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Just Write: Feb 21

We fish toys out from beneath the couch and toss them into a box behind me. For sorting, for collecting, and soon for packing away. She tries to reach her three-year old arms underneath to reach a far-in toy; the little one comes along and casually removes something from the box and toddles away. He told me earlier that packing with the two girls is like having six arms, only four are actively working against you. We laughed at that.

“Mama, are we getting ready for our new house?”

Yes girl, I say. We’re packing and getting ready. We’re not moving today though, not quite yet. We’re not ready yet.

I’m not ready for them to be in their big new room, to find curtains that fit new windows, which bookcase goes where, a toddler bed for the not-a-baby-any-longer. To unpack once again, finding where everything can fit.

I’m not ready for the new reality, the one that has me sleeping alone, he in another room. I don’t know that I’ll ever be ready, but oh, I see it coming so very fast. And then we will unpack, to see where we can fit in each others’ lives.

::just write::


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Just Write


Just Write

I like this idea. Free writing — writing freely, writing to be free?

Just write — just right.
What is right about writing? Everything, I suppose. The freedom is in the action itself, if only I’d allow myself to do it more often…

I think I’ll start now.

* * * * *

Words have been halting in my throat and fingers these days. These months.

These years?

I buy myself yet another notebook for the shelf of blank books. I stare at its pages, get out a new black pen, place them carefully together in my bag. There they sit.

One book has a few notes in it now. A new friend’s email address. A to-do list, and a packing manifesto. At least it is writing, I tell myself. But we all know better.

* * * * *

Inside my mind, there is a woman at a desk, scribbling furiously. Another one has her laptop out, huddled on a couch with her words flowing through the click of her typing fingers.

And then, there is me, I think, screaming silently.

* * * * *

linked up — just write

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I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find…

I’ve been trying to let the lyrics of this beautiful song guide me lately. While words remain unwritten, and the blank page daunts me, there’s been some beautiful unfolding of books and the ink begins to flow…

Perhaps it can inspire you as well:

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You Are Here Now
{photo credit}

My decision to take down a notebook from my shelf of blank books (and subsequently to begin writing here at Beautiful Blank Book) has been brewing for a while now. However, this post from online friend and spiritual coach Magpie Girl was certainly the catalyst. While she was reflecting on the effects that being an “armchair critic” have on our enjoyment of the art of others, the question I feel is equally applicable to ourselves internally. Rachelle writes: when The Critic is our default position it harms both ourselves and those whom we are picking apart. It got me to thinking about the level of harm I was doing to myself, by allowing The Critic to take precedence over The Creator.

I asked myself what it might look like if the critical part of me would just can it for awhile. Two minutes later I was drafting the words to my first post.

Being present in the moment allows me to begin creating something, rather than looking critically ahead to it’s completion/edition/rejection. By just being here, I let myself be moved by my creative spirit rather than my critical thoughts.

This is a journey that’s just at it’s beginning. I’m still terrified by all the things that have held me back — that I have allowed myself to convince me to rein in — and am still often halted creatively by harmful critical thoughts. But I’m trying, trying to show my creative side respect by giving it some space to just create without criticism, to be present in the creating moment, to treat myself gently even in thought. It may be a just a beginning, but I already like where it’s taking me.

How do you let yourself “Be Here Now”? Has being present allowed you a new direction?

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blank pages


You are your own worst critic, they say.

I think that my critical self has taken things a little too far. I’ve just clued in to what my own Inner Critic has been up to, and I’m not very happy with her. She’s been very busy, watching, analysing, and of course criticising most of my creative pursuits.

But there’s more. She’s gotten very clever, this Critic. Why stop at work that I’ve done? A vigorous critic is always on the lookout for the next event, scoping new venues as it were, and my Inner Critic has found prime ground in the new territories of my thoughts and dreams. Better to criticise things that haven’t even been fully-embarked-upon yet!

No, don’t bother with that, you’ll never be able to make it work, she whispers, writing the review on my latest creative thoughts — and perhaps pun intended, as these thoughts do seem to die off well before their prime, and lie buried beneath the scathing words of the Critic. Before the rehearsals are even done, the Critic has come, and judged, and shaped accepted opinion by getting her views out before anyone else in the audience might have had a chance to decide for themselves.

I have a shelf at home, full of blank notebooks. (I’m a stationary junkie — nothing beats the smooth flow of ink from a newly-bought pen or leather-and-paper textures of beautifully bound notepad.) I buy these notebooks, imagine filling them with writing: notes, ideas, stories, lyrics, doodles, and more. I get home, however, and the Inner Critic is waiting. You aren’t good enough to write in there. You don’t have enough to say. That’s not important enough to write down. And so, believing the reviews on work not even started, I place the new notebook blankly on the shelf with the empty others.

No more.

Inner Critic, I’m not buying into you any longer. I don’t need to listen to your harsh witticisms and scathing re/pre/views. I think I’d rather develop a relationship with my Inner Editor instead. She might have some strong opinions about my work, and I probably won’t like everything she says either, but she’ll also give me directions for improvement. Best of all, the Inner Editor is excited to hear when I’ve started a first draft of anything new.

A blank notebook is coming down off that shelf. Soon, it won’t be blank any more.

* * * * *
Have you been listening to your own Inner Critic too much lately? Have you considered working with your Inner Editor instead? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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