So many thoughts are swirling through my head, I scarcely know how to begin. After four other (not quite failed) attempts at blogging, it seems WordPress has the best fit for a less-than-tech-savy history nerd with a need for a space to spout her occasional feminist, analytic, impassioned, thoughts on various subjects. You can tell by now this will probably be a blog in the ‘stream of consciousness’ style. My sentences are similar to my thoughts; more like ribbons than bullet points because they flow along, rippling and arcing, in every shape imaginable. I am already having to keep from questioning my comma usage. Perfectionism rears its ugly head, like an alligator surfacing from the water. Back to the depths with you. I will never get anything done with those eyes trained on me.
I feel this is where my current anxiety stems from. I dabble in creative writing and used it as a wonderful escape and tool for expression and self-discovery for a while. Unfortunately, my anxiety got the best of me and I began to doubt and to question. It wasn’t fun anymore if I had to please my readers or worry about their reactions to the characters or story line, or pressure myself to update at a regular pace. It’s going on two years since my last post and I still get the occasional email from a reader begging me to continue. They like me, they really, really like me.
But if this is supposed to be an exercise of my creative self, is it inappropriate for my spirits to buoy just a little each time some anonymous voice from the void of the internet, that seems to be simultaneously teeming with energy and empty of life, sees the little bit of my soul I sent out there one night one a whim; never expecting a response, and enjoys it? I am over thinking it, I just know it. I do take pleasure in the gentle strokes my ego receives every time someone responds to my writing, but I do not crave it.
Back to the issue at hand, how do I take up where I left off? I have tried several times only to suffer analysis-paralysis. Where is the story going? I haven’t made any concrete plans yet. How can I continue when I’m not sure of the plot? Etc.
I think the secret lies in the art of “being”.
Allow me to explain.
When I first began writing, I did so on a whim. I sat down one evening, and simply wrote exactly what came into my head and it flowed through my fingers and manifested in black and white. I did not even have to pause to think of another word to use or how the scene was set or anything. I simply wrote, and that, according to my therapist, is the art of ‘flow’. The elusive state of being where one does not question ones actions, one simply does. To Be, the state of being, achieving flow; all of these things describe a feeling I’ve experienced akin to a rush or high. I also describe it as being “in the zone” as happens when I’m researching a particular topic and my mind is buzzing with new ideas. The crux lies in putting this ‘feeling’ on paper (or Microsoft Word, as it were). He said it’s miraculous what you can do, what you can write in this particular instance, when you don’t consider your audience. The hidden message of that being that making the process about me would unblock my creativity. An even deeper meaning being that making my life, my decisions, about myself and putting myself first, will allow me to BE myself.
So I guess, as it happens with most of my thought processes once written out, that I have answered my own question. The river containing my current of thought has come full circle. We shall see if I am able to achieve this elusive, miraculous state of “being”. He said no one can be in “flow” all the time, it comes and goes for everyone. But if it’s even for a short while; just a few minutes maybe, in those moments I believe we experience our truest selves. Unfiltered, uncensored, undiluted, unabridged. I have felt it, and I know I can feel it again, if I let myself. Forget the alligator hovering below the surface; the monster of all doubt and negativity; and let the current of being, of sureness of self; let the “flow” of the current sweep him away.