Thursday, October 6, 2011

Living In The Now

I'm in one of those moods this morning--the sun is shining, the air is crisp, there's a crow out my window--where everything feels a bit euphoric, I suppose. And I've been thinking.

Don't be scared.

I've been thinking about life and creativity and spontaneity. In my last post, I mentioned I'd hit a wall and I asked you all for advice on how to jump over it, or smash through it. You offered great suggestions! But for some reason they weren't working for me this time. This time, I was allowing non-creative thoughts to consume my mind, especially when I sat down in the quiet to write.

I'll skip the long story on how I came to this realization, and get right to it. Most people replay the same thoughts over and over in our minds (total "bag-lady moment", as Dean Winchester might say). Rarely do we stop thinking and just enjoy what we're doing in that moment. Think about something you really like to do, like read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music, or for most of us, write. When you're doing that thing, you're immersed in it. You're not thinking about anything but that thing you're doing, right now.

Unfortunately, when we're down to draft #25 or so, really enjoying writing can be difficult.

I'm finding that creativity comes easier when I stop thinking those obsessive thoughts over and over, and just live in the moment no matter what that moment is. For example, I'm drinking a cup of coffee. I am enjoying that coffee and I'm not thinking about getting an oil change, or washing the dishes, or buying laundry soap. I'm just drinking coffee. I go for a walk, I listen to the birds and look at the trees and again, push those nagging thoughts and concerns aside.

Of course, we can't do that ALL the time. We'd all be a bunch of care-free vagrants (which is great, if you want to be that). But I think it's healthy to just let go and live in the now.

And now that I sound like a hippie, I'm going to go write.


  1. Great post, Lacey! It's so hard letting those non-creative thoughts go when writing is at the WORK stage rather than the FUN! stage.

    I've been doing the Morning Pages (from The Artist's Way) for a little over a year now, and they never fail to help when I'm stressing/over-thinking/unfocused. I just scribble about whatever into a notebook, shut the cover when I'm done, and move on with my life - it gets easier with practice, but that's the only way I find I can focus when focus is impossible. Good luck to you!

  2. Lacey--you're sounding more and more like me-lol! Enjoy that coffee. :)

  3. @Marisa, I'll have to check that out and see what it is. And thanks, same to you!!! :)

    @Kristi, I feel like I've had an epiphany in the last few days. Lol!

  4. Happy writing, Lacey. Don't be down. The fact that you can do that many drafts (and the sample I read of your writing) make it clear you will ultimately succeed. Give yourself credit and enjoy the process! :D



  5. So true, and so difficult to do!

    A quote I read to myself when I need help living in the moment is, "There is no time other than now. We are not, contrary to what we think, 'going' anywhere. It will never be more rich in some other moment than in this one." ("Arriving at Your Own Door" by Jon Kabat-Zinn.)

    I struggle with this daily. Sounds like you're on the right track by trying to immerse yourself in the here and now.


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