I sat down to write this morning as I do most mornings.
I’ve been creating the habit over the last couple years to wake up early when the house and the world is still quiet, and before the busyness of the day sweeps me away, to write. That’s how most of the stories I’ve written over the last 2 years were born.
This morning I woke up with the intention of writing a story but all that showed up was blah blah. I started and stopped 5 or 6 different times but nothing landed. The more I “tried” the harder it seemed to get. My mind kept getting in the way and I kept trying to “think” my way through, but all I kept hitting was dead end after dead end.
Sorta like life isn’t it?
Some mornings the words just flow. It reminds me of surfing. I have an idea, like a swell on the horizon coming towards me. My energy reaches toward it, like I’m paddling to catch a wave. It slowly gains momentum as the words glide across my screen like I’m skimming along the face of the wave. Exhilaration fills me as I keep finding that sweet spot, staying in the flow as it unfolds in front of me.
And sometimes it just feels like I’m stuck in a rip current getting pulled farther and farther out to sea. I can't think of the right words, or my mind just goes blank. Everything is a struggle. No matter how hard I paddle I don’t seem to get anywhere and eventually end up back on the beach exhausted and disappointed. The inspiration disappears.
In the pastI would have let that frustration define the rest of my day and affect everything else I did. My self-judgment would kick into high gear and slowly drag me into a quagmire of negative thoughts. I’m grateful however, that at this point in my life, I’ve learned that I have, and can make, different choices for myself.
I stopped, pushed away from my desk, and did a quick check in with myself. In that moment I saw how scattered my energy was. I wasn’t grounded and I wasn’t clear about what I wanted to say. I realized I needed a reset, so I took a deep breath (several actually) to help clear my energy and stood up and walked away. What can I do so I feel like I accomplished something and feel good about it? The bird feeder in the backyard was empty and needed refilling, the plants in the house needed watering, and I could definitely use a cup of tea. It’s amazing how a cup of tea can help take the edge off when I’m frustrated.
As I water the plants and feed the birds my mind slowly unwinds. My mind drifts and I’m not thinking about anything in particular even as I sense my thoughts rearranging themselves. The world is waking up around me and I know the rest of my day will be full of appointments, phone calls, meetings, and new opportunities.
My writing hour has passed without much to show for it and I realized I’m okay with that. I know that writing takes practice, patience, and perseverance. The more I do it, the better I’m getting at it.
There’s always tomorrow morning. I’ll sit back down, turn on my computer, and see what shows up.
Sorta like life.