One of my writer friends, Moxie Mom, recently shared parts of an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. I really like what Elizabeth says about being a writer. This is a message I’m supposed to be hearing this week – the message of just writing and allowing the rest happen. For a few weeks I’ve been a bit stalled. I find myself waiting for the perfect word or time or idea before I start to write. I find myself feeling envious of writers whose work I read in publications I admire. But, as she says, that’s just not going to help my writing.
Don’t flip out, in other words, and murder your gift through narcissism, insecurity, addiction, competitiveness, ambition or mediocrity. Frankly — don’t be a jerk. Just get busy, get serious, get down to it and write something, for heaven’s sake. Try to get out of your own way. Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results — the only thing it craves is the PROCESS. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless. Just love the work.
All I can say is, that it’s true. When I focus on the work, the process, the writing, things come together. Stories evolve. Essays become clear. Editors purchase my words. When I focus too much on the end result, or the what ifs, I get bogged down.
Get busy, indeed.