I was invited to join a blog hop (!) by the fab Suzette Standring (www.readsuzette.com, Author, Syndicated Columnist, GateHouse Media & Cable TV Host). Each blogger hopping along the tour answers four questions on “My Writing Process.” At the bottom of my post, I pass the baton onto 3 gals whose writing gives me goosebumps. The quote in the photo is about them, my creativity crushes : ) Their writing reveals their deep and fluid hearts. They are also loyal moms who offer their creative souls with authenticity, courage and love. The world could use a lot more of their kinda goodness.
So here we go~
What am I working on?
No matter what I’m up to – driving, painting, meditating, living – a blog post is quietly taking notes. A song, a quote, my boys, a dream, an argument – all creative curriculum.
This month, I’m busy finishing and recording my first e-course! “CPR for the Creative Soul – Breathe out the Stress, BS and Creative Kryptonite and Resuscitate Your Super Soul Powers.” It’s a pilot program that’s been on the back burner for over a year. I’ve changed the name a billion times. I’ve gnawed on it, yelled at it, cried over it, stuffed it in a cyber folder and given up on it. My personal creativity crushers had successfully scared the crap out of me with their mobster protection plan.
My inner perfectionist declared that such a ginormous undertaking could never be good right out of the gate, so why try? My inner comparer was adamant that Wayne Dyer, Julia Cameron, Abraham Hicks and a godzillion other wonderful teachers have already (successfully) covered all of this material, so what’s the point? The procrastinator in me swore that I’d better wait until I’m clearer, more experienced and well, more professional (like that’ll ever happen…) My ethical voice protested that I cannot charge money for the spiritual gifts that have healed my soul. The choir of inner critics agreed (in five part harmony) that I’m. Not. Good. Enough.
Fortunately I’m on to them. I grew up on this gruel. My crack-pot crew are just frightened kids who got hurt and vowed to never let me feel that humiliation again. They’re my original armor ~ they will not let the real world take a stab at me. They’ll do it first.
Thanks to the brave and spirited self-help writers, who broke my heart wide open years ago, I’ve realized I use the BS (Belief Systems) as my excuse to stay ‘safe’ in the shadows, unheard and unseen. So I’m ever learning to shift gears and transform the pain into purpose – to use it as a spiritual springboard to self expression and out-loud living. Each chance I take, each small step, makes my heart fuller and fierier. (I waited for “fierier” to get the spellcheck underline. It didn’t. It’s actually a word…)
Despite the din of my Mafioso choir, my creativity (loyal healer, therapist and crooner it has always been,) won’t stop calling. Texting. She whispers in the shower. While I’m laughing with my family. Cheering over a sunset. The door cracks open a bit more. I’m willing again. To be a newbie. To share. To risk.
I click on the folder on my desktop labeled, CPR for the Creative Soul, and holding my breath, I start to read.
Wait. I love this stuff. How did I get distracted, again? Onward ho!
Next step is figuring out the behind-the-curtain techie scoop. The marketing mumbo-jumbo has been known to squash many a creative crusade. But. This time I’m almost THERE. I’m agog. Lit up. I launch in May.
(P.S. My free ebook, Release the Blocks So Creativity Rocks! is an intro to my e-course…)
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Ooh no, I might have to take the fifth – one whiff of the competition/comparison kryptonite, and I wanna run for the hills. I was a serious ‘A’ student in school. I thought it would make me an A person – squelch the badness right out of me. So I applied the same hard-nosed flogging to my free lance art career. As you know, flogging and art do not play well together. I’m a recovering creative.
Sometimes my energizer-bunny-brain will take a giant detour off my own soul’s path in order to see what other folks are doing. Depending on my insecurities that week, or month, this can offer glorious inspiration…or a detrimental dive down the rabbit hole. It may take weeks to bounce back.
After a hit and run with the Bunny, I must limit blogs and email with self-help or biz advice. I have to cruise in snail mode for a while so I can breathe normally and dunk back into my own peaceful creative well. Ahhh.
Here’s the thing ~ long ago, and far away, my dwarfism set me painfully apart. Into the stratosphere, apart. (Funny, I first misspelled it, “stratosfear” and boy my sitch had been all about fear.) Then, allegorically, my differences thrust me into a lifelong discovery of just how freakin similar we all are. Our spirits spring from the same majestic Source…
So. How does my work differ? All I can say is, we each write, share, profess and express our similar space-age souls in seven billion unique voices.
Did I answer the question?
Why do I write what I do?
I’d started out as a fine artist, but at age 34 I lost the use of my right arm to arthritis (which had hitched a ride with my dwarfism.) My art was the devastating creative casualty. Or so I’d thought. Out of desperation, I started writing with my left hand on the keyboard…and booyah. Turns out I’m a word nerd. The fun and freedom slowly returned.
As Kurt Vonnegut said, “To practice any art, no matter how badly, is a way to grow your own soul. So do it.”
