creative pursuit

for nearly all of 2015 i have had this *little* dream to write a book book.

i call it a book book because i have already written a dozen workbooks and ebooks and guides over the years, but this book feels different.

for one – i actually want to publish a physical copy of the book (rather than the PDF ebooks i have created so far).

and this will be the biggest, and most personal, writing project i have done. (considering that i have been blogging for over 5 years, that is saying a lot!)

so it’s a book book. and it’s been tapping me on the shoulder all year just waiting to be written.

but every time i’ve thought to get started on it, i just haven’t been able to write. i just didn’t feel ready yet.

now, normally i am the one to say JFDI. it’s not a tattoo! you will figure it out as you go, just get going.

but this time i just trusted that i would be ready to write when i was ready and i trusted my intuition to guide me. i am so glad that i did!

you see, 3 things have happened in quick succession over the past few weeks that have made the pieces finally click into place .

1.  i decided to expand my focus.

when i was thinking of the book as a business book i couldn’t write it. but then i spent my canadian summer talking to all kinds of women about the lighthouse revolution and began to think that i might expand my focus.

the moment i came home and gave myself permission to do so, the book was ready to be written as self-help… something inspirational & transformational.

in fact the entire outline basically just flowed out of me in one sitting, complete with an entirely new section that i hadn’t ever considered before! it's amazing how giving yourself permission in some way creates some space for the creativity to flow.

2. i was reminded that i am ready.

a piece of me was doing the typical, and oh so boring by now, bullshit story of “who am i to write a self help book?”  “who am i to help women find their purpose?” “maybe i am not ready yet. maybe i should get more training, more certification, more something in order to better help people.”

and then i read a wonderful self-help book by another author with a very similar message to mine. and the most awesome thing happened. instead of getting stuck in comparison & jealousy, telling myself “oh, this book has already been written. i might as well give up now!” i had a moment of absolute clarity and confidence:

you know this stuff. you’ve taught yourself all of this already. you’ve studied and explored and tested and tweaked and learned. and now you are ready.

3. i remembered that the book is for me.

a couple of weekends ago i sat down to read elizabeth gilbert’s new book big magic. have you read it yet? i highly recommend this book – so much wisdom and inspiration in there, i kind of want to just read it again and again as i know i will get something new out of it each time. 

anyhow the book + the interview reminded me of something that has shifted everything for me (perhaps it will help you in some way too.)

from elizabeth gilbert's big magic:

you are not required to save the world with your creativity.

your art not only doesn’t have to be original, it also doesn’t have to be important.

for example: whenever anybody tells me they want to write a book to help other people, i always think, oh please don’t.

please don’t try to help me.

i mean, it is very kind of you to want to help people, but please don’t make it your sole creative motive, because we will feel the weight of your heavy intention, and it will put a strain upon our souls.

i would so much rather that you wrote a book in order to entertain yourself than to help me. or if your subject matter is darker and more serious, i would prefer that you made your art in order to save yourself, or to relieve yourself of some great psychic burden, rather than to save or relieve us.

i once wrote a book in order to save myself. i wrote a travel memoir in order to make sense of my own journey and my own emotional confusion. all i was trying to do with that book was figure myself out. in the process though, i wrote a story that apparently helped a lot of other people figure themselves out – but that was never my intention.

it is the same with big magic. i did not write this book for you; i wrote it for me. i wrote this book for my own pleasure, because i truly enjoy thinking about the subject of creativity. it’s enjoyable and useful for me to meditate on this topic. if what i’ve written here ends up helping you, that’s great, and i will be glad. that would be a wonderful side effect. but at the end of the day, i do what i do because i like doing it.

it’s okay if your work is fun for you, is what i am saying. it’s also okay if your work is healing for you, or fascinating for you, or redemptive for you, or if it’s maybe just a hobby that keeps you from going crazy. it’s even okay if your work is totally frivolous. that’s allowed. it’s all allowed.

your own reasons to create are reason enough. merely by pursuing what you love, you may inadvertently end up helping us plenty. do whatever brings you to life, then. follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. trust them. create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.

the rest will take care of itself.

every other book i have written has been a book to help others – they were specifically written as workbooks to teach. i couldn’t write this book that way because it just felt different, and now i understand why. i need to write it for me.

and now i am ready. i am doing NaNoWriMo – writing my book book every day through the month of november.  i am doing this because i have this feeling that if i don't, my brain will keep telling me it's not the right time even though my heart says it is. november seems like as good of a time to write as any - bring it on!

i am also creating a new workbook too - a planner/dreamer to help us build a lighthouse in 2016, which will be ready for dec 1st - and so i will be taking a little blogging break as i concentrate on these projects.

whatever you are longing to work on right now… whatever create pursuit is calling to you… whatever light you would like to let shine… i hope that you too can give yourself permission to do it just for you. or perhaps to shift your perspective a little and look at it in a new way. or perhaps to quiet that voice in your head and ask instead “who am i NOT to?”

sending shiny creativity vibes your way. xo