What to write when you have no ideas? Or when you have so many that none comes to a halt for long enough so you can focus? I don’t know. But I have committed to developing a daily writing habit—500 (or so) words per day. So I write this today to honour my own commitment. Not to let myself down. What is the point of developing this habit?
It isn’t so much about the end product, what exactly I write every day in those 500 or so words. It is about the process itself. To break the block, the fear, the doubt, the scepticism, the laziness, all the different guises that self-sabotage takes. It is self-sabotage. Just like procrastination and all other manifestations of excuses for not doing something that would bring you toward your dream, your goal, your wish.
Writing helps me get things out of my mind and put them on paper. Well, sometimes on screen. But no matter. The main thing is to keep writing those 500 words per day I promised myself. It might seem silly – a promise to oneself is not a real promise after all, so one can easily break it without actually having broken anything since it isn’t a genuine promise. Right?
Part of me says ‘yes!’, but I know that sneaky part. That is not the mature, constructive part of me that I am striving to put in the driving seat, place at the centre stage and make the lead actor. No, that scheming part operates from the shadows. It lurks in the background corners when the mature adult is in the light. But when the moment is right, when the weakness is deepest, it strikes and jumps out of its corner almost unexpectedly, like a snake attacking its prey.
Almost unexpectedly. But not entirely. Not any more. I know it by now. I have taken the time and started to explore my inner shadows. We – that is, my light and shadow – are becoming better acquainted. It happens slowly but surely because that is what my mature part has decided to do. No wonder if you ask me! After all, who likes to be regularly attacked from behind out of the dark. Nobody. Noone. Not even the shadow itself.
That is why the mature adult does not attack the scheming shadow. It treats the shadow with more respect than the shadow treats it. Because the adult knows better. That’s the reason this part is the adult. Maturity means knowing better, understanding better. And, sure enough, also doing better, which ultimately leads to living better.
It is funny, really. I have been writing without specific ideas about what to write and am already almost done with my 500 words. It is the strangest thing when you realize how much you can say although you think you have nothing to say.
Self-defeating thoughts – such as feeling you have no ideas and nothing valuable to share – are another expression of the shadow. The sneaky, scheming part within us will do anything to keep the constructive and creative adult away from the lead role. Hunger for power? Doubtful. Fear? More likely.