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I read somewhere that if writing isn’t drudgery, isn’t hard work, than you’re not really writing.

I think that writing is a joy.  I like to say that writing can not only make a living for me, it also helps me plumb the depths of my soul and reach out farther than I could’ve ever imagined.

The most challenging part of writing is figuring out what you want to say.  This is simply a matter of clear thinking.  The next step is to express what you’ve decided you want to say. This takes courage.  To commit to paper or screen where others can see and judge, takes some bravado.

One could say this part is difficult.  I believe though that everyone who has a mastery of a language can say what they want to say.  Granted, those of us who have written our 100K+ words may find this easier than others. Wielding words, after all, is what we do.  And surely we can create more poetic and flowing words than those who have not put in the time.

It does take time.  It takes effort.  It takes thinking and dedication.  But none of that is drudgery.  It’s magical.  Some might call it holy.  Making a wonderful Thanksgiving meal requires planning, shopping, preparing, patience, attention and effort.  But the joy of serving the meal to those you love eradicates any thoughts of drudgery.

When words come together in just the right harmony and resonance, there just is nothing like it.

If you find writing hard work, I suggest you take up something else.  You might try recording your thoughts and taking dictation to make it easier.  Or hire a writer who loves it!

Part 1 of 2

Susan Jeffers, in her book, “End the Struggle and Dance with Life,” talks at length about being a workaholic.  I figured that if I was addicted to work, I’d have more money right now or achieved more.  But in pondering it I think that most of us, whether we are willing to carry the sign of addict or not, have issues around work.

My particular addiction entails always needing to be busy.  Not necessarily in income-producing activities, but that’s important, too.  Susan calls it a poverty fear.  I don’t know, but I do tend to feel guilty if I’m not doing something.  Even when I try to take a day “off,” I’m doing household chores or long put off personal projects.

If you find yourself in a cycle around work where you’d prefer not to be, Susan has some intriguing question to ask yourself: “What am I trying to mask?  What am I trying to avoid?  What am I frightened to look at in myself?”

When we over work it may be because we’re afraid of the quiet.  Are your thoughts trying to tell you something that you’re not listening to?  Work is a perfect way to mask that.  If you’re too busy, you can’t take the time to get quiet and listen – much less act on what your thoughts are hoping you will do.

If I try I can hear a slave driver in my head saying I must keep busy.  Other voices might push you since you have others to support.  Or because you want to live a better lifestyle.  Maybe it’s telling you to go back to school and get your degree or learn how to play the clarinet.  It could be telling you to slow down and have some fun or just rest.  You’re likely to find that something isn’t getting proper attention in some part of your life.  It’s very easy to fill that with work (or whatever).  Under all that chatter and busy-ness is  an imbalance at the heart of it.  Something’s missing.

It may be difficult, but it is wise to find the time to get quiet and listen to what you’re saying to yourself.  Don’t be afraid.  It’s just you in there.  You may find that it’s not true at all. That you’d really rather work than learn to play the clarinet. That was something you wanted to do years ago.  It’s all up to you.  But if you find you’re working too hard or stressing too much because you haven’t given enough time to your creative side or that you need to rest more, this is very valuable information.

Susan gives us more questions to ask at this point: “How can I make myself feel good enough?  How can I begin creating more balance and trust?  How can I fill the emptiness?

I love how, once you figure out what’s going on, there are always these practical solutions. Identify the problem and then find ways to solve it. See what is and do what works.

So, you have this imbalance.  Some things are not getting the time and attention they are calling for. So what are you going to do about it?  How do you choose to deal with this situation?  What can you do to make things right?  If you will allow yourself time to think about this, the answers are right there, in your head. Calling out to you.


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