The only way to best thine enemy is to know thine enemy.
I sit here in dismay at all the dull and unimaginative ways I thwart my creative inner being. Time and time again the enemy of "reason" stops me from the act of writing, with the same worn-out, trite injunctions that appear as common sense and logic.
Well, my creative side hereby calls for a duel. I raise my saber (pen that is) and "out" you once and for all. I see your fiendish ways and vow to cut you off at the pass. I hereby expose you and your blasphemy!
Blasphemy #1 You Must Be Brilliant!
I have to admit that this is one of your better injunctions. When you are able to hook my ego, I'm sunk. Especially when you compare me to prodigious writers, and bloggers with creative ideas and slants. Then I feel blocked, my feverish search for inspiration dries up, and I stop.
Yet, I learn that it is better to write, and to write badly, than not to write out all. Author Julia Cameron, in Finding Water, says: "Very often our 'bad' writing contains the seeds of our 'good' writing within it." She encourages us to give up our self-consciousness. In my better moments I know that when I show up and write, the Universe supplies the quality to open conduits.
Blasphemy #2 Work Comes Before Play!
I came into this world as a first-born, responsible female, crossing her t's and dotting her i's. And how you, conniving devil, have used that against me. I wake up this Saturday morning, happy to greet the day, happy to free myself from the routines of the weekdays. And yet, before I get out of bed, you take over, programming me with an extensive list of to do's. Have to's, not want to's. Over 20 items you declare on that list. You almost had me convinced I couldn't afford to take creative time this morning to write. You almost had me.
Until my inner writer slammed her foot down. And here's what she and I know. It's okay to eat dessert first. It's especially okay to play first. "Have to's" serve their purpose - and provide a way for me to do more of my "want to's." When I start to feel cranky and out of sorts I know it's because I haven't been writing.
So here's the deal, you clueless taskmaster. When you attempt to lance me with your strident "shoulds," I will write them down on paper. I refuse to carry them around in my head, scattering my energy. Armed with my intuition and physical signals, I decide how to schedule in my have to's with my want to's so that I feel good, dammit.
Blasphemy # 3 Be Careful What You Write About!
You tap into my quintessential fear with this blasphemy. Your censor admonishes me to be safe - to avoid attack, criticism, ridicule, rejection. Or worse yet, having others respond with indifference. Being yawned at cuts deeper and makes me feel small. Which in turn makes me play small, write small.
Nothing I can do about that. Playing small and writing small feels worse than what can potentially happen. I pull out my sword of honor. With a brandish, I tip the point against my heart. I summon the self-respect within. I vow to write the truth. My truth. That is all I know.
I will not vomit out my truth in lurid tabloid fashion. I can choose how, and when, to do it. Sometimes I'll just put it out there in simple fashion; other times with humor; another time with inspiration. And then there are the times I may lay my heart on the line, sharing in a vein of poignancy and vulnerability, as I have on the posts when I talked of my mother's passing.
So now that we have a clear understanding of this game, I declare it is time to lay down our swords. The next time you raise your sword of blasphemy against me, know this. You may give me pause, but that is all. I will not stop writing.