So I write in order to heal. To understand myself… and you. To be authentic. To be heard. To trust my vulnerability. To learn. To stitch up my woundedness… and maybe yours. To connect to my spirit (aka my creativity.) To share what I find. To express. To remember what I forgot. To love myself… and you. To live whole heartedly. To find my peeps and my place in this world. To accept my humanness. To feel the Oneness. To grow my own soul.
(P.S. Writing was such an EPIC healer that I was able to paint again about a year later. Long cool story ~ it’s in my free ebook and my memoir, Nothing Short of Joy.)
How does your writing process work?
Hmmm. Each morning, I tend to wake slowly, before my boys, so I can lounge in bed, filling up on inspiration from dreams & fresh ideas. I call in the artsy angels to guide my day. My first target (after the bathroom) is my writing chair and to get my cherub butt into it. Then meditation music. Deep breathing. Lots of it. Next, my greatest hurdle: DO. NOT. Open. Email. The temptation is gargantuan. I’m a recovering mailer-demon.
I have a lot of creative juice pumping in the morn. If I can finagle that first precious hour and give it to my writing, I feel like a queen. For just one taste of email, though, for the high of watching those messages multi-fly into my inbox, I might sacrifice the holy kingdom. If I succumb, an hour can wing right past and then my mind is mush… Dreams & ideas? I don’t remember. The boys? They’re awake and clamoring. Addiction won. Creativity lost. Inspiration is on lock down. I’m toast.
Later, it’s rinse and repeat. Sit. Butt. Chair. Deep. Breathe. Resist. Email. iTunes. On. Through calm and connection, I hope to touch the rarified creative air. Then I open my heart onto the keyboard and begin.
When I do triumph over the many distractions, it’s like coming Home. I take life and its meaning so uber seriously, so deeply, that I’m intent on living it with a much lighter heart. Sacred silliness. The things I adore, that I’d stake my life on and walk through fire for, are nourished by my rising into joy. With deep breaths. Creative cloud trails. A gigglesnort or two.
So I sit. Breathe. Smile. And, hopefully, the Love rolls right out of me and across the airwaves to you.
Wishing you crazy courage and ginormous joy,
And now… I’m passing the hop onto 3 fantabulous blogger babes who will be posting their 4 answers to “My Writing Process” on their blogs next Mon. April 14th ~
Suzi Banks Baum makes community wherever she goes. Passionate about stirring up jam, authentic writing voices, artist books, and FeMail mail art, she created Out of the Mouths of Babes; An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others for the March 2012 Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. In it’s third year, over 75 women’s voices have been engaged in this project. She published An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice and leads the Powder Keg Sessions writing workshops. Suzi is writing her next book, Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Mothers and developing Rampant Sisterhood, her workshops on marrying authentic voice and online presence for authors and artists. She appeared before Norman Rockwell’s painting “Freedom From Fear’ speaking about the courage of mothers with Joanne Spies for BFWW and at the Whitney Center for the Arts with Rites of Passage. Her career as a theatre artist began at Northern Michigan University, to Actors Theatre of Louisville to Circle Repertory Company in NYC. She has appeared in the WAM Theatre 24 Hour Theatre Project and her writing and art appeared in the WAM 10×10 Project at the Y Bar in 2013. Find out more at www.LaundryLineDivine.com.
Brenda Knowles has been loving, honoring and guiding introverts and sensitive souls for three years on her website http://space2live.net. Space2live’s purpose is to encourage intimacy in relationships and give introverts the confidence to be true to their nature. Space2live is a safe place to evolve.
(P.S. I love this quote from Brenda – “I want there to be a place in the world where people can engage in one another’s differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility.”
Lainie Liberti is a recovering branding expert, who’s 18 year career once focused on creating campaigns for green – eco business, non-profits & conscious business. In 2008, California’s economy took a turn and Lainie decided to “be the change” instead of a victim. She and her then 9-year-old son, Miro, began the process of redesigning their lives, with the dream of spending stress-free quality time together. After closing her business, selling and giving away all of their possessions, the pair hit the road for a permanent adventure in mid 2009.
Five years, 15 countries and many personal changes later, Lainie & Miro continue to slow travel around the globe, living an inspired possession-free-lifestyle, volunteering and learning naturally. They are both following their interests on the road, as the planet has been transformed into their classroom. Often you will hear Lainie say, “we are blessed to be accidental unschoolers” and has become and an advocate for “life learning” at any age. In fact, Lainie & Miro have taken this philosophy to heart and are producing a series of family and teen oriented retreats in Peru called Project World School Peru.
The duo describe their greatest accomplishment as the ability to participate in the world without fear. They invite you to follow along as a single mom and her teen-age son live the history & culture of foreign lands, encounter amazing people, interact as global citizens, serve as volunteers, and naturally learn along the way at RaisingMiro.com – Raising Miro on the Road of Life.