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Writing - A Journey of Creative Ideas

"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it."
Anais Nin

Writing is a journey in many ways. A journey of overcoming doubts and fears about writing and publishing, about your reasons and goals for writing, about achievement and rewards of persistence, and about letting creative ideas flow. It is a journey about letting your voice speak for something that you are passionate about. It is a journey of helping others by telling stories, either fiction or non-fiction.

It may be a personal journal. Journaling allows for the expression in words of feelings, thoughts, experiences, and challenges in a way that releases it from inside you onto a page. You may never reread it after writing it. It is for the process of writing itself, not for anyone else to see, unless you create a poem or something that you want to share elsewhere.

I have gratitude for the part of my writing journey that included "Morning Pages," a writing practice developed by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way.

"The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity. Those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as the creator but seldom see creator as the literal term for artist. I suggest that you take the term creator quite literally. You are seeking to forge a creative alliance, artist-to-artist with the Great Creator. Accepting this concept can geatly expand your creative possibilities." - Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

"Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, a stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages* –they are not high art. They are not even "writing." They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page...and then do three more pages tomorrow." – Julia Cameron

Try the morning pages if this idea resonates with you. Check out Julia Cameron's website for support. You could use this process to write about gratitude every morning. It might be easy to fill up three pages. The stream-of-consciousness approach is very empowering. Imagine writing and not caring what comes out, with no concern for grammar, spelling, sentence structure, or choice of words. You write whatever comes into your mind as fast as you can and just let it flow. The experience can be very liberating for anyone on different levels.

When I wrote my first book, 333 Keywords to Change Your Life, I had it structured so that I only needed to focus on one keyword at a time. Each one had a quote, a description, an affirmation, a one-minute meditation, and several questions to reflect on that keyword and how the definition of it helps to create positive changes in life.

Of course, one of the keywords in the book is Writing, and I have sincere gratitude for being inspired to write. The following are excerpts from the page on the keyword Writing.

"We are guided, motivated, inspired, or invited to write, even if it is a private journal with our private thoughts. It can be therapeutic, healing, and transformational."

"Writing is a journey that I love to explore while living in the mystery and the question."

"What types of benefits can happen by writing my story and my thoughts about life? How can writing increase my ability to help others learn and improve their experience? Why is the keyword "writing" important for consciously creating positive changes in my life?"- Brown, David Lawrence. 333 Keywords to Change Your Life (p. 498). David Lawrence Brown. Kindle Edition.

I have deep gratitude for the gift of writing. I finally had a breakthrough in my life after age sixty, in which writing just started to flow with inspiration. I also have gratitude for overcoming the resistance to writing that has happened in the past and can happen at any time.

Here's an example of resistance at work:

It just isn't the right time. Who's going to read it anyway? Why spend the energy? I just don't feel inspired at the moment, ok? I'm tired. I have other things I need to do. It's just not flowing. So what?

Then I become conscious of this resistance and decide that I am going to write anyway, no matter what. I will be a word warrior if need be, and just start writing, not caring what happens. Just to overcome the excuses, the reasons, and the feelings why I should not write in this or that moment. Then as I start to write, it just starts moving the energy. It may "take on a life of its own". I write when I was not planning on it. I also don't write when I planned to at any time of day or night. I wrote more in this paragraph after I had written five more below. I decided to add roses to this chapter as a symbol of my love of writing.

Sometimes there is just a stream of consciousness about writing: when, how, what, etc.

I have started novels in past years only to abandon the project and move on to something else. One book was in progress for about a year or more, and I lost the entire document by not having a backup when my laptop crashed. When I finished the book 333 Keywords to Change Your Life, it was a combination of writing what I need to know and a commitment to discipline myself to write every day, even if it was one page for one keyword in the book. About a month after completing and publishing the book (January 2017), I started writing inspirational blogs, I have written about one blog every two weeks. After a year, I published another book, "The Ancient Redwoods Spoke to Me," that is a compilation of my first year of inspirational blogs. The title is based on an actual blog, which can be found here >.

