Trying takes much effort and underneath this is the age-old behaviour to get it right, to fit in, to be a part of, to be met as an equal. I have been resistant to writing most of my life, it never came easily and it never flowed, and if I wrote anything it was done in the format of dot points. This was not an acceptable way of writing within the education system therefore I avoided writing and never practised or learnt the craft.
When a group was formed to encourage one to write, I brushed it aside as my first thought being, that’s not for me, art is my thing, not writing. Nevertheless, it had triggered a deep pondering until I admitted and claimed to myself, how I had resisted writing all of my life because of an underlying feeling of not being good enough.
On my internal journey I discovered how way back in my childhood I had spent most of my days playing by myself. My brother, three years my senior, had little time for me, nor did my parents as they were always working within their self-created small business. In fact, I was never welcomed into the family unit but left to dangle as a pendulum on the peripheral, neither to be seen nor heard. It came to light that much time was spent on my own, with minimal social interaction, and therefore important skills were not learned.
Those formative years in a child’s life are paramount to their learning, connection, communication, and expression – to be truly met and loved for who they are. This lack of connection and communication in my early years has been a significant influence to my way of being, how I have lived both within myself and how I expressed myself in the world.
So, taking myself in hand, I decided I had best bite the bullet and do something about my issue with the written word before my passing, rather than have it nipping at my heels into my next life. I subsequently joined a weekly writers’ webinar two weeks after its commencement.
WOW! What a struggle to pull in the spirit and apply myself to the suggested disciplines of exercise and writing. No easy task but I surrendered to the challenge and yet, from time to time, allowed myself to be hoodwinked into finding a distraction that was considered more important than my commitment to writing.
During the webinar, it was suggested small writers' groups be formed to keep the fire of interest and enthusiasm aflame and to support each other when delay and doubt forces were influencing our writing and our livingness.
I elected to join two of these writing support groups; both are held on a monthly basis and have been much appreciated for the encouragement and the inspiration they engender. Pointers are given to expedite us out of inertia, writer’s block or any untoward difficulties. Questions can be asked and writing experiences shared and discussed.
Shock Horror! Over time, all of a sudden, I realised the tension being felt and held in my body was from a prevailing anxiousness at having to get anything written RIGHT. It held me in a vice, captured, and therefore movement within the writing was jagged, disjointed, and laborious. This compounded my inability to access and follow the flow when there was something arising from within to be written.
A stop moment was called for, so I stepped back giving space to readjust my behaviour, my attitude, to breathe gently and take stock.
Trying takes effort and this is a force that has manipulated me into feeling unworthy, not good enough or clever enough, in fact leading me into a place of inferiority in a world that gives a great deal of credence to academia.
It is about accepting oneself and expressing from who I truly am. Not trying and struggling to conform but connecting to the body and breathing gently, then coming from this divine connection.
To be at ease without self-critique, allowing the flow of what is there to be expressed, to be written.
My learning has been to commit to writing and to overcome the forces of distraction, thoughts of it being too hard or I can’t write and the writing being not good enough, to name but a few. All misconstrued thoughts which have impeded my way to healing, to evolve and importantly to share my learned wisdom with others.
So now it is time to take up pen to paper as of old or fingers to key board of today, to fully commit to writing something every day, be it to God, one’s own personal diary, a book or an article for the Joy of Ageing. No matter what, just write!
Avril McK, Australia
If you enjoyed this article, for further reading you may also like:
Letting Go of the Need to Get it Right