Get Out Into the Storm

For the Conscious Writer

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You know those snow storms when it’s freezing cold and there’s so much snow it’s literally coming out of your ears. Yes, those. Ok so now let’s say you’re finally dry and warm again all snuggied up in your car. Then you pull into your driveway, and all you’ve wanted is to be inside your home. But then you realize stepping out of the car means stepping into the freezing cold snow storm. That’s what you have to do with your writing.

You’ve got to brave the storm. It’s not so much about being fearless. It’s more about accepting a temporary amount of discomfort to get you to your goal destination.

We’ve all had those days where we curl up on the couch and zone out for as long as humanly possible. Those are nice days. Some of us can sit longer than others, either way the point still stands, it’s comfortable. It’s nice to be unbothered by things. But this isn’t the garden of Eden. You’ve got to get out there and work the ground and pop out some book babies.

Learning to embrace the storm is learning to embrace the life handed to you.

I’m not sure what makes you uncomfortable and truth is you haven’t experienced all the things that make you uncomfortable yet. You may find that you’re more comfortable in a certain scenario than you thought would be. You may find you are extremely uncomfortable but the consequence for enduring that discomfort is a positive one.

So let’s just say you’re writing right now, ask yourself are you in your warm and comfortable car? Are you staying too safe? Too comfy, cozy, and dry? Just think, what’s on the other side of the discomfort you feel right now? Pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers? Your favorite Tyler Durden inspired robe? Don’t delay the inevitable. Step outside your comfort zone and freeze your tush off.

“To reach only for that which pleasantly enchants you is the least of imagination, if even imagination at all, by the obvious reality of remaining within your means. The greater of imagination is parallel to risk. It extends beyond your comfort zone or haven, or sense of beauty, or what you personally believe suits you in exploration of what may not.”
― 
Criss Jami, Killosophy

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What’s the Next Lesson?

For the Conscious Writer

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Intentional learning is part of the writing process. The best way to learn intentionally is to set learning goals. The great thing is that anything you learn can be incorporated into your writing. So think about what you’d be interested in learning. What would spark your curiosity? Then follow the rabbit. Creating your own learning goals gives you a sense of control, which in turn makes a more interested learner, which in turn makes an intentional learner. It all works out.

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A good teacher appreciates a student that’s interested in learning. So why not be your own teacher proud of your own interests? This is a great way to get to know yourself. It builds confidence, trust, and knowledge within yourself.

Intentional learning is one way you can show up for yourself in ways no one else can. There’s an interesting stream of thought that happens when you take an interest in something. Our thoughts begin to bubble and flow only adding more and more questions. Sometimes our curiosity can take us places we didn’t originally plan. I think it’s marvelous. And I think it’s even more fascinating that we can almost see the train of thought through our search history. But that’s another topic for another day.

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. –Socrates

Check out my last piece, “How to Let Go While Feeling Everything

How to Let Go While Feeling Everything

For the Conscious Writer

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“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.

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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

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On Infidelity and Monsters

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When would he realize that it wasn’t his infidelity I couldn’t bear, but his cowardice?
― 
Tatiana de Rosnay, Sarah’s Key

Infidelity is something I’m exploring right now. Since there’s different types, I’m referring to the type that involves an entire secret relationship. What hurts about it? The inability to face the betrayed partner? The sucker punch to the ego? The false persona being portrayed to keep up with all the lies? I often explore the judgement I have for individuals who go this route. Coincidently, I’m not the only one who explores the idea of betrayal, it’s been written about since the beginning of time. I think we’ve all experienced the sting of betrayal at some point in our lives. I mean, God provided Adam and Eve with everything they could ever imagine and He still got betrayed.

Now, this bias clearly isn’t deep in my unconscious, but it would be if I didn’t take time to explore the issue. I’ve been taught since childhood that cheating on your spouse is very wrong and hurtful. And I do agree, but they were taught to me in a way that made cheaters seem almost inhuman or monstrous. The truth is it’s so human to lie and cheat. It’s very human to betray others and even more so to betray ourselves. But does that make you monster? I don’t think cheating spouses are monsters. No matter how much respect I lose for them, they are not monsters.

