She who tries to change everything, changes nothing

When I made the decision a couple of years ago to sell my business to make way for a life style that would give artistic yearnings a legitimate place in my world, I thought the hard work was done.  It was merely a prelude to the concentrated effort, mostly emotional, it would take to make it real

Clarissa Pinkola Estés states it beautifully in Women Who Run With The Wolves, “It is worse to stay where one does not belong (anymore) … than to wander about lost for a while looking for (what) … one requires.  It is never a mistake to search for what one requiresNever.

I wasn’t completely lost, but I did wander for quite a while.  Almost as soon as I finished slapping the decision-making dust from my hands the realities of what was required to create a new way of being came to get me.  I don’t know what it’s like for others facing unscheduled blocks of time every day, less revenue-generating things to do, fewer proposals and business emails to write, a baffled suit-husband hovering near the (home) office door and once set free the multitudes of creative ideas in their heads shoving and jostling for first place at the exit. 

For me it was a brain-numbing, energy-zapping, rampant-reading, hiding-out-at-the-cottage, glazed-eyed-TV-watching, waist-expanding-fridge-raiding, frustrating, agitating and sometimes lonely and depressing experience.  Compound all that with the fact that the average awake time in a day for me is about 18 hours long, and you can easily visualize the not-so-pretty picture wandering about lost looks like – I’m groggy (without the steady flow of board room coffee), an often inert lump of flesh prostrate in an overstuffed armchair in front of an oversized TV screen!

It is never a mistake to search for what one requires.” 

I realized this search would and should be never ending when the Lifers (my writing group) recently got together with Tilya Helfield for an all too rare lunch date.  I was dumb struck when this talented, published writer and accomplished artist talked about how she organizes herself around dual and competing artistic passions.  That she simply blocks off hours for writing and whole days for art sounded too easy, too straight forward, belying how all-consuming and demanding artistic undertakings can be.   But are they really? Tilya re-awakened me to a truth I often pass along to the leaders I coach and totally forgot to apply in my own life … that you can never find time for all the important things; you have to make the time.

Routine … I’ve always resisted what I thought was the death knell of creativity, spontaneity, inspiration and innovation particularly when being self-employed meant stealing income-producing time for writing and art.  Now I see that without some amount of routine, these other essentials can’t cut through the clutter, leaving artistic endeavors trapped in a jumble of incomplete projects. 

NRN1 (New Routine Number One):  Without word count or time limitations, I will write something substantive every morning while the rest of the household is sleeping.

This goal is realistic, achievable and dovetails nicely with my lousy sleep patterns and current mobile life style (seasonal travelling between home, Florida and the near north).

As my grandmother used to say, “(S)he who tries to change everything, changes nothing.”  So, until NRN1 is well established, I’ll wait before moving on to NRN2:  Figuring out how to fit an art routine into my life. 

The history of Life Writers Ink (aka Lifers)  has been well told in Word Weaver by fellow Lifer, Mary McIntyre

If Mary’s article inspires you to form a writer’s circle then Allyson Latta’s timeless article, “Start Your Own Writers Group” is a must read!  Allyson was a popular guest speaker at the Words Alive Literary Festivals in 2008 and 2009.