I have written before in the piece on Process that I am writing these daily pieces to get all of the no’s out of the way so that I can get to the piece I say yes to. At home, I participate in a writing group because, as Matthew Kelly puts it: The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions or ourselves. We become like our friends. No man becomes great on his own. No woman becomes great on her own. The people around them help to make them great.
We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves.
I for one, believe it to be true. In our home group, the writing instructor has asked us to storyboard our individual pieces and present them to the group. Lately this has me completely stumped because when class first started, I had an extremely specific idea what kind of book I was going to be writing. Since starting this challenge, I find writing daily has morphed my thinking about how and what I would like to write. I am certainly inspired by what the others in the writing class have produced, but still feel so uncertain. I have yet to produce a storyboard, and there is a deadline now, this group is definitely pushing me to raise my standard.
This 21 Day Challenge reminds me of Morning pages from Julia Cameron’s book The Artists Way. Morning pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise and synchronise the day at hand says Julia. This daily challenge and my years of journaling has not only done this for my day at hand; it has also done it for my writing and at the same time shaped who I am now.
I am currently reading Bliss Brain by Dawson Church who lost everything except his life back in 2017 when a fire raged and destroyed all in its wake. He recommends a practise called Disasters That Never Happened - reflecting on all the things that could have gone wrong in your life but didn’t. Change is very much the same, we remain focused for so long on what we had, that we barely take the time to recognise what we have. How our old life is no longer serving us and our new one is bringing us more in line with who we are becoming. I found myself clinging to my life (and salary) as a Geotechnical Engineer; being a single woman, despite that I have been married for almost three years now and particularly thinking of myself as NOT creative, when in fact I am.
How has this daily challenge and my creative work changed me? It has given me the courage to accept who I am becoming and to embrace that wholeheartedly, warts and all.