The only people that can’t handle the truth are those that suffer so much anxiety that they will live in denial, in order to prevent their illusion from being destroyed and feeling more anxiety.
― 
Shannon L. Alder

To put it simply, they have internal issues that need to be worked out before they enter into or continue any type of relationship. Their only option to move forward is to face the reasons why they are seeking something outside themselves for fulfilment. The issue won’t disappear when you make one woman (or man) disappear, there will always be more. The issue will never disappear, it will only fall into the background when it’s resolved, as a sort of reminder.

So as an adult, if people are doing things that are in my opinion, wrong, like infidelity, I do not peg them as monsters. They are simply creatures who are still learning to grow and evolve. Don’t get me wrong, I get angry and protective when someone attempts to take away the peace in my household, but to be clear, I don’t think cheaters are monsters, I think they’re human.

Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf.

~Jonatan Mårtensson~

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So to wrap things up here, I’d like to share a fictional letter written to a character in one of my stories who was going through a similar experience. I wrote it for encouragement in the midst of my own heartbreak. I was devastated and letters like these where I was supporting “others” really got me through the experience. An experience I really really don’t want to endure again, not even in any other lifetimes. (If that’s a thing)

This is my soul work.

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Dear Broken Hearted Woman,

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Have a Go To Beverage

For the Conscious Writer

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Rituals, anthropologists will tell us, are about transformation. The rituals we use for marriage, baptism or inaugurating a president are as elaborate as they are because we associate the ritual with a major life passage, the crossing of a critical threshold, or in other words, with transformation.

Abraham Verghese

As a conscious writer, you’ve dedicated yourself to the art of writing. You’re going to be doing this writing thing everyday for a long time, might as well make it into an enjoyable ritual. Have a drink you can enjoy every writing session. I have a cup of tea and a treat for my writing sessions. (The ones I’m mostly awake for anyway.)

For me, having a simple routine makes the transition into intentional writing run more smoothly. As a mom, I’m usually juggling 5 things at once, even when I’m sitting on my phone. My book, my social media, what I’m going to feed myself, and have I cleaned enough all alert me on top of meeting my kids needs. To turn the multi tasking off, I drink a cup of tea and enjoy something sweet.

On another note, your mouth doesn’t move while you write words, so you should have a beverage close by so you can get a break from clenching your jaw. (Ah, here’s a reminder, you can unclench your jaw now).

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Make it your thing. Have a thing that’s simple and that’s yours. It doesn’t have to be different from other humans. Most writers hail a strong cup of coffee. If that’s your thing, let it be your thing. Embrace your thing. -Saschia Johnson

Then write your heart out because we’re waiting to hear from you.

Click Here to Read My Piece titled “A Conscious Writer, Is a Valuable Writer.

Find Your Quiet Place

For the Conscious Writer

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I am not saying that meditation is the only element necessary to turn you into a master writer, but if this practice is absent from your writing and creative process, you are simply leaving too much potential on the table. –Farnoosh Brock

Meditation is important for the imagination. It gives us the space to accept all thoughts and ideas and allows them to flow through us. When you write don’t you want ideas to come to you. It’s no fun chasing ideas. Meditation coaxs them toward you. Sometimes we have to chase, that’s just the way it is but if we can be handed our ideas most of the time, that would make our writers life more enjoyable.

Meditation can be done in so many different ways. There’s stream of thought, walking, bathing, and a million other ways. Even guided meditations are acceptable. There’s no need to stick to just one style, switch it up. Plan to change the way you meditation throughout the year because seasons change. Which leads right into my next thought.

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Different seasons call for different types of meditations. Our lives are always changing. Some seasons we don’t need to meditate as much, other seasons we’ll be doing it every day or more. I’m not saying just let it happen when it happens. Routine is excellent if that works for you, but make sure you’re trying new ways to meditate within that routine.

As a conscious writer, being aware of what you need is important, but it doesn’t always mean you’ll knowhow to get what you need. Finding the time to meditate can be tricky. You may need to stay up later or get up before the rest of the house. You may need to go out of your way like find a babysitter or take a day off of work. Being intentional about making time to meditate can be the trickiest part, but remind yourself that this is part of your work, then make it happen.

