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When asked what you do for a living, do you squirm, fidget, or evade? I do. I write Notes from the Universe for a living and I send them to e-mail subscribers five days a week, for free. Doesn't quite have the same ring as doctor, lawyer, or accountant, even butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. And it never quite impresses the way I once thought it might.
Nevertheless, writing for the Universe has taught me a number of things about myself and the creative process, and for this third installment of the trilogy, I thought I'd share a little of it, as these lessons have a number of applications to the rest of my life, and perhaps will to yours as well.
First, I'm better than I usually give myself credit for. There's hardly been a time in the past eight years when I consistently felt that I've been writing well, or as well as I could. In fact, more often than not, I've felt like I was in a slump. But every now and then a funny thing happens. For some reason or other I have to rummage through the old archives, and lo...I can't seem to find when the last lull was, as I'm quite impressed with what I read.
Interestingly, and I hate to admit this, I'll then think, "Wow, I wish I were writing like that now!" Only to discover, several months later, that I actually was. And this has gone on for quite some time, perpetually feeling like today's creativity pales compared to yesterday's.
However slow I've been to learn my lesson, I really have been paying attention. In writing, just as in all areas of my life, I'm usually much better than I give myself credit for at the time, and I'm quite sure you are, too.
Second, just because I don't know what I'm going to write doesn't mean I shouldn't start. Inspiration to write, or to do anything else, usually comes after, not before, we physically begin the journey -- no matter what kind of journey it is. Don't wait for your ducks to line up first because they never do, not until you start. Even a momma duck knows this. Her ducklings are hither and yon until she starts her journey, at which point they scramble to catch up and fall in line. The same is true of our own ducks.
And last, happy and joyful thoughts physically change the material world. My creative process for writing is modeled after what I share with audiences for manifesting change in their lives. First, define and imagine what you want in terms of the end result, preferably emotionally. Second, take action toward that end result to ramp-up belief in your success and to put yourself in a place of receivership for the manifestation.
For step one, I visualize for a minute or two before each writing session. In my mind, I feel the joy. Physically, I pump my fists, wave my palms, and let out a loud, "Whooooohooooooo..." and whatnot.
Step two comes by typing the first words that pop into my mind once I finish visualizing. This is a bit challenging, since often those words don't make much sense, nor will they necessarily be used, but I've found that by physically taking action toward the vision I imagine, the ideas, creativity, and insights I need eventually burst forth. This is very simply because the end result I put forth (feeling joy) cannot physically become real unless I write really well. And I cannot write really well without such bursts of divine inspiration.
In the end, I'm physically whooping up a storm because before my very eyes I've witnessed thoughts becoming things in the form of word combinations and sentences that have never before existed, to be sent out as an e-mail, later to be bound into a book, and, finally, to be reflected in smiles on faces all over the world, even long after my time in space has come and gone. And this is exactly the kind of tangible difference your own happiness can make, whether or not you write.
Still, these days, more often than not, I tell enquiring minds that "I do a little writing, I do a little speaking..." and politely change the subject.
Copyright © 2005, 2008 by Mike Dooley