“Attachment constrains our vision so that we are not able to see things from a wider perspective.” Dalai Lama
As a conscious writer, it’s important to be able to let a story go. It starts during creation, even though you shouldn’t think too much about what to get rid of while in the creation process. Sometimes we really want something in a story that doesn’t fit no matter how much we want it there. Then, there’s editing that’s basically deleting everything you just wrote or a good portion of it anyways. And then, there’s editing from other’s perspectives. And last but not least the final product is bringing it out of hiding and letting it go free into the world.
“You only lose what you cling to.” Buddha
This is why learning to let go is important. Writing isn’t a selfish thing no matter how much of a passion of yours it is. If you hang on to things that are no longer useful for your story it’s going to detract from the meaning and power behind your words, behind your life’s work. Same with hanging on to anything else.
The best way to let go while feeling everything is learning to have healthy attachments. A good reminder is that none of this is truly our own. Not the people in our lives and not our art. They don’t belong to us. They are meant for their own purposes and their own lives. That is the best start to developing healthy attachments. (Another way of saying it is non attachment.)
“It is a sign of great character and strength to be able to lose your attachment to anyone or anything that isn’t good for.” Anonymous
”It is always our own self that we find at the end of the journey. The sooner we face that self, the better.” — Ella Maillart
This is the cardinal rule. “Know thyself.” Self reflection is the direct link to knowing yourself. As conscious writers, we need to know ourselves in order to grow and learn. If we aren’t growing and learning we’re stagnant. Stagnancy in life, that’s not so bad, but in our minds, that’s a black hole already full of many losses. Moving forward, requires self reflection and self reflection leads to conscious writing and conscious writing leads to deep and universal stories.
The best way to stay in a constant state of self reflection is learning to become an observer. When you’re an observer in our own life experiences you’re, watching your reactions, questioning them with the intention of resolving them, especially if the reactions are pure instinct and mindless. The mindless ones are the juicy ones you add to a great story. Those reactions show us where we need to focus. They are valuable to our growth. Learning this type of observation helps us find deep and universal meanings in our selves for our stories and it gives us insight on how to create honest and relatable characters.
Being conscious doesn’t mean you’ll become a best seller. It also doesn’t mean you won’t. People who lack the discipline of self reflection can sell great art because art sales is a business. Consciously creating art, that’s not just business, it is managing entire universes, creating, with business on top of it all. It’s so much more than just sales. Creating something timeless requires an understanding of our internal workings.
Know yourself, know your art. They go hand in hand.
”The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one’s self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.” — Michel Angelo
Wake up with brand new expectations daily. Let go of whatever you didn’t finish the previous day and just focus on finishing today’s goals.
You may ask, well what if I get behind? Yes, that is a great question. I used to overwhelm myself when I didn’t complete my task list and it would snowball throughout the week until Friday came and I was ready to quit because I could never catch back up. My focus was on what I didn’t finish yesterday, rather than what I’m capable of in the present. Also, knowing that tomorrow is a fresh start and my work won’t snowball, means if I don’t push myself a bit harder to finish it, it’s not getting done. Which will put me past my deadline. It’s effective.
When I began to start everyday as a new day, the snowball effect disappeared, and I was still getting my work done in a mindful manor. Start everyday as a new day and don’t allow the unfinished work snowball into an anxious mess.
Consciousness is the ability to exchange a vast amount of ideas. These ideas can be externally or internally challenged. They are concepts that grow and change and bloom or fizzle away to allow new ones to take their place. In some instances, consciousness can separate the individual from things around them and in other instances, consciousness brings connection. It’s this constant exchange that is consciousness and it is this exchange that is also art.
How can consciousness separate an individual?
Consciousness can separate an individual from others in many ways. One main way it can separate them socially is if one person sees ideas or concepts in a different way than the majority.
How can it connect individuals?
Consciousness can also connect an individual to things around them. It connects us when we have similar feelings, whether towards each other or toward a specific outcome. Two people who have similar exchange of ideas feel strongly connected and may even call each other soulmates. In another way, many people claim they feel a stronger connection to a group when they are all fighting toward the same cause even if they are all fighting for different reasons. Having similar desires for a specific outcome makes for stronger emotions toward exchanging ideas.
As artists, when we become aware of our own natural exchange of ideas, we analyze what is not in line with the majority, and ask why. Or we just analyze what we want without the hindrance of popular expectations. These two acts are the consciousness. They are the art.
Art isn’t the paint, or the brush strokes, or perfect grammar. Art is giving our inner thoughts to the outer world so they can then use them to nurture their own consciousness.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
— Helen Keller
Believe it or not success looks different for everyone. Some might think of success as fame, or as having a big house with a nice car, while others prefer to serve the community and live modestly. These are all great “big picture” ideas and they absolutely deserve to be on your vision board, but this is just the best place to start. You know what you want perfect now what other things do you need?
