I’ve got all these writing prompts; things I really want to write about in tiny teaser bites to spark the flow of words when I’m ready.
But I’m not yet ready.
I keep thinking readyness will happen. I’ve been working on unveiling my jewel for weeks now, and am still cloudy. I keep thinking about times I felt in flow, times I felt I was most helping our people. And those are the times when I was writing – or even tweeting – about the hard stuff. Those are certainly the times when the most people have reached back.
When we did the World-Changing Writing Workshop – a lot of that was very flowy for me. Brainstorming, planning, putting together, interacting with our Guest Speakers and our Bonus Peeps (hi!)… that was always really good.
And I’ve always got a zillion stories floating around in my head. But lately, I’ve been wondering if being a fiction writer actually helps the world. Isn’t that ridiculous? Especially given how deeply I believe in the World-Changing Writing Workshop? But when it’s me, I get all wubbly and unsure. My friends who are writers and who change the world? Yes, I believe 100% that they are changing the world and making it better. But me? I don’t know. It doesn’t feel the same.
I used to perform. I was in choir and theatre for years, and I loved it a huge ton. Rehearsing gave me flow. Performing gave me flow. I did several performances of a storytelling piece later in life, too – just a few years ago, in fact – and I loved that, too.
I used to teach preschool. When the directors left me to my own devices, I loved it with a firey burning passion. I loved my kids, I loved playing games, I loved making lesson plans, I loved taking care of the kids and bonding with them, I loved connecting with their parents. I’m not sure I’d love it anymore (even a few hours alone with my BFF’s toddler wears me out now), but I’m sure I loved it then. Flow abounded. I loved going to work, I loved being there, and I loved what I did.
But how does that translate to what I’m doing now? I’m not sure it does. I’m not sure I want it to. I’m not sure what I want. I’m not sure what, if anything, gives me that feeling of flow anymore. I haven’t had it in a long time – a very long time.
I am sure that I’m not sure. That’s about the only thing I’m sure of at all, these days. I worry that I’ll feel this way forever, this weird unsettling nothing-quite-works-for-me way. But deep down I know that won’t happen. This is part of the process.
Part of losing a big part of yourself is having a big hole. Taking time out to honor that gaping space that used to be filled with something. And then, eventually, when I’m ready, finding what can fill it back up.