The Courage to Write

Dear All:

The other week when I asked a friend how her book was coming along, she admitted she hadn’t worked on it for a year and a half.

“It’s been so long I’m afraid of it,” she added. “Yet I know if I devote a chunk of time to it and hold it in my heart, I will be deep in the book again, and then I’ll be able to go back to it for short periods of time.”

“That sounds right,” I offered thinking of my own experiences with book-length projects over many years. Sometimes life and our own resistances block the way to the writing that means the most to us. Yet if we commit to the process again, set some time aside, and plunge in, we can find our way back to the writing we love.

My friend realized on a deep level she needed to complete the writing. “I have to finish the book, get it into a publishable state,” she told me. “I don’t care if it’s published.”  For her, the work was a soul calling and she couldn’t rest without fulfilling this inner commitment.

Still, returning to a project we’ve abandoned or starting one takes courage, the capacity to step forward into the unknown. Courage demands we let go of our fears and step boldly towards our heart’s desire—no matter what. Maybe our book won’t be published, but the next one might. All we can do is the work that’s ours.

Often distractions get in the way, arising from limited beliefs such as “I don’t have the time, energy, or talent for this work.” Yet when we make the writing a priority, the universe supports it. We find all kinds of resources coming to us—space opens up, time expands, money comes to us, our energy increases. As Goethe wrote, “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.”

The following steps may be helpful for your own process: 1) Let go of any sense of wrongdoing about your writing, whether it’s for losing focus on a project or resisting starting one. 2) Set up a strong intention to work on your project; write your intention on a small card you can see throughout the day. 3) Listen to any impulses that arise about your project and write them down. 4) Carry out what you can do in the moment. 5) Be thankful for your progress, even if small. 6) Trust that as you work with care and awareness your writing will come to fruition.

Bright Summer Blessings,