I have a committed writing practice that nurtures me both personally and professionally. After years of writing a personal blog with weekly entries, I have recently become steadfastly determined to write a book and dedicate myself to the discipline. Even though my heart knows that this will be an ever-evolving creative process, my mind craves the knowledge that things are moving along, that progress is being made.
In starting this journey, I spent a lot of time crystallizing the perfect schedule for writing my book. I'd wake up by 6:30 a.m., be done exercising and getting ready for the day by 9, sit and write intently in front of my computer until noon, and then spend the rest of my workday on client calls. I was so intentional in developing these guidelines that I had worked diligently with a mentor of mine to draw out my schedule.
With big sheets of parchment paper rolled across the ground, I held multicolored markers in my hands. I mapped out my timeline with utmost precision, making sure that every moment of this month away would be accounted for. I was focused. I felt important. I knew that I had something to say.
"This is just the beginning," I remember telling myself.
So here I am, a few weeks into my big, bold, and rigidly defined routine for creativity, and I have only written five pages of my book. And it isn't due to a lack of desire or interest; it's because I forgot to account for the energetic process of creativity. The art of creativity does not come from you—it comes through you. When you've put it into the confines of a locked box, it lies there defeated, whimpering for fresh air and space to breathe. These are the moments when I witness my inner critic rise up and my shadows playfully dance with their own silhouettes.
In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert writes,