I have this amazing friend who is TONS better at writing than me. Luckily, she agrees to meet on Skype once a week to have a writing group. It’s been pretty cool having this group. In the last few months it’s been massively grounding and inspiring. Something about that commitment, and the fact of getting something out to someone else, has made me actually… well… do some work. Which is cool, and maybe a teensy tiny bit overdue. No “Judgement”, but…. you know…. there’s a lot of reasons hanging around to put off your work. Especially when it’s work you actually want to do. Which is weird but true.
That’s one of the rules of the group by the way. it’s a ‘no-judgement’ space. Which can sound…. lame. But in practice it makes it easier to do the work… because that inner-critic voice (cheeky, insidous little bugger that it is) can get fobbed off. When you disregard getting judged there’s no problem trying.
Even within a no judegment space, beginning is the hard part. Every piece of work, even four line poems for non-judegmental weekly writing groups held on Skype requires a beginning. And it’s beginnings that are the bitch.
Steven Pressfield puts it like this,
“It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write”
One week our theme was ‘Beginnings’ (we have themes every week. It helps focus the mind). We use this feedback method in the group that we got from Louise Dunlap’s amazing book ‘Undoing the Silence’. Basically, it helps you get to the heart of whatever you are reading and commenting on. Using it on my super-talented friend’s work, this is what I worked out about Beginning:
1. We are always being brought back to the beginning.
2. Beginning is hard because having begun before, we realise the traps that lie ahead. This makes it difficult to have faith and trust the process. It makes us tired. (Steven Pressfield would call this Resistance. Whatever you call it, It likes to make you tired. Tired is a good reason to put stuff off.)
3. Beginning something new often takes you on a road that winds back to old destinations when you least expect it.
4. Beginning something new can offer a chance to finish something old.
5. Beginning is something we choose to do every day.
So this is the beginning of My Year of Initiation. Take a breath. Take a risk. Dive in.