Knowing yourself is only the first step. In some cases, it may be a long, involved first step. And, true, it’s a step that you never really leave. That self-awareness, that self-knowledge is important and it changes as you change.
I wrote a bit ago about writing as spirit work. (And I’m not the only one who writes about this. I was so very excited to see this article show up in my email by C.S. McCath!) I’ve written also, with excitement, writing goals for the year, and how I thought they were manageable, even with the working full time (three roughly 50k novels from start to finish and editing up the Poseidon novel) and really, if I am writing 10k in a weekend, it would be manageable. I even freed up some time in February to work on the writing. But then Beth and I added our Sacred Marriage book, and then I took on the Pagan Experience, and suddenly writing became a chore, and suddenly, I didn’t really want to write. Anything.
I’m not sure why I do this to myself, but I do it fairly regularly. Now, I’ve changed some habits of mine when it comes to writing that I’m glad to have changed — I’m writing regularly in that I haven’t written less that 100k words in a year, in three years now. I’ve decreased my down time, so that I’m writing more often than not. I’m accomplishing projects. This is good, and I’m glad for it. I’m proud of it, even.
My secret? My bad, shameful secret? I’m not a driven person. I’m not a person with burning, hot passions. There is, besides wanting to be blissed out in the awareness of Poseidon, nothing I want badly enough from the future to make myself suffer for it in the present. I am too constantly aware of mortality, of the finite-ness of existence, to work and work and work until I drop and then get up and work some more, in hopes of some future pay-out.
Knitting and meditation are my go-to forms for working through the mundane worries and chatter in my head. Yoga (when I can convince this body with its various, conflicting ailments, that we want to practice) and meditation is my go-to for connecting with Poseidon in a deeper way than my day-to-day chattering at Him. (Oh, crap. Am I part of the chatter in His head?). Writing the stories that come to me is my way of honoring both the non-Poseidon spiritual world around me and my place as a part of the spiritual world. Every time I come back to “I’m going to work full time on my writing, I’m going to be a Professional Author, and it’s going to be about producing material!”, writing becomes miserable. It’s not that the stories go away, because they don’t. It’s not even that anyone (er, Anyone) else gets on me for my approach . . . it’s this thing of joy and wonder and magic becomes a chore, a job, a task, and a task that has no heart in it for me, and I stop writing.
I knew years and years ago that I did not want to be a person consumed by one passion. I look at the people who are on fire for this one thing, this calling in their lives, and I don’t envy them. I have my calling, and I love my calling, but I don’t want to burn for it, and maybe that’s because my calling, as I see it, is not one simple thing. It’s to be Poseidon’s, in this world, and that’s not one simple thing. Even writing. Even with writing, I don’t want that to be the sum of all my parts. If my writing was more directly about Poseidon that might change, or so I say, but even when my writing is more about Poseidon, if I approach it with a MUST ACCOMPLISH IN X AMOUNT OF TIME I then because all writing meh.
I was upset about this, once again, yesterday. Shouldn’t I want to be driven? Shouldn’t I want to push myself? Shouldn’t I want these things? He says to me, “why are you worried about shoulds? Take the shoulds away, what do you want from yourself?” The answer always comes back to writing. And, I want to be disciplined when it comes to writing . . . but what I learned when I was working on McCredie’s story was, writing everyday does not work for me. Writing a chapter or two over two sittings is sustainable; working at a chapter or two a little bit every day for a week . . . it doesn’t bore me, exactly. It makes me feel depleted. There’s a certain amount of holding the scenes in my mind, poking at them, daydreaming about them over the course of the week, that lends them a potency, that lends me familiarity with them, that is as much a part of the story telling as the writing is. My best stories were handled that way.
Why do I ignore what I know of myself?
Poseidon shows me tidal energy. Not just the tides of the waters that rule our bodies so, but also the tidal pull of energy, and the cyclical nature of things. He reminds me of my bursts of obsession that come in small almost gentle eruptions, when all I want to do for a week or two is knit, or read, or write, or browse around. He reminds me that I’m at my most productive when I just let myself be. He reminds me that He did not become involved with me for some future person I might become, though He is curious also about how experiences will shape me, as we go. He asks me why I, then, seem only interested in this future self rather than honoring who I am now.
It sounds horrible, to admit that I’m not driven. That I’m not interested so much in striving-for, to the point that all I am is that striving. There are things I want. I want to support myself with my writing. . . . but not so much that I’m willing to make myself miserable writing in order to get that. And, I need to be more realistic with my goals. I need to keep it real.
And, this comes back to Poseidon’s influence in my life in this way: He does not allow me to get away with pretending to be other than I am. He . . . . celebrates? experiences joy? Loves me? . .. for who I am, and He has never once suggested that I am unworthy of His love or attention because I’m not driven toward one thing, because I’m not a passionate person. (He raises doubts about that passion, and He reminds me that when I’m before the sea I am nothing but passion, I am nothing but an ecstatic vessel that is consumed with yearning, and that I have moments of that even land-bound, but I mean in general. In general, i’m not passionate). He, more than me, insists that I keep it real.
May this lesson stick, this time. I swear I’ve gone through this before.