Yay! I am finally writing my first blog entry after years of thinking and talking about it. This leads me to ponder why it has taken me so long. The easy answer is that I have a busy life, I haven’t had time and there is always something more important to do. While this is true, it’ probably not the main reason why I hadn’t written it yet because there are lots of other less important things that I have done in the last 4 or 5 years.
So why haven’t I written before now? I would say that writing has been an ambition of mine for a couple of decades in one form or another and in my current work in private practice, sometimes I have ideas that make a real impact for the people that I work with. A few of my clients ask me why I haven’t written a book yet (my, I love my clients, they can be so flattering!), ideas, perspectives and interpretations of things occasionally really resonate for many of my clients and I consider, “could this help people if I wrote about it?” I want to share some of these ideas, spark a discussion and if it helps just one person, I would consider it worthwhile. Sometimes I just get so excited about something I want to share it and see what others think, and if they can build on the idea. So, if this was so important why wasn’t I writing yet? Why was I just sitting in my intention, doing nothing, not writing when, I had an intention, a desire, an aspiration to be a writer, to write?
A lot has been written about intention, a lot. At its base, intention is defined as a plan or an aim at its most vague, in more depth a person’s objective, purpose, goal, ambition. We talk about intentions as something that guides our actions and the commitment to make it happen. It is both the road map and the gas that gets us there.
Although when we think and talk about this people have many intentions that are simply that thoughts and words. People have good intentions yet don’t make decisions that are congruent, or take the action necessary to make them happen. I had the intention to write but it had no urgency to make it happen. Sometimes the feeling behind the intention is so powerful, it fools us into thinking that it is action. We feel so strongly about something we fail to notice that we aren’t actually doing it.
So how do we turn intention into reality? There has also been a great deal written about this and much of it is great, true and inspiring but its also important to understand what keeps most of us in the holding patterns of sitting in our intention. I believe a few things to be fairly generally true of us as human beings. First of all, we naturally seek relief from pain and suffering. While this is an over simplification, and has sophisticated twists, this is basically true at our core. We naturally avoid things that we assume will bring pain and suffering. So, was I avoiding suffering by not writing the blog? Maybe. I could say that it was fear. Fear of failing, fear of being judged, fear that I’m not a good writer, or that nobody will read my blog. But that doesn’t ring 100% true. I’m kinda ok, if people don’t read my blog. Well, if I’m honest I’m ok if not a lot of people read my blog, but I still hope that a few people read it. And I’m ok of not everyone likes it, as long as a few people find it interesting and helpful.
Second truth about human beings, most of us appreciate efficiency of effort. We like the path of least resistance and a quick and easy solution. Having a good intention makes us feel good about ourselves but requires little to no effort. Making an intention happen takes effort, sometimes a lot. So maybe I’m lazy, that must be the reason. But no, the evidence doesn’t support that either, not entirely. There are many big projects that I have taken on and I’m not adverse to working hard to complete them. But for some reason this project didn’t become a reality for a long time.
I didn’t know where to start. True. I didn’t know how to make my intention take shape in real life. I didn’t know how writers write. I didn’t even read blogs, other than cooking ones, so I didn’t know how to write one. I didn’t read the manual, I didn’t talk to writers to see how they started. I didn’t reach out for guidance in an area I had no experience in. I had an idea and some motivation to make it happen but no road map.
I started talking about it more, to more people. Talking about it made my intention take shape. I started reading blogs. I started reading about the habits of writers. This gave me an idea of what to do, how to start. I started writing my ideas down, kept a notebook, instead of just letting ideas float away with the vague notion that they would make a good topic to write about. The gap between a vague idea to write and starting to see a blog take shape started to close. I stared to see and understand how it could happen and it didn’t seem so nebulous or intimidating.
And I started to build momentum. Momentum is different from motivation. People talk a lot about motivation, and it’s a great thing, but its fleeting and fickle. I trust and appreciate the power of momentum much more. Mostly because of the second truth about people being lazy, um I mean, appreciating efficiency of effort. Once you start getting going on something it takes less effort to keep it going then it does to start from the beginning again.
So, I made time to do it. I carved time out of my busy week. It was inconvenient, there were a dozen other things I should have done instead. I felt guilty for not doing them. I did it anyway. I went to a coffee shop, got a latte, pulled out my laptop, ignored my email, my desire to look up just one thing and I wrote. It’s not the most insightful or amazing piece, it probably won’t change anyone’s life. But I did it. I wrote. I hope I get better at it and produce posts that are funny, provoke thought and help people live the best versions of their lives. But for now, I am going to revel in the fact that my intention came to life. And I am going to make time and do it every week, whether or not the product is post worthy or not I am going to ride the momentum.
If you read this, thank you for witnessing the beginning of my journey as a writer.