Artist's Way Book Journey · Musings · My Writing

The Artist’s Way, Week 5: Don’t Let Go of What is Precious to You!

A Terrible Confession

Dear readers,

I betrayed you by not posting when I said I would. I made it sound like I would post every week, without fail, but I failed to uphold that promise and your trust. Please accept my sincere apologies.

Since so much time has passed, I’ve had time to think about why I just couldn’t sit down and write that blog post. Here is why:

I haven’t felt inspired in my writing and so I felt like a liar to post on this blog, which is about writing. I have been reading The Artist’s Way, but I have a terrible confession to make:

I do not write my morning pages.

Yup! You read that right. I have been voluntarily skipping one of the most important regimens of the Artist’s Way workshop process. Because I have not been pouring out my thoughts every morning, my worries continue to entangle, stop me from writing, and stop me from even posting on this blog. This is what happened to me in the last two weeks (I was supposed to post about a week ago).

confessional
I confess…

Tonight I attended a traditional Indian music concert. I brought my notebook with me, just in case I got ideas for finishing the outline of my novel revision. Ever since my inspired post here, where I talked about the flash of inspiration that caused me to outline roughly half my book…I’ve got nothing to show. Nothing has been written of that outline since. So I brought my notebook, thinking the mellow music of the sitar, the humming of the sarod, and the fast beat of the tabla might get my gears going.

Lo and behold, it did.

I wrote this blog post while listening to that fantastic mystical medley of sound. The conclusion I came to is this:

Don’t Let Go of What is Precious to You.

I know those of you with children, especially little girls, have probably gotten very familiar with the song Let It Go from the Disney film Frozen. Well, here is a lesson to the opposite: Don’t Let Go!

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Elsa from Disney’s Frozen sings “Let It Go”

 

Don’t let go of what you want to do, or be, or see, etc. Don’t stop writing. Don’t stop that healthy new diet or exercise regime. Don’t stop getting up early when it feels good and you’ve finally got a rhythm going. Don’t stop caring about something that may be so difficult or so painful, but when you decide to care, you are amply rewarded. Even though what you want to achieve may seem far and the process to obtain it may be challenging, keep going.

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They say that that which is precious, which is most rare, is most difficult to obtain. Writing is one of the hardest anyone can do, I think, and this is why so many people quit before they’ve even started. So many people are surprised when they hear you are a writer. Half of them, I think, are shocked that you are surviving, and the other half is scoffing and waiting with bated breath for you to fail.

Half of the time, that little voice of contempt that thinks you will fail, is your own self. It is the monster in you that Julia Cameron mentions in her books. It is the Inner Editor. It is the voice of so-called “reason” that stomps on your dreams.

Go out there and make it happen. Dance, write, take classes, whatever it is! Don’t let it go.

And if you DO stop, if you lose your momentum…start up again. Don’t let you stop you. Form or join a support group, if that’s what you feel may help. We all have our bad days. Just don’t let one bad day become “the day I stopped _____.” Let it be just a bad day, nothing more.

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Don’t let go of the Precious!

This may all sound like a bunch of junk. But look at the other side of it. Right now you are maybe living in an existence in which you have most likely already let it go. You are living in an existence that is easy, or lazy. I know that I certainly am.

There are reasons we continue to let go of what is important to us. Staying away from those things is easier and requires less of us, or does not disturb our loved ones, or our schedules, or our Facebook time. But just try to grab hold of it again, please. Give it one day. Then, give it another.

You will feel the difference. I promise this, because I have experienced it. When I write for days after maybe a month of not writing, it feels so good. I’ve had success with this in other areas of life, too – spiritual, health, finance, etc. Try to create a habit of what you don’t want to let go of. I am telling this to myself, even more than I am telling it to you.

What do you not want to let go of? Please share in the comments.

Think of it as your chance to finally tell Elsa to shut up and stop singing! *wink*

Until next time,

Chaitanya

 

 

 

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