It’s important to look at mediation as part of your work, as part of the process. Meditation most times can be the fuel to get you through a writing session.

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When do you meditate? How do you meditate? Why do you meditate is it just for writing or is it for your entire well being? Does it help you write? I’d love to hear about you.

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Self Reflection and Writing

For the Conscious Writer

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”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

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Self Reflection

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.

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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

Quote Cred Everydaypower.com

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How to Write Like an Artist

Feel more connected to your work

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This is just a fun title. There’s no rules to being an artist. That’s what makes artists artists. Anyway, here’s some things to consider, while you’re writing, that will make you feel more connected to your work as if it is a work of art.

Self Reflect

This is the cardinal rule. “Know thyself.” Self reflection helps you to be more understanding of other’s who are in similar situations. Self reflection is the entire point of artistry. Don’t get me wrong, people who don’t self reflect can sell great art because art sales is a business. But creating art, that’s not just business, that is creating and business. It’s both, it’s so much more than sales. Creating something timeless requires some understanding of our internal workings. Know yourself, know your art. They go hand in hand.

Know when to fuck what they say

With my first novel being experimental fiction, I’m all for bending the rules. I love movies that don’t follow standards. I love writers that don’t either. But there’s an art to it. Some things are worth listening to, especially if they are in line with your values. But experiment, try new things, listen sometimes, tell them to fuck off other times. There’s no real balance, we’re all learning here.

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Meditate

Meditation calms my nerves and lets me see where my writing can take me. It refreshes my imagination and gives me peace and stability in myself. There’s something about meditation that beings me back to myself in the midst of chaos. It helps me focus on the right thing, my art.

Have a go to beverage

Red Bull, Tea, Coffee, Water, it has to be one of these. Your mouth doesn’t move while you write words, so you should have a beverage to give you a break from clenching your jaw. Ah, here’s a reminder, you can unclench your jaw now.

Resolve your biases

Any unresolved biases will come out in your writing. It might be in a subtle way like where you put characters in the workplace, or nicknames, or the way a character speaks. Resolved biases give us the chance to be honest with ourselves and our reader. This creates a strong connection. Works of art that connect with viewers in this way, draws them away from all the madness. We all could use those moments.

Journal

Journaling is an artistic thing. It keeps us connected to our work, it helps us flesh out problems, create new ideas, and let’s us know where our thoughts have left off. It helps with resolving biases, meditation, self reflection, and learning to know when to bend the rules. Trust me, journaling is worth it.

Write poetry (terrible or not)

Poetry is like cleaning the filter of your vacuum cleaner. It lets out the symbols, the rhythms, the metaphors and (un)conscious thoughts.

Make a fool of yourself

The best way to be an artist is to be afraid of making a fool of yourself and doing it anyway. It’s showing courage for the work you’ve put in. Get out there and bare it all. That act alone is considered foolish these days. Be yourself. Be so unapologetically you, that you get the taste of freedom just at the tip of your tongue.

Chances are, if you made it this far, you’re already a writer. You show commitment reading this entire article that doesn’t matter much anyway.

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Start New Writing Goals Everyday

For Writing Goals

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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.

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You’re Contribution is Valuable

Dear Writer,

 

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Understand that you’re contribution is valuable

What you have to share is irreplaceable. People can write things similar to you and that’s ok. You’re adding your work to the mosaic. Maybe your piece is a little darker, or more positive, or more factual. We need it all. No matter what, your writing is unique to you because your life experiences, personality traits, and the place you were raised separates you from others. Own it, accept it, and keep writing.

You never know who you’ll inspire when you put your writing out there. As a shy person, I know there’s a lot of shy people who fear speaking up to support your writing, but they are still moved by it. Write for them. Write for you. I know when I first started blogging, I was really shy. I didn’t even want bloggers to know I was reading their blog. Now, I always try to make sure to let writers know I’ve read and appreciate their contribution. I’ve changed from reading blogs over the years. Your posts change people.

 

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If, for the briefest moment you rescue someone from a dark place, your work has filled 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.

Now’s a great time to start valuing your voice as a writer.

You can also check me out on Jayne.Press@jayne_press on Instagram, and Jayne.Press on Facebook

 

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