Starting this week off by considering ‘oughts’ and ‘wants’. Two very different things that trigger very different reactions and feelings. Just swapping one for the other in whichever direction can change my whole outlook in an instant. It seems like such an obvious thing – and I guess it is – but sometimes it takes a bit of work to get your mind to work with the positives. Normally, ever the optimist and human Prozac pill, this happens naturally to me but every so often I need a little nudge to stay on track.
How many times did I use to sit here and stare at the blank screen, unable to write despite having so many ideas and stories to tell – it amazes me now, to think I could get so stuck sometimes. These days, I almost have the opposite problem, with all these words just pouring out and it’s with boundless joy I witness myself in the flow and smile at how the pages get filled. And not just filled for the sake of it (oh, I’ve been there too, when I’ve forced out half cooked crap just to notch up the word count), but filled to the brim with words I read back and feel proud of.
With writer’s block, those times it struck and took hold, often came from those ‘oughts’. My creative spirit would on occasion just freeze up, and more than often, I’d be thinking to myself whyyyyy does this happen when this is what I should be doing with my life?! The ‘should’ bringing out that dreadful ‘ought’. So I’m letting all of that go, and grappling with writing a novel has morphed from a daunting venture to something that flows easily – because I write because I want to. Shifting my thinking a little made such an enormous difference. As usual, my beloved R had more than just a little to do with unlocking that part.
Another thing that removed blocks I’d gone and placed in my own path (I mean – that’s just crazy, no?) by allowing myself to stay trapped in false beliefs, was that I just had it in my head that I should write the whole thing in order. And being a perfectionist, this unfortunately meant I’d get a few chapters in but no further. Now I just write the parts as they come to me, and focus on the one that shouts to loudest to be written just then.
Today I started out feeling glum. Monkey-cuddles, B-kisses and an R-chat changed it around, but my morning gloom and how I felt first thing, I’ve used for a kick-ass John section. It’s amazing how things just come to you when you allow them to. I’ve said it many times, but I firmly believe the Law of Attraction to be what shapes our lives. Like attracts like. I know I’m obnoxious, but – actually, let’s correct that! I’m not at all obnoxious. It’s just that some people (usually unhappy and/or broken souls) tend to HATE with considerable passion, people like me who goes about life feeling happy and grateful. Not sure why that is – I absolutely love it when things turn out amazing for someone, whether I know them or not, it’s just something to be celebrated – but perhaps if you’re miserable and can’t recognise how beautiful life can be if you allow it to be, it might rub you up the wrong way to see someone else happy? You don’t often see content people resenting other people’s success, do you? No.
And it’s not that I’m always smiley Anna who just bloody loves everything – trust me, I can throw a good ol’ tantrum and hissy fit – but my basic setting is positive and what I’ve learnt in life is to turn the negatives into something positive. Sure, some things you can’t do that with. Someone suffering or dying, or war or disasters never have a silver lining, of course not. But I believe there is always something to be learnt and without denying a negative’s awfulness or taking away from how terrible something was or is, something positive can be created. Of that I’m sure. Painful experiences can sometimes inspire us to grow or improve.
For tomorrow, I’m switching a few ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ out – just to see if I can shift my thinking a little…
- I want to iron all of B’s shirts! (Watching documentaries on Netflix as I do so, yay!)
- I want to give the apartment a deep clean! (Playing Red Hot Chilli Peppers on full blast as I scrub away like a domestic dream on crystal meth, whoo!)
- I want to submit at least one kick-ass article to the Huffington Post! (I’ll go with parenting for this one, plenty of hysterical Monkey episodes to choose from, yippie!)
- I don’t just want to – I cannot WAIT knock out more for the novel (I think I’ll park myself in the bedroom, fewer distractions with our lousy Wifi – thanks BT!)
That ought to do it. Hahr-hahr.