The Ancient Redwoods Spoke to Me
I usually have several blogs that are in process or draft form, and work on them at different times. Then one seems to "stand out" and is ready to edit then publish. I review it and have others look at it for their feedback. My main focus or underlying theme for my inspirational blogs is - can you guess? - inspiration. I have another blog titled Likes, Tweets, and SEO, which is marketing oriented and has had over 100,000 views in the past six years or so that I have been writing it. Yet I still have doubts sometimes about being a writer. I don't write a lot every day or "do the work" as described in Steven Pressfield's book "Turning Pro".  I have given up on the idea of selling tons of books. There are just so many out there. I'm grateful for the gift of writing and if it can make a difference in people's lives.

Is writing for inspiration, either for yourself, such as journaling, or for others, a challenge? The answer will vary between individuals, and within each person as challenges can appear at any time when we want to write.

With my own writing, it varies as the challenge may take on different forms. Deciding on when to write, what to write about, what to say, letting things flow versus overthinking a bit, and letting go of the outcome are all challenges. The creative process sometimes takes on a "life of its own", right? We can't control how Spirit wants to move through us, or when an inspiring idea comes up, or what words may stream though our mind next. This is the beauty of inspired writing for me, that inspiration seems to be the basis, and the foundation for whatever the topic is that comes up.

Sometimes just starting to write is the biggest challenge, and once you start, you have overcome that challenge, and words may start to flow. The challenge is to start, even when you do not feel like starting. Like a subtle test, by starting, you have passed the test and are ready to receive whatever words start flowing into your mind and heart. The morning pages are an excellent way to get started. You might be surprised at what happens if you try them.

I received the idea of writing about inspirational topics in 2016. It simmered like slow cooking soup until I decided to start. I stopped after the next sentence, then started again another morning. So do I write for inspiration? Or from inspiration? To hopefully inspire others? Yet not be attached to the outcome? Writing is a joy, even with the challenges. It has enriched my life experience as I always wanted to write more than I did through the years. Now it seems to be flowing, and for that, I have a ton of gratitude.

Let's explore some reasons or ideas why I think that writing for inspiration can be a rewarding process, and why it may seem to be a challenge in various ways.

Writing can be rewarding to see how words will come to you in ways you did not expect. It can be rewarding to overcome challenges or obstacles or writer's block. It is a joy when you get positive feedback, and when the writing enhances another person's perspectives or opens up new ideas.

Even without receiving feedback, your written words are created for a purpose, the full extent of which we may never know. One year after you have written something, someone may read it and have an insight or new realization that changes their life. It is the mystery of life, and writing that we do not know all the subtle effects and things that go on behind the scenes, and for me, that is in itself very inspiring.

Writing for inspiration can be a challenge, as well as writing from inspiration. When we turn it over to the creative Spirit within, maybe the Muse, our heart and intuition, or all of the above and more, then we can truly celebrate how words can have an inspirational effect on us, whether we are writing or reading.
When it starts to flow, it is not a challenge. The challenge seems to come from our resistance to letting it flow, or doubts about what words will come, or whether they will be the rights ones, and many more reasons. An interesting exercise is to write about all the reasons that are coming up and that are "holding you back" from writing. Would writing about them cause them to dissipate, even disappear, giving the confidence that maybe your ability to start a creative flow is more powerful than your resistance? Overcoming the challenge of resistance is like a small battle won in the greater "War of Art" so well described in Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art.

The process of writing can be a reflection of life, your insights, and experiences, wisdom, and breakthroughs, as well as your dark moments, challenges, fears, and loves. For me, inspiration is the keyword that motivates me to write, enhances my life, and allows me to give my gifts of writing to the world. I welcome both the challenges as well as the rewards of writing. In gratitude and love, I acknowledge the Divine Spirit that is my source of inspiration.