Quit Resisting This Shit.

I did it.  Finally.  It's been almost a month since I have written any words for my book.  Either of them.  Unacceptable.  So, after doing morning pages and working through another week of "Walking In This World", by Julia Cameron, I got out my pen and paper and wrote 600 words in 15 minutes.  For some reason, that timer thing really works for me.  And it keeps the creative juices flowing, keeps me connected with my story.  Steven Pressfield, best-selling author, calls putting off the work Resistance.  Here's a sweet little video that explains what I mean.  


Last week was not a good creative week for me.  I only did morning pages four days out of seven, was running here and there and just a little off kilter.  I started working on the sales floor at my job, and so I always get a little constricted when starting new things, so there was that.  Some early mornings, not sleeping well, etc.

I decided to devote this morning to creative work.  First I had to clean my room!  It's amazing how utterly messy a 10x12 space can get, but it happens.  I cannot create in an untidy space.  I took care of a few things I had been putting off, such as paying car insurance.  Probably not a good idea if I'm going to drive for Lyft. 

Lyft!  Yes, it launched in Portland on Friday, April 24th.  I have yet to give my first ride, as I have been a little resistant and nervous because that too is new.  So many new things!  Sometimes I get tired of being in beginner's mind and embracing the suck.  But, there is always growth in learning, and I think that is always valuable.  

I feel so much better having gotten some words on the page.  Some may view creativity as a luxury, but for me, it is a necessity or my soul will wither up and die.  It has to be my first priority.  So, that means if I work at 9am, I need to be up at 6am so I can get my morning pages in and get some words written towards my book.  It's just that simple, but sometimes I make it oh so hard.  

I am heading off for work at 1pm.  I am hopeful I only have a 4-hour shift to pull so I can get to open mic tonight.  No, I am not just hopeful.  I trust that I will be out of there at 5:30 pm so I can attend.  I am manifesting that shit right now.  We have these fun little things at work called "flex shifts" so you never know until 2 hours before if you have to work or not.  So I don't know if I'm working 4 hours today or 8.  Just some extra fun things working in retail brings.  

I need that extra boost of inspiration tonight.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll read some more poetry.  Open mic not only showcases some incredible talent, but feeds my well of inspiration so I can then go out and create more.  Plus, it's in Sellwood, which is where my novel is set.   Always good to visit the setting of your book, if you can.  At least in my opinion. They do say to "write what you know", don't they?  

Today I quit resisting my book, and asked my story what it had to tell me.  Turns out a lot.  600 words in 15 minutes?  Not too bad.  And so I soldier on.  I am at about 7,000 words so far.  Now, if I would have written every day for the last month, that would have been an additional 18,000 words...gulp....25,000 words...gulp... and I would have been a lot further towards my goal of 80,000 words.  See where Resistance has got me?  Nowhere good.  BUT, I am back on track and I kicked Resistance in the ass today.  Happy Monday!!!


Embrace The Suck.

Well, it seems I did not quite hit my "blog every day for seven days" goal.  I made it four days, and then life took over.  So now you will get a "twofer".  Today is day seven, technically speaking.  So I guess that is 5 out of 7, which is much better than I have been doing.  I kind of like this "blog a day" thing, so I might just keep it up.  

What got me so busy is my new job.  It seems my entire life right now is built upon learning new things.  "Beginners mind" I believe they call it.  Working as a retail sales associate can be hard work!  I pulled my first 8-hour shift entirely on my feet in what might be forever.  I now have a lot of respect for those who have been doing it their whole lives.  This job is stretching me and growing me and it is nothing but good.  

And, it is giving me a lot of opportunities to embrace the suck.  Lots of things to improve upon daily. Not only that, but learning to work with new people, and customers in a face-to-face environment while not knowing much of anything.  Talk about humbling.  But, here's the thing.  I take it a step at a time.  Even drumming it down to one customer at a time, one transaction at a time.  If I mess up, someone is almost always there to help me.  

My second job, that I have not technically started yet, is driving for Lyft.  I am all ready to go, but there is a certain fear I have of the unknown still. Another wonderful opportunity to be in beginner's mind and simply embrace the suck.  I intend to get my first rides in this weekend and from there it will get easier.  And soon enough, it will be no big deal. If Lyft works out well enough, then I can do just one job.  But I wanted to take a retail job to prove to myself I could do it.  I am a rockstar at service, but needed some brushing up on my sales skills.  The great thing with my retail job is they pay me while they are training me, so this will do nothing but help.

My writing did suffer a little bit this week.  No morning pages for two days.  That is not a habit I intend to get into.  It is an adjustment working on someone else's schedule when I have been on my own schedule for so long.  I am reminded to make time for the things I deem most important. I do have to do pesky things like pay rent and feed myself, so working is one of the things I have to do.  But now, instead of a career, these jobs are experiments for me.  The fact that I get paid to do them is a nice bonus too.

I doubt I will ever go back to a scheduled forty-hour work week, at least not now.  The thought of it makes me shudder.  So no matter how many floors I have to sweep or mop, how many drives out to Tigard I might have to make, I can no longer be chained to a desk.  The benefit of being on my feet?  If I miss a workout, not such a big deal, since I'm not sitting on my ass and stuffing my face at a desk.  So though it's difficult at times, and the pay is not stellar, I am really enjoying it. I have already connected with people in the store in super cool ways.  I spent a few minutes yesterday morning helping a man with some lamps for his bedroom.  He lost his wife four years ago to cancer and he is just now getting on with things.  We shared our stories of pain and loss and that felt good.    

Last night I got to watch my youngest nephew play his first baseball game, and hold my great-niece.  Those are the things I cherish now.  I live a simple life, full of the things I love best.  And that is something I will protect fiercely.  If that means always learning new things and embracing the suck, so be it.  Oh, and by the way, I didn't coin that phrase.  I learned from my bad-ass guitar teacher, Brandon Cook.  I don't take lessons any more, but he I also learned a lot about life from him.  And he's one of the best humans I know, following his passion.  I think he knows what he is talking about.