Every week when I sit down to write my blog posts, I get to thinking. About myself or an experience I’ve had. About a lesson I’ve learned or a truth I’m trying to understand. About an aspect of myself or a relationship I want to strengthen or improve. And in order to understand all this, in order to know myself better and experience this life, I write about it.
Monday, in this space, we talked about contemplative practice. About reflecting on the big questions to gain understanding; to grow and expand and move closer to spirit. Writing is a way of doing that too, because in order to write anything, you’ve got to have a deeper sense about it. In order to make it play out on the page, you’ve got to reflect on it yourself.
Perhaps that’s one reason why I’ve enjoyed writing this blog and my new book Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People so much. The process of putting thoughts on the page allows me to explore my own uncertainties and ideas. It challenges me to learn about what I don’t yet know. That, is interesting and makes for an interesting life.
In Kate Hopper’s fantastic writing book Use Your Words: A Writing Guide For Mothers she writes: “Writing is an act of discovery. Taking the time to sit down with pen and paper (or a laptop) can give you the space you need to discover what you think about the transformation inherent in motherhood. The more you write, the more you will understand what you know.”
I love that. I believe that. And time and time again, in my life, writing has been a path back to myself.
With writing you can contemplate the big ideas, see the truths, drop the resistance and reach acceptance. Through writing you can even glean your passions and purpose.
Ready to start a writing practice to help you move closer to yourself and your spirit?
Here are three things that I suggest:
1. Write something. Seriously. This is a no-brainer here. You’ve got to start putting words on the page, every day. Set a time, and write for five or 10 minutes. Keep your hand moving. Be open to any ideas that show up. Write with abandon and without judgment.
2. Don’t worry about edits. You don’t have to show anyone. This kind of writing is an act of exploration. Let it be messy and fluid and organic. No editing allowed.
3. Start with an idea. Prompt yourself with a question: “What do I need to know to make today successful?” “What do I like about myself?” “Who am I?” And let go on the page. You can also tie this in with your gratitude practice. After you are done listing the things you appreciate in your life, pick one and elaborate on it through your writing.
Finally, remember, that you are always a creator. It’s innate. Unavoidable. We are creative in how we parent and cook and partner. And how we express ourselves. When you write – when you consciously create anything at all – you are allowing your soul to speak. That, is worth doing. Now and always. So pull out your paper. Get writing.
If you do entertain thoughts of writing and publishing and you want to tell the stories of your life, Kate Hopper’s guide is a fabulous way to learn just how to do it. Use Your Words: A Writing Guide For Mothers, (Viva Editions) is filled with specific details, examples and anecdotes that make the book itself interesting and compelling. It is also loaded with writing prompts and exercises to get you started and keep you going. And, of course you’ll find specific lessons on the writing craft including structure, and voice and story-telling. If you want to write better, if you want to publish your material – buy this book.