I cannot believe I haven’t blogged since Christmas time! I drafted several blog posts, but what I wrote didn’t feel fitting. One day it’ll be the right time, but right now, I’m exploring new territory with my writing and creating. I am looking at my writing with a new lens in this new space. I’m trying to find my voice and my stride. It takes much more discipline these days and a lot of consciousness, but the rewards of being deliberate with my time and aware of positive and negative influences bring me closer to my voice.
I am about to branch out into the side hustle world, and while I’m getting things ready to launch, my writing is expanding past my creative and teaching boundaries. I still love playing with words in a creative space. I still love the basics of academic and technical writing I model for my students. And it’s all happening on paper.
That’s right! I have returned to writing on paper. Not only is it less distracting and easier on my eyes, but it’s also grounding. It could also be the tactile experience that I am enjoying. And writing on paper slows me down – something both my body and brain need. Going slower has been a goal of mine since my time on leave last fall. We live in a rushed world, and when I don’t slow down and step off the proverbial hamster wheel, it negatively affects my mind, body, and soul; returning to pen and paper is healing.
I noticed that writing on paper, besides my messy handwriting, there is less pressure to get each and every word just right. That burden of making every word just right is nothing more than a form of perfectionism, which is why many writers fail to achieve goals. Typing to get every word right was an unconscious block for making progress. With handwriting, I’m also pushing past the urge to rewrite what I worked on the day before. It’s Newton’s law of motion – consciously moving my hand and thoughts forward keeps me moving forward. Another reason for writing by hand is the focus. My focus has severely declined over the last decade. It’s not just age (approaching 50); it’s the mental decline due to endless hours of zombie scrolling and zoning out on my phone and tablet. Yes, phones are great. Heck, I used to work for a mobile app company. So I get it. I actually love playing with technology, but it’s beginning to come at a price. Writing by hand genuinely strengthens my ability to calm my mind and body, allowing me enough stored energy to focus my thoughts to a satisfying conclusion. As my brain carefully considers each letter, word, or phrase, I gain more stamina to push out invading thoughts. Lastly, writing by hand improves my ability to express myself more authentically and allows me to communicate more complex ideas. It’s like a more profound sense of critical thinking. While it also serves as a blank playground where thoughts can expand and grow beyond the page.
In addition to writing on paper, I have been consciously practicing leaning into what brings me joy, energizes me, and makes me feel authentic. I also pay close attention to what depletes me and negatively impacts me. Whether it comes from food, news, the people around me, text messages, music, or my surroundings. They offer one thing: positive or negative energy. If I get sucked into the negative, I excuse myself and walk away or pivot my thoughts or the conversation to something more neutral or positive. Negative energy is sticky energy. It’s like pollen. It sticks to EVERYTHING! It often feels light, but it quickly becomes a weighty burden. This is where boundaries come into play. They are essential to establish. If you are a people pleaser, boundaries are difficult to practice but are critical to your well-being. By leaning into the good and the bad, I (re)learn more about myself and become more confident in protecting all that brings me joy without apologizing.
Just like life, writing is a journey. Some days are trying. Some days are smooth. Self-discovery is also a journey. Creating the life you want is 100% controllable by you. Therefore, I invite you on this journey with me because, as my tagline states, journies are meant to be shared.
I’d love to hear what journey you are on currently. Please drop a comment below, and let’s have a conversation.