I love this time of year. It's getting colder outside. The leaves have fallen. It feels like an ending, and while there's something sad about that, it's also where the magic is. We can dig into this darkness with our bare hands, for months, freezing, and know that eventually, there will be spring.
The past few months have been intense. I've been sweeping away the excess, cutting my life down to the core of what really matters. I've learned that the closer I come to the authentic root of myself, the less I'm capable of doing. I'm moving slowly. I'm drinking water when it's time drink water, I'm going to bed when its time to sleep. And I'm writing.
More than anything else, I want to write. I want to write so badly that when I sit down at my keyboard, I'm overwhelmed with rushing -- with the sense that if I write very quickly or try very very hard, if I do my very best, I can immediately reach my potential. I want to make charts and reading lists and outlines and follow directions. I want to know that if I write 500 words today, and 500 words tomorrow, and 500 words the next day, eventually I will have enough words to justify myself.
Eventually, I'll have so many words that I'll know I am enough.
Of course, the advice I give to others is the advice I need to give myself. You are already a writer. You are already enough. What does that mean? It means that when I wake up in the morning 30 years from now, with any luck, I'll be doing the exact same things I did today: Stretching. Drinking tea. Paying attention. Writing.
Hopefully my poems will be better by then. But we'll have to wait and see.
Nest & Story is difficult for me sometimes. I want so badly for this to be real. I want to build a community of writers who can be afraid together, who can step out into the darkness and know they are not alone. Who can laugh and eat muffins and scribble some words and know that no matter what, no matter how brilliant or silly those words are, it's okay. They're okay.
And yet, at every turn, I manage to plunge myself into anxiety. I read business blogs and receive chirpy newsletters every day about how I should be tweeting more, or using Instagram, or spending more time thinking about my SEO. This stuff is fun for me, usually. But if I let it seep into my bones, I can't escape the whispers: What if you aren't doing enough?
For me, and for Nest & Story, 2017 will be the year of enough. I'm going to be cutting away everything unnecessary and focusing on what makes this community beautiful. That means:
- I'm quitting Twitter. I'm sorry, Twitter, but I hate you.
- I'm going to lead more in-person workshops -- maybe even in my house. What I love about running Nest & Story is being able to connect with other humans in real life, around a real table, eating real snacks, writing real words.
- I'm going to try my very best to be even more transparent and authentic with you all. I've tried not to fall into the trap of positioning myself as any sort of "expert," but over the next year, I'm going to be even more open about my own writing process and the challenges I face.
- I'm going to create an offering that allows me to work with you one-on-one. I'm trying to avoid the word "coaching" here (see not an expert, above) but it's going to incorporate creativity, and intuition, and possibly even tarot cards. (Did you know I read tarot cards?)
What are you trying to clear away as this year comes to an end? What are you hoping to invite into your creative practice in 2017? I would love to hear from you.