Your how? At what cost? What will keep you going?
How will you get your house and car?
This is vital. You might say, “Well, Sasch, obviously I’m going to get a job.” And yes, that seems obvious, but there are people out here that gain these things without working a day in their life. So let’s talk about it. How are you going to gain this level of success? Is it from a lover, building your own business, stock, invention, working in a field you love, working regardless if you love your job or not? There’s a million different way to get there. So really sit down and think about what actions you are going to take to become that successful.
At what cost?
At what cost are you willing to gain this level of success? It’s important, very important to flesh out what you’re not willing to lose in order to gain your ideal level of success. If you’re willing to lose it all, you might just do that. But if you prefer to have people, places, or things you’re not willing to give up to have your dream house, note those things. This helps to set boundaries. It helps to respect yourself and your values. For me, I’m not willing to lose my loved ones for my success. I want them here with me through all of my successful days.
What will keep you going?
Ok so now you’re there, you’re successful. You look around and appreciate what you worked hard for? Now what? You can’t just stop. You have to maintain at this point, so…
A lot of us writers have our schedules with Time to Write scribbled in on the weekends (or whenever). And hey, that’s great. Setting time aside to write daily is one of the most important disciplines as a writer, but after some time, it’s important to start being less general. Define exactly what you’re doing when it’s time to write.
There’s a lot more to being a writer than just creating content. We have a boat load of things we are developing as writers. If you want better time management it’s important to flesh out what you plan to do with your writing time. Plus, if you give yourself a small list of specific goals it gifts you by returning a feeling of accomplishment. Check. Check. Check.
Here’s a list of ways you can think about how to be more specific with your writing time.
For a WIP- Focus on things you’re developing like plot, characters, their thoughts and motives, background story, details world building
There’s different areas of the story you can focus on while your writing or editing. Monday can be world building, Wednesday can be character building and so on. This helps so that you can improve on the smaller details of your larger work.
Networking isn’t something that needs to be done daily. 3x a week for 1-3 hours is enough. Anything more takes away from precious time to build content.
I think it’s important to continue learning different ways to think about your writing. Writing has so many different perspectives that we could read everyday for a lifetime and still have more to learn.
There’s four more specific goals to start with. Let’s think about how they can be broken down even more. With WIP, you can focus on different characters on different days. For Networking you can focus on one specific platform or different target groups on different days. So break them down into each moving part. Doing this will help keep things in perspective. We don’t need the world to know how much we’re doing, but we truly are doing a lot. This will help you have a visual about how much effort you’re already putting in. Believe me, I get it. It feels, sometimes like we’re not doing enough, but trust me, if you’re pumping out content and maintaining an online presence on top of all your other life demands, you’re doing enough! Keep up the good work.
As writers, it’s important to value the process, but it’s trusting in your writing that helps deliver it to world. When I find myself doubting my work, it brings me down. I get writers block. I can get overly frustrated while I’m creating, so then I can’t get it finished. That’s when creating isn’t fun for me anymore. So, we need to trust our writing because it helps us to be confident in what we’re creating. We need to write because it saves people. So here’s seven ways to trust your writing so the world can keep on survive.
“If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Know your purpose
Once you know why you’re writing, it makes it easier to stay committed to your work. It gives your work a rich touch that’s unique to you. Use your purpose, goals, and values as beacons to get you through the rough patches. There’s a million reasons to quit, but you only need one to keep going. Discipline is great. Motivation is great. Determination is great. But none of those things are going to push you through your doubts, your blocks, and whatever else the universe throws at you. Find your purpose and let it distract you from all the reasons you have to quit.
Always take time to acknowledge your efforts
If you’re a writer, your work begins before you put fingers to keyboard. Whatever writing you’re working on, remind yourself how far you’ve come to get to this point. Recognize your efforts so that you can feel confident about your current skill level. Then keep moving forward.
“Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea.” -Edward de Bono
Understand that you’re contribution is valuable
What you have to share is irreplaceable. We are still discovering artists from centuries ago. You never know who you are inspiring by putting your writing out there. There’s a lot of shy people who fear speaking up to support your writing, but they still are moved by it. If for the briefest moment you rescue someone from a dark place, your work has fulfilled its purpose. This world has only a handful of moments that are pure beauty buried in the midst of a whole lot of bullshit. It doesn’t matter how you look at it. Dead is dead, gone is gone, and sometimes we are so lonely we can’t get out of bed. We need your work to get out of bed. We need your work to take one more breath. We need your work to remind us that there are times when everything is not ok and even then, we can still bask in a moment of bliss.
