Life as a writing process

8am is a tad early for attending a lecture on campus at Uni.  It doesn’t help when it is a cold wintry morning and the traffic was busier than usual on the freeway.  My body was fatigued before it even started.  With warm tea in my travel cup I walked wearily to the lecture hall.  I love walking onto Campus and this is what gets me out of bed at 5.30am on these Tuesday mornings to be here on time and taking my seat.  Ready to learn, expand my awareness and prioritise me.

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

I was doing my best to wake my weary brain, listen to the lecturer, write notes and take in what he was sharing.   This lecture is for the unit I am undertaking on Creative Writing.  I am not overly creative at 8am in the morning, so I was simply trying to keep up in a logical manner.  Listen, scribe.  Listen scribe.   I could read it back later this I knew.  Later I could re-read, highlight notes and begin to integrate what he was sharing.  It’s a process that works for me.

This morning though as I was frantically scribing, something within me (not my head) was pulling it all together like a puzzle.  What was appearing in my mind’s eye was a blueprint for living. 

What was being shared about the writing process could be approached as a way to live.

Could I ‘write’ my life, not so much as with a pen and paper (although I do feel there is something in that to explore) was the process for writing a way to approach life?  Quite delicious to ponder. 

Here are some of the pearls shared that morning:

  • Writing is a messy business, don’t look for the neat and tidy.  One must surrender to the creative force and let those words come out.  It can’t be predetermined.  Neither can life.  Life gets messy.  Be okay with that.     
  • Writing isn’t done in one straight line.  The plot becomes clearer through the writing process.  It’s not all known from the first word you written.  Neither is life.  Whilst we may head towards  a goal or desired outcome, we will experience obstacles that lead us down other paths.   Go on the path you are on, stop wishing you were on another one.  
  • Writing is of chaos to order.     You have to get in it and keep moving, keep typing or writing and the way becomes clearer.  Life can’t be planned.  As much as we want to be in control.  The nature of life is not. 
  • One must be completely present in the now moment, to be the open channel for the words to appear, for the story to be birthed.  Same with life.  Be fully present where you are.  Accept where you are.  Live here.  
  • Writing keeps moving.  Writing begets writing.  You can’t think about it.  You need to get pen to paper, or your fingers moving on the key board.   Creativity requires movement.  Life is of movement.  As much as we may want to stay put, hide or contract when its gets hard and uncomfortable we need to keep moving. 
  • Progress is seen retrospectively with writing.  I feel this is true to the experience of life.  It is important to review, to reflect and see where we have come from, what we have moved through and overcome.  Celebrate where we are now. 
  • And this most delicious piece of advice write towards what I don’t know.  What a great way to engage with life.   Live towards the life that I don’t know.  Lean into it, be curious about where it takes me, whilst I can set a course a particular direction.  It’s important to be open to possibilities.
  • Finally; to write, we must show up.  How true for life.  Are you in the drivers seat?  Or are you a passenger?

Lectures start back this week, so whilst it is possible I will begrudge the alarm going off at 5.30am I am curious to be placed once more in an environment that feeds my soul and nourishing my mind.   

How could you ‘write’ your life?

Thanks to my lecturer Alan Hancock.

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