Repetition or Renewal?

The New Year seems to bring with it both a sense of dissatisfaction and sometimes an urge to do better this time around.  But we’re creatures of habit, doing almost everything the same way every day, which can lead to seeing things the same way and thinking of things the same way.

As creators, such repetition can be deadly. Writers and artists are told not to get fancy about waiting for inspiration. Just show up. Go to work every day with your proverbial lunch bucket and put in the hours. It’s the only way you’ll get results.

True. But just turning up can also mean that we become predictable and uninteresting. We have to leave room for a mind and spirit spa day. A chance to feel good about what we are doing, because let’s face it, so much of writing and creating is sheer hard work, persistence, and equanimity in the face of rejection.

 

1. Back to the writing desk

The annual custom of New Year resolutions can remind us of a simple exercise in this regard.  Take a few minutes or hours off your writing routine and re-connect with the first time. The first time you fell in love with a book. Remember it. Savor the experience. Bring back as many of the details of the book, the environment, and the circumstance as you can. Re-connect with the time that you decided you wanted to write—as a vocation, as a practice, as what you wanted to do in life. When was that? What were the circumstances? Again bring back as much as you can. Finally re-connect with the time that you felt most creative, whether it was in writing or in some other activity. Re-create in your being as many of the details as you can.

You don’t have to make any other resolutions for your writing. The hard work and your own initiative will bring about the necessary conditions for the next step. But you want to feel excited again about what you’re doing. It’s up to us to decide whether we go on just repeating the past or renewing ourselves before we take the next step.

2. Let it Flow

 

IMAGES

1. Julian Tysol, “Shire Horse.”

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shire_horse.jpg

2. Jon Zander, “Butchart Gardens Fountain.”

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fountain_in_Butchart_Gardens,_Victoria.JPG

 

 

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