You may know that I challenged myself to write 20 personal stories in four weeks. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can find out more here to read the catalyst post and the 20 stories.
I decided I wanted to write a reflection on piece on my thoughts of the process and what came out of it. So here it is.
I have read somewhere that it takes over 30 days to create a habit. That may be true because I don’t feel I have solidified my habit in the 20 days. This may be because I wrote my pieces as and when I could. I didn’t have a dedicated time each day to sit and write. I believe this would have been easier not only to keep motivated but to actually instil the habit in my subconscious.
I don’t feel I am anywhere near the place where I am able to write every day. That may be because of everything I have going on in my life, but that could also be an excuse. I have two young girls for whom I am the primary carer. This in itself is a full time job, especially since we are in the summer holidays and therefore no school. I do have to admit that at times I stick them in front of the television to watch a film so I can get work done. I have mummy guilt over this, but I know I would not be at my optimum if I dedicated myself 100% of my time to them.
They are at and age where they play well together and also, I believe they need some downtime from the busy days of school – so watching some films is good for them to recharge their batteries in preparation for the new school year in September. If you too have kids and struggle with the balance of looking after kids and work, know this – you do what you need to do to stay sane. As long as the kids are not in harms way I believe children can thrive when they have a bit more independence and are allowed to explore their environment.
The creative process
One of the reasons for my challenge was to be creative and see how that would effect me in terms of self expression. I have found writing personal stories quite cathartic – especially a couple of very vulnerable stories. It has brought up a lot from my subconscious that I have been holding onto and realise I have needed to work through some stuff. I have had some deep personal stuff to deal with and although it’s not entirely the creative process that has brought this on I do feel it has fed into it. I know I am being quite coy about this, but it’s not something I can share right now, but let me just say relationships take work. You have to have skin in the game and a desire to work through the problems to actually see the results.
Another point about being creative is that since I stopped acting (about seven years ago) I have floundered a bit in terms of self expression. I find the energy building inside me needs to be expressed in some way. Writing helps this. I am very science based in my beliefs and energy is at the centre of it all. If you keep things in and have no way for it to escape or be released then that’s when the shit storm descends. That’s why people need therapy, counselling or coaching – there needs to be a safe place for the thoughts and energy running through your head to be expressed. Another way that people release is through creative expression – like acting, writing or any other creative process. It’s also why people need to do some kind of activity like running or some kind of sport. IT’s all part of allowing energy to be released.
I believe that when there is no place for the energy to go, that’s when anger, frustration, resentment and judgement all rear their heads and do crazy things with our thoughts. This can leads to depression or worse, some kind of release through violence. This is also what happens when we conceal our real self. If we hold back on who we truly are and try to be who we think we should be, the same energy builds because you are not being YOU at a soul level. Therefore I think it is essential that we all have some form of healthy release or self expression.
I did not start the challenge for any reason other than as an experiment. There are no tangible results to speak of other than 20 new articles on my blog, but it has lead me to realise where my path may lie. I don’t feel that I have been lost at all, just exploring my journey and path through life and I have always viewed it as an evolution. I like to try new things, experiment and do things that make me feel good. That’s what life should be about right?
So this challenge has open doors for me – not opportunities, although who knows what the future may hold – but doors to new paths that I never thought to investigate. I see that writing is in my future. I like creative writing and telling stories, and I also like copywriting – the kind that connects with people, that creates meaning, which leads them to take action in some way.
I have had a few people reach out to me to say they have really enjoyed my writing. I have been connected with other people because of this too. Whilst I still love the tech support work I do for my clients, I am investigating copywriting as a service. I am currently collaborating with a mentor to learn more and hone my skills, but I recently bought thatcopy[dot]com for this purpose. I still don’t know the shape of what this will look like but I am open to whatever may happen.
I know that things CAN happen quickly, but I see the next six months as an experiment. It will be interesting to see where I will be when we go into 2018.
Anyway, the take away from this post is more about my second point. The creative process. I think if you feel called to do something you should do it – even if fear blocks your path you need to find a way to navigate round it or through it. And more than anything else, find someway to express yourself. A way that feels right for you, that allows your energy to flow rather than stagnate. Life’s too short to stagnate in a pond of mucky thoughts and no action.