"I learned . . . that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness." Brenda Ueland
Over the past four months, I have spent a great deal of time building up my social networking sites and writing blogs; and while I have spent some time working on my third novel—I have not been giving it the attention it deserves. To be honest, I just have not been feeling very inspired.
As this lack of inspiration had been affecting only one area of my writing practice, I wasn’t all that concerned. I figured I would rock myself back into writing my book sooner or later. After all, I was already up to chapter three. It was only a matter of time before things started coming together again—or so I hoped.
But as the days have turned into weeks, that hope is slowly fading away. Reality is setting in. I now see that this lack of inspiration is starting to choke the life out of all areas of my writing practice. I find that I no longer want to write in my journal. I am struggling to eke out my morning pages. Poetry is out of the question, and the thought of writing another blog is more than I can bear. Unable to write, I find myself spending my days reading and staring out my office window.
I feel listless—just bone tired and threadbare. The very thought of going on the internet exhausts me. Checking my email has become a monumental task—one I accomplish by deleting everything except messages from friends. The sheer magnitude of messages from marketers and business analysts amazes me. One wants to teach me how to set up an award-winning platform. Another wants to teach me how to market myself effectively so that I can make millions in today’s downsized economy. My favorites, however, are all those lovely emails I keep getting from the publishing industry offering to teach me how to get an agent.
Information overload has effectively shut down my reasoning faculties. Thoughts and words are starting to run together. Chock full of extraneous material it has absolutely no use for, my brain has gone into lockdown. Unable to focus on the tasks at hand, I now find myself taking great pleasure in watching my neighbor’s puppies frolicking across the street. I revel in the different species of birds and butterflies that flit past my window. I even get giddy about the big yellow school bus that pulls up in front of my neighbor’s house every afternoon.
I am usually a very positive, outgoing person; but lately, especially after spending all day on the computer, I’ve been having that “the world is too much with me” feeling. Things are moving too fast. I feel like a hamster on a treadmill—no matter how fast I run, I can’t catch up. After listening to Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith this afternoon, I realized that I needed to slow down and go inside. I realized that I needed to get back into alignment with Spirit. I realized that I was losing my vision. I realized that it was time for a vision quest. Yes, my friends, it was an afternoon of eye-opening realizations!
Vision quests are not new to me. I used to devote the entire month of September to what I called my annual birth month soul-searching vision quest. I let the practice go by the wayside last year because I was busy taking writing classes and querying agents. I was also knee deep in family problems. Not wanting to deal with everything that was on my plate at that time, I chose to ignore the voice of my soul. As those of you who read my blog know, that decision resulted in my being stuck in the throes of the writer’s block from hell. Yeah, that’s right; I was forced to take some time off and deal with things. I am not pushing it that far this year.
In an effort to get back into spiritual alignment and, thereby, rock myself back into writing, I am devoting the entire month of September to my vision quest. I will not be blogging or commenting on blogs, and I will be keeping my social networking time to a bare minimum. I will be meditating, journaling, drumming, chanting, reading inspirational books, and listening to inspirational seminars and music. I will also be spending time in nature and in prayer.
Carl Jung said, “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. She who looks outside dreams; she who looks inside awakes.”
With full realization that this too is part of the healing process of writing, I am looking forward to October and to my reawakening. See you then!
© 2009 Phoenix Rising. All Rights Reserved.
Individuals may copy this post for noncommercial use without permission provided that this post is used in its entirety and carries the Phoenix Rising copyright notice and the following link back to this blog: www.phoenixrisingwriterscorner.blogspot.com.