived by our partner as well.

We sometimes wait for inspiration to create when the act of creating in and of itself can be the ultimate inspiration.

This is the whole point of why we create, isn’t it? We started this because there was a spark.

I have a “zone” that I frequently find myself in when I am writing and being in this place is such a great place that I cannot even describe it very well in words.

This zone is the feeling of completely letting go.

It is soothing, yet somewhat of a gentle fury all at once. It is the pure freedom similar to what you feel when someone asks you what you would do if you had a billion dollars and you allow your imagination to just go without limitation or constraint.

Admittedly though, my creative process has evolved from loving to sit down to write, to forcing myself to sit down to write, and recently has gone back to loving to write just for the sake of writing instead of for the sake of submission or publication.

I light a candle, center myself and I just go. Instead of trying to find the zone I allow the zone to find me and have learned to take away the nagging “get off my back” kind of pressure that I used to inflict on myself to write.

So much of creating is about allowing, and this can be said for most things.

Creativity is truly the essence of freedom, just as the purest of relationships with anything or anyone can allow you to feel free in a way that nothing else in this world can.

This is our purpose.

We do not create relationships with things that we love, rather we allow them by shedding away the resistance.

So, if you are feeling stuck—take the pressure off yourself. Just like in a struggling relationship, take the pressure away to force an end point and allow yourself to flow.

Do whatever it takes to reclaim the love in your relationship with writing—that is the best way.

Sit down, let your mind go and allow your fingers to type.

After all, writing intuitively is naturally balancing for your overall energy.

Any creative process which allows us to both give and receive at the same time is a special type of magic, and writing can be a manner in which we can both listen and speak at the same time.

So, be gentle with yourself.

Do not force the relationship, rather rediscover your love for the moments when you are writing.

The words will come to you in the most beautiful ways when you can allow them, rather than force them. Write when you maybe do not feel like writing, but do not have any specific goals other than to flirt with it in the same curious way you would a new relationship.

This is how to bring the love back and to rekindle the flame with what once was such a passion.

That freedom and that joy is there for us whenever we want it.

So maybe consider setting the mood by lighting a candle and just allow the words to flow.


Relephant Read: 

Grow your Passions, All of them.


Author: Katie Vessel

Editor: Sarah Kolkka

Image: Hans Splinter/Flickr

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