When I was a kid, I tried on three occasions to keep a diary.  Each time, afraid that others might happen by it and read all of my little secrets, I would end up destroying the books after a couple of weeks.  Of course, now I post all of those secrets on the web, but I haven’t given up the habit of destroying them regularly.  I’ve posted more than 600 times to this blog (if you don’t believe it, check your spam folder) but I have only 200 entries still published.

When I go through the process of writing poetry, I always come to the conclusion that what I’ve written is insanely awesome before I push publish.  Later, when I go back and read it, more than half the time I run for the delete button, not sure what veil had hidden the original, painful truth from me.

Now that I’ve been doing this for a couple of years, I’ve started to see a pattern.  The inspired stuff is always for keeps.  It’s the squeezing toothpaste shit, otherwise known as publishing for the sake of productivity, which always sucks upon further review.

Of course, the whole idea of having a blog takes a lot of ‘look at me’ attitude (in the ashram we call this ego).  But, there remains something wholly divine in the creative process itself.  Writing is like music or singing in that it is always a spiritual experience.  If you’re singing to God then it becomes a purely divine affair, but even just the act of singing or making music is engaging in the language of the universe.  This engagement can’t help but lift us out of ourselves a bit.

We have all experienced being in ‘the zone,’ writing from a place that we are not always in touch with.  On these occasions we just try to keep up with the thoughts as if we are trying to transcribe the voices on some mysterious radio frequency.  Those inspired pieces breathe of being more than just the ego.  Those pieces are special.  The other days, writing simply for the sake of writing, or writing because we just want a voice, well those pieces are special too, but they’re just not timeless.

 

What is your writing experience like?  Do you run on inspiration or perspiration?

Featured image via http://www.gopixpic.com

14 Comments

  1. I know the two processes you are talking about. There are times when pieces come to me, pretty much fully formed. Those are the ones that need the least work and become the most powerful posts. In your words, they are more likely to be timeless. That process happens most often when I chant the morning prayers while walking, or when I first wake up in the morning. In both of those situations my mind is inactive or at least slowed down and Spirit has a chance to come in.

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  2. So very true… then there are all the ones that never make the cut. I have hundreds which were once relevant or once good by old standards, but not so anymore. Some have good bones and might be quite wonderful with refreshing, but I then feel I am cheating… altering a moment in history for today’s glorification (plus I’m just really super nostalgic about certain things). So I leave them be. For as you point out, the best stuff is spiritual inspired anyway… realized in the now and not a reinvention of yesterday. 🙂

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  3. My process is much like yours. I write and write and get excited about it, then later I delete much of it. Lately I have been saving what I delete to go back to. Sometimes there is still some good truth in it, but it is not ready to give it away.

    I think a blog is less for ego and more for a place to give yourself away. Who else works that hard without pay? Does a carpenter build a chair then let you take it in your house and be comfortable on it for free? So I think we give a part of ourselves so that we can share with others and hear back from them.

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  4. I started writing back in 1988. There was no blogging, so I wrote books … I have 5 published books. I cannot tell you how many times I edited each one, but the number is astronomical. I still find places I would make changes. A time comes when I say, “Enough.” I let go and hope my efforts will serve. And guess who received the greatest benefits from my efforts… me. Putting one’s thoughts down in black and white and looking at them is life changing and challenges everything one might have ever voiced. I am much more laid back with blogging because in 24 hours or so, it is old news.

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  5. What a great post. You have managed to capture an experience that many writers go through but may not be able to articulate as eloquently. I write daily because my friend dared me to but I am grateful because some gems have surfaced from that process. I love your closing statement: “writing simply for the sake of writing, or writing because we just want a voice, well those pieces are special too, they are just not timeless.” I think this resonated with me because it hits close to the mark for me.

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  6. I know exactly what you mean about the difference between inspired writing vs productivity. But the strange thing is that sometimes people’s reaction to what I think is productivity writing is actually received better than my inspired writing. I think part of it is knowing that we are just vessels for God to speak through. If we’re focused on writing for our ego we will have a tendency to hide or filter a lot of content that may help someone. Just because I might not think it’s up to my standards doesn’t mean it should be burned or locked away because someone may benefit from it. Thanks 🙂

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  7. Yes, that is so true! We’re in this together! And I am so grateful to be here! Sometimes, if not all the time I sound like I am the only one, and, for a long, long time so it was for me, I have been the only one among my numerous members of family and friends that have parted ways with me when the Almighty chose to burst me out of box and I quit my worldly living both secular & religious. Thirty years of rejection and being labeled with all kinds of labels did not affect my determination to stay out of the box! Even so, it was a lonely journey until our Father gifted me with Blogging 101 only at the onset of this month/year and I met all, for the most, of His beautiful vessels! Now, I am no longer alone and I have much to offer to all my new loved ones from my experience of living in the Presence of our Father/Creator under His loving control and will for me and for all of you! And when I come to your site, O well! It is not a feeling at all it’s a knowledge that I am among my gifted new family of loving bloggers. 🙂

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