Have you ever started writing a piece then quit because you thought it was too revealing? Or maybe because it brought up emotions you didn’t like? Perhaps you were afraid if you told your truth you’d offend some people. Maybe you’ve been telling yourself you’re just not ready to write it, and you notice you’ve been saying that for a long long time.
I recently realized that I’d allowed myself to get stuck that way.
I’d begun to feel restless with my writing. I wasn’t feeling challenged or excited, or maybe as engaged as I like to be. Now I don’t require every bit of writing I do keep me sitting on the edge of my chair as it were as I write it. I know there’s a real place for nuts and bolts kinds of writing, and I honor that. But something seemed to be missing.
So I poked around in my brain or my psyche a bit and come up with a hidden thought – not quite a belief because it hasn’t been that hard to undo, but it was in my way. The thought was something along the lines of “I can’t make money writing about the spiritual side of life.” I was avoiding writing from the heart, from my heart.
My first fear is that you won’t understand what I’m talking about and you’ll quit reading. Or you’ll be sure I mean something I don’t, and you’ll either be offended or believe we think alike.
What I mean by spiritual
What I mean by spiritual, at least today, is getting in touch with the interconnectedness of everything – what Zen Master Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh calls “interbeing,” as in “we interare.” It’s that sense that there is something more than me that I’m a part of.
I pray, meditate and actually live and write at the Sweetwater Zen Center.
That’s me. And I truly have no thought that you need to do it the way I do. If you ask I’ll tell you more, but the asking is up to you.
What has this got to do with writing?
Yes, what does this have to do with writing and, more specifically, with this blog which whole purpose is to help freelance writers earn more money?
Well, sometimes I’ve held myself back from saying all that I mean. Usually this happens when I’m talking about things like improving self-worth, setting rates, and trying to decide which clients to accept or reject. I rarely add anything about how important it can be to make sure your ideas, your negotiations and everything you do including your writing is totally in alignment with your values, with your spirit if you will. I haven’t suggested getting quiet and listening to what many know as the “still, small voice within.”
My promise and a challenge
My promise to you is that I’m going to be a bit bolder about expressing what Carl Jung called the numinous aspect of my writing experience. I’m doing this because it pleases me, it makes me excited about writing without withholding. I suspect I’ll notice it more than you will, but maybe not. We’ll see. I’m sure you’ll let me know if I’m out of line.
And I challenge you to find where you’re holding back in your own writing, and take whatever steps you need to take to break through that and begin to share more deeply from what I think of as your essence.
I’d like to hear about your journey – in comments or send me an email.
Write well and often,