Glide Towards Success with Ease in Flow
Success seems to be a byproduct of flow, doesn’t it? Success, like flow, is all about perception. If we believe our success is only measured by our earnings or Kindle or Amazon book’s rating, then we have a popular – yet narrow – definition of success. We stop short of our potential. Whether professional or novice, writers can be probed by friends, family, and strangers with these questions:
- Wow! I’ve always wanted to be an author! It feels amazing, right?
- Where do you find the time to write?
- Can I send you some of my writing and you can tell me if I’m any good?
- How many books do you have out? Only one? Can you really call yourself a writer?
- I don’t really read (poetry/fiction/essays), so how can I know if you’re any good?
- And on and on and on….
There are wo truths that most professional writers know. First, we are bad writers before we get better. Second, when we ignore the external definitions of success, the ego boosting praise, the brisk book sales, it is increasing possible to become good writers. We start as beginners at each new project. Like pedaling a bike, we balance our need for recognition with our desire to simply produce each time we bring our fingers to the keyboard.
Are You a Good Witch…
Like Dorothy, we may be confused by the power of flow. Or deny it’s power: I’m not a witch. Witches are old and ugly!. Good writing happens when we enter flow to serve our greatest needs as well as the desires of others. When we set about writing without a monetary reward attached to it, we are good writers. Without the expectation of perfection the first draft, we are good writers. As Julia Cameron, creativity specialist and author of The Artist Way, puts it: “Our first attempts are supposed to be just that – beginnings. The trick is to be a beginner each time we sit down to write.” When we are child-like in the way we play with words allows us to be good writers. Honoring the craft sets us under writing’s enchanting spell.
…Or a Bad Witch?
Bad writers fly from one project to the next. They demand perfection of themselves and their work. Bad writers like bad witches remain in a dark sort of frantic flow. They compare their work with others. They stew over other’s successes and curse their own trials. They do not honor the process of starting as a beginner each time they write. By refusing to acknowledge their own vulnerabilities, they grieve that which is just our of reach.
The truth is we are all both good and bad witches depending upon the day, the workload, or the task at hand. Take out your journal and free-write about what you think constitutes a good or bad writer. If you find that you demand perfection of yourself, then forgive that tendency. It is a deeply ingrained behavior. Allow yourself to begin to unwind your thinking. Write in your journal for the sheer pleasure – or yes, sometimes, pain – of practicing your craft. Righting your writing by writing.
Here’s to growing your flow,