Letting Go

“It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page.” Joan Baez

What a remarkable statement—and how true many of us have found it to be! Sometimes our best work, our truest and deepest work, just seems to spring forth without much prompting on our part.

Often, this happens in one of two ways. Either we are struggling to make something flow the way we want it to, but we’re hitting resistance, so we give up. And just when we let go of our expectations and our desires, the perfect word choice or sentence pops into our head as a gift from the universe.

Or we are not writing at all, but doing something else, something totally different—walking or listening to music or even washing dishes—when the perfect phrase or idea just springs up unbidden. Another gift from the universe.

More often than not, these moments happen when we simply let go, don’t they? We let the poem we’re writing go where it wants to go. Or we find that the characters in a story have a better idea than we do of what the next plot twist should be and they set off in that direction. Or we find that the essay we’re writing isn’t really about what we thought our theme was, but about something else entirely.

How amazing! And how helpful and nourishing it is when we can learn to trust that if we just keep going, eventually the work we’re dong takes on a life of its own. The story or poem we’re penning finds its own rhythm and momentum. Our contribution is to believe and follow where it leads.

To do this takes trust and focus. We need to listen inwardly for that quiet voice of a character, the line of a poem, the bit of witty dialogue. Then we need to catch it, so it “crawls down our sleeve,” and onto the page. What miracles lie ahead of us as we all write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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