Start new everyday
Wake up with brand new expectations for the writing that needs to be done. Let go of whatever you didn’t finish the previous day and just focus on finishing your goals for that day. You may ask, well what if I get behind? Yes, that is a great question. I used to overwhelm myself when I didn’t complete my task list and it would snowball throughout the week until Friday came and I was ready quit because I could never catch back up. I’d find my self wrapped up with what I didn’t complete the day before. When I began to start everyday as a new day, the snowball effect disappeared, and I was still getting my work done in a mindful manor. Also, knowing that tomorrow is a fresh start and my work won’t snowball, means if I don’t push myself a bit harder to finish it, it’s not getting done. Which will put me past my deadline. It’s effective. Start everyday as a new day and don’t allow the unfinished work snowball into an anxious mess.
Don’t overthink it
A good chunk of the time, it’s important for me to just throw my work out there. If I edit a piece too much it can lose its initial meaning. It’s ok to allow your writing to evolve, but don’t ruminate on it to the point of not sharing. Which leads to my next point …
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
― Ann Landers
This months intentions I’ve set for mothering are spending quality time with my oldest, creating and being aware of teachable moments with my youngest, but most importantly taking time to enjoy motherhood everyday.
Spending planned quality time with my oldest is one of the best things I started investing in. It allows me to step away from all my responsibilities and just listen to her stories. (And let me tell you, she’s got stories for days which is amazing since she never really talked as a kid.) I love hearing her stories. I want her to know she’s invested in in more ways than one, not just fed and housed, but really focused on and paid attention to. So I started putting one day a week aside for just us two to bond. She always seems a little brighter after we are done with a planned hang out. I say planned because I feel last minute hangout session don’t really serve the purpose. I have to mentally prepare myself to focus on our time together or else I bring my work with me. So when I set aside the time ahead it really makes a difference. It allows me to be fully present.
The other intention I have is being aware enough to take advantage of teaching moments for my youngest. These are my favoritest moments of motherhood. Seeing my babies learn something new, lights up my life. She’s happy. I’m happy. Sometimes we celebrate. Sometimes it’s a silent understanding. But it’s always a good feeling to see my babies grow. Especially because I can get so wrapped up in other things.
I get wrapped up. I get wrapped up in my kids meeting their milestones. I get wrapped up in getting them to where they need to be. I get wrapped up in chasing my own dreams. I mention all that because it’s normal and I know every mom can relate to it. I forget to take time to enjoy my life with them. So the last thing on my list is also one of the most import, to enjoy momming. I try to get on the ground with them, share funny moments with them, and do things to create joyful moments. I like to remind myself the good things about being a mom.
I never really thought of setting intentions for momming. I used to just make lists of things I wanted to get done around the house. They were never really things to build intentional relationships with my girls. I assumed it would just happen naturally. And yes, I do think in many ways relationships get built naturally, but I think this way gives our relationship more value. I do value my family very much. So they’ve been added to my monthly intentions and I hope they grow and evolve into deeper and even more meaningful relationships.
I mean we have a entire world to survive here might as well make the strongest connections I can with the people I love most.
“Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing.” -Fight Club
Life is full of pain. I’m not here to sell you sunshine and roses. We are going to suffer.
We’ll face times when our entire body aches from head to toe. It might be hard to breathe. To do the things we’ve always done without much thought.
Then it hits us. We’re falling apart. We wasted so much time worrying about gaining aches and pains that we missed out on opportunities. We missed out on people and places and things.
But here’s the thing, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late gain new opportunities. It’s not too late to be honest. To go back to the things you loved and loved doing.
You embrace the pain.
You sit and feel every ounce of pain and you stare it in the face until you’re too tired to do it any more. Then you wake up and do it again. It’s not going to be easy but just keep going. It’s going to take time but it’s worth it. You’ll get through it, then all those monsters you tucked deep inside you, become your tools. They become your reminders of how far you’ve come and how you’re strong enough to keep going.
The more you show up to face your monsters, the more you can learn to use them as tools for your growth and advancement in life. The more that you use them as tools, the smaller they shrink. Eventually the fear of facing them becomes a memory and you have moved on to bigger and better things. The monsters are still there, but now they don’t hold you back from the things you love. Tamed monsters make way for you to love the things you love in a healthy wholesome way.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Kahlil Gibran
Being able to love those closest to you in a healthy and wholesome makes room for so many other opportunities.
I write for my family. When I first started writing a few years ago, I was an anxious mess. After writing and learning to accept the many different aspects of myself in order to build honest characters, it made it much easier for me to understand those around me. I can listen with more intention. I can see when there is a miscommunication or when someone needs to define their terms.
The world becomes a weird place when you take the time to understand what makes us human. Well, at first it does. After a while the weird stuff becomes normal and you forget it’s weird stuff until someone looks at you funny for talking about the weird stuff. So when I noticed these things, I wanted to make sure my daughters were handed the weird place too. I hope they find some guidance in their weird place from mine.
There’s a lot of great reasons to write for your family. These are just a couple of mine but they keep me going