I’ve been reflecting on habits recently – on how hard it is to let go of the ‘bad’ ones and how equally hard it is to introduce new and desirable ones (like writing regularly – or maintaining this blog!).
It’s a bit like digging the bamboo out of our new garden – a job that demands perseverance, hard work and a clear vision for many months (if not years) to come….but will be so worth it for all the space and light it will open up in which we can plant natives and edible foods.
A few weeks ago I was talking to someone who’d ‘given up’ on the bamboo in her garden and allowed it to take over wherever it wanted. I felt quite disheartened when I heard this and was tempted to give up myself (yes, before I’d even begun to tackle it!). But this week I spoke to another friend who’d successfully got rid of his with a mattock, lots of sweat and several months of regular digging and chopping – being vigilant to remove all the root-fragments. So far none of it has reappeared.
This story inspired me and made me realise how important it is to bolster our fragile visions and good intentions by reading and listening to others who’ve changed their lives in similar ways.
Like some of my writing students, I struggled to produce writing twice per month during my year-long FreefallWriting mentorship with Barbara Turner-Vesselago, and a couple of times had to postpone or extend agreed deadlines, but about half or two-thirds of the way through the year, something shifted in me - I found a voice and a flow in my life-writing that gave me new confidence and faith in my writing journey…that it was taking me somewhere I needed to go (even if I couldn’t see the end-point of the journey).
Making the transition into writing fiction has been another long trudge into the unknown…many times I was tempted to give up and head home to the old familiar lands of life writing…but again I’ve found a voice and style that’s easy to slip into when I make the time to sit down and write.
So have faith in your writing journey, in the wisdom within you that signed you up for this camel-trek. And it is a bit like trekking across the desert, with only occasional oases of inspiration, but no great green land on the visible horizon. I can only tell you it’s there….perhaps just beyond your line of sight….and you will find it. If you persevere, believe in yourself and surround yourself with others who believe in you.
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