Andi Cumbo - Writer, Editor, Online Writing Courses, Classes & Lessons

Letting the Writing Push Me Back Into Shape

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In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write. – Natalie Goldberg

I feel absolutely overwhelmed this morning – edits to finish on one book, a book proposal to draft, The God’s Whisper Manifesto just barely underway.

I have chicken I need to pack for the freezer and laundry to fold. Clients to call and animals to crochet.  If I let my mind go, I can feel my chest knotting up.

So I don’t let my mind go. I choose, instead, to stay here, right now, with the big bruise on my thigh that peeks out from under my earflap boxer shorts, with the final bite of S’s great sweet potato muffin on my plate, with fatigue and good moments tugging at me to take a day on the couch.  I know these things, and yet, still, I choose to write.

It’s always a choice – to do something else or to do this thing that settles me and vibrates my spirit in just the perfect way. I have missed it these past four days, even as I purposefully set the words aside in favor of people. I feel filled up with love, but I feel edgy, uneven, as if I’m leaking a bit out the seams of myself . . . I need my writing today to align me. Like a chiropractor twisting my hips just the right way to get that perfect crack and snap into place.

Right now, for the next hour, I will put aside the thoughts of blankets that need to be stored and cat litter that must be cleaned because I need the writing first. I need to let it slide into me like molten pewter filling a collapsing silk mold. I need to feel its strength push me back out to my full self again. . .

So I just write.

What might you need to put aside for just an hour so that you can settle into yourself again? After you do it, tell me how you feel?

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Author: Andi

I am a writer, editor, and writing teacher whose most recent book, The Slaves Have Names, tells the story of the people who were enslaved on the plantation where I was raised. When I'm not working, my husband and I are working to make our small farm - God's Whisper Farm - a retreat here at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  • http://www.whiterthansnow.org Leigh Hudson

    Great post Andi. “I know these things, and yet, still, I choose to write” is exactly what I needed to hear today. As I contemplate all the things on my to-do list. Blessings!
    Leigh Hudson recently posted…Pure ReligionMy Profile

  • http://culturalsavage.com Aaron

    “…because I need the writing first. I need to let it slide into me like molten pewter filling a collapsing silk mold. I need to feel its strength push me back out to my full self again. . .”

    This. One hundred thousand times over. This.
    Aaron recently posted…Back on drugsMy Profile

  • http://www.eclecticeditor.com Brenda

    I think one of the most powerful things that you touch on is how much writing is a choice. It’s so easy to let it feel like the time you carve out for writing “happens” (or not), but ultimately everything comes back to the fact that you either choose to make time for writing or you choose not to. There’s a lot of power in that reality, I’ve found, even if sometimes it can be hard to stomach. :)

    Great post.