Activity vs Receptivity in the Creative Life - or - Why My Writing Sucks


So lately I'm noticing that my daily writing sucks. It's not awful, it's just doodly, airy, and ineffectual. There are no pages of whole and shining poems. There are few story-starts or zingy ideas. 

Overall, the writing is mediocre. And I seem to be returning to the same things, over and over again.

Then, on a walk last week, my friend Kathy mentioned the balance between activity and receptivity. We can't be all action . . . and neither can we be all receiving. We've got to find the balance between the two.

She asked me what I was up to and I rattled off a list of my classes and events and doings. "These are all active," she said. "What are you doing that's receptive?" 

I thought of my walks, meditation, and journal. Oh! My journal. In a flash I saw that the reason that my daily writing and journaling is so loosey-goosey and blah and repetitive is that I'm writing in a state of listening, resting, and receiving. Lately I'm not writing in a state of active creation.


I'm not forcing anything, but just being. This is awesome.

But it's good for me to be aware of this: I'm tottering on the brink of this balance between my private creative life and my public, active, creative life. I am paying a price because I'm putting out so much energy in other areas.

What this means is my journal is becoming mush. It's a nice mush. I need it. 

But demanding that I be constantly brilliant, active, and continually churning up beautiful creations is unrealistic and unkind to my soul.

If I want to push my edges with the writing a bit . . . if I want to draw forth something that resonates with life and energy . . . well, then I'll need to slow down some of the activity.


It's not about good or bad choices. It's about what I want and need at any given time. It's about releasing demands so I can have that unfocused, sweet time that dribbles and wanders like a lazy little brook. Or gently fills, like a mud puddle.

Too, it's about noticing what I miss and where I'd like to focus. And shifting things so that I can do that.

Okay. 

Deep breath.

Okay.

Are you demanding active creation without providing rest and receptivity?


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