As writers, we demand a lot of ourselves, and we hold expectations about how our writing has to happen.
One of those is that we have to be in flow in order to produce beautiful sentences and paragraphs.
That’s what Kim thinks.
When writing is like pulling teeth, he gives up right away and begins to doubt the story. Maybe it isn’t really any good, if he can’t get into it. Maybe the character is wrong. Maybe the challenge is too weak or too strong. Maybe he needs to start over.
By not getting into the flow right away, Kim invites self-doubt and stops himself from writing.
But the real killer is his belief:
If the words don’t flow easily, something is wrong.
That’s a terrible thing to do to yourself. And it’s totally wrong.
Every athlete knows they have to warm up. They can’t do their best right off the chair. Riders take care to warm up and relax their horses. They can’t jump high or piaffe right out of the stable.
You can’t force flow.
So why would you demand from yourself that you are 100% focused and inspired the moment you sit down to write?
I’ve had many days where working on my story was difficult. When I could do one or two sentences and tabbed away to Facebook, because it was too hard to think about what happens next. Five minutes later, I squeeze out the next sentence. Terrible days. I hate those.
But even writing like that adds words to the story, to the material you can edit.
And these days without flow happen. They don’t mean you’re a terrible writer. In fact, they mean you’re writing anyway, and that’s a sign of a determined writer.
And then I celebrate those days when flow happens and the words just stream onto the page. Those are times to enjoy, savour and celebrate. Thing is… they are rare.
But you have to keep writing anyway, even if flow doesn’t happen every day. You’re a writer. A writer writes. And with practice, your words will be beautiful anyway.
Practice (and training) are more important than flow.
And in fact, they’ll actually help you get there more often.
Here’s some tapping to release that limiting belief about flow:
Even though I demand from myself to get into the flow immediately, or I don’t write, I’m okay the way I am, and I’m open to the possibility that even words written out of flow could be beautiful and move the story ahead.
Even though not getting into flow invites self-doubt and makes me feel like I’m a terrible writer, I’m okay the way I am, and I now allow myself to know that most writers don’t write in flow every day.
Even though I believe that flow is necessary to produce good work, I’m okay the way I am, and I might be ready to let go of that limiting belief and write anyway!
How do you feel about flow?
Where or when did you learn that you have to enter flow in order to write?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Would love to hear from you!
Image Source: F. Moebius
PS: You’ll find my personal experiences with these beliefs in the comment section. Because I am tapping with these very sentences, I’m inviting you to join me on this journey, and share your experiences.
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