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What can feel worse to a writer than being bored by your own writing?
On my way to the library yesterday to write with my friend Bonnie, I took a project I’ve been playing around with thinking it would be the easiest thing to work on. It was–as long as I didn’t care about quality. The writing came out all blah, blah, blah.
So, today, when I met with my writing coach via phone this afternoon, I asked her to walk me through the exercise I lead my clients through–my “meet your muse” visualization.
I usually lead my clients in an imaginary journey from meadow to forest to a small building in a clearing where the muse is waiting, but my muse had other ideas. My muse showed up uncharacteristically as a white unicorn as soon as I stepped on the path in the meadow. I asked my muse (the unicorn) how to make my writing more fun, compelling, creative and playful.
I wasn’t quite sure whether to hop on the unicorn’s white back or not, but as soon as I did, we rocketed to another galaxy to the center of a star. Yes, all that energy, power and light made up the star, but at the center I found only space, quiet, stillness.
The message: I needed to make space in my life–not just for writing, but stillness, being, down time, time in nature and time to dance, to climb rocks, to sing, as well. Without this respite, stillness and rejuvenation, I couldn’t tap into the creative juice on demand.
My lackluster writing was just a symptom of a cluttered and overly-busy life. When my coach asked me if there was a word that came to mind about the type of time my muse wanted me to make, I said, “Love time.”
Love–a bit trite, perhaps, but also the cure for all ills. Stillness and nature create the space for love to creep into every crevice of our lives–into the marrow of our bones, the very thoughts we think, our appreciation for life itself. Love fills. Love refuels us with magical ingredients like unicorn tears and stardust.
Our culture focuses so much on productivity, but true productivity–producing and creating our absolute best–requires more of us than doing. It calls us to first do nothing.