My 2024 is starting off slow. And I’m realizing that’s a good thing in many ways.
Just before Christmas, I got rear-ended while patiently waiting to turn when the driver behind me was distracted (looking behind her at her passenger!) and didn’t see me in time. As I heal, I need to limit screen time (hence, this will be a short post!).
The limitations got me thinking about this slowed-down time I’m living in—limiting internet, phone, and texts and eschewing TV. Even reading is a little hard on my head.
Don’t worry—if you email me, you will get a response: Geri will read my emails and help me respond. Thank you, Geri. And I’m still joyfully leading Get Your Writing Done sessions—just not looking at the screen when I teach! [And, by the way, we’ll soon be adding a revamped version of my book writing program [Bring Your Book to Life] as part of the Get Your Writing Done membership—stay tuned.]
Presence is a Gift!
My mom, Elizabeth, always taught me to look for the good in everything that happens. I realize how slowing down is teaching me about a different way of being in the world, a way that helps me as a writer and a human.
I walk slower and notice more. An hour ago, I walked down to the bay at the end of our road and marveled at the pink, blue, golden, and mercurial ripples. I felt like I was living in a painting! I stayed for a long time, watching the light and landscape morph before me.
In addition to appreciating the surrounding beauty more than ever, I also notice what it feels like to slow down—to do less and just be present. These are good skills for a writer, but also for a human being!
I write poetry by hand and avoid typing it into the computer. So, I get more time with the creation process without doing much with it. There’s something sacred about drawing out the creation process and enjoying it for what it is…without concerning myself about the other parts. It’s helped me let go of certain measures of success and outcomes and enjoy creating for what it is—the life force moving through me, expressed in myriad ways.
There’s a freedom to create when we let go of outcomes. That’s often when we can be our most innovative or where our work takes an unusual turn and opens up new worlds. Would you agree?
I’m sure I’ll be back to outcomes soon, but in the meantime, I am enjoying Narragansett Bay at twilight, as well as sitting and staring into the fire in the fireplace at night with my husband Tom and son Luke.
I feel that I will return to my more “productive” pursuits with renewed energy and more focus—fewer projects and clearer priorities. So, I give thanks for the nudge for now!
How about you? Please take a moment to comment and share how you are starting 2024. Perhaps you are starting with a powerful focus, renewed energy or bold strategies. Perhaps you are starting with a dream or intention. There’s no one way to begin a new year, so you’ll find no judgment here—just curiosity and a genuine interest in your creative life.
I wish you a happy new year and much joy in your creative process, however it shows up!