Quote taken from a blog post by incredible Pam at Walking On My Hands
I’ve been listening these last few days. It was essential.
After intense weeks of PA work on two different fashion shoots my writing fell by the wayside. Then in the days following these jobs I wanted to do nothing more than veg in order to recover.
I read a lot. I also slept. I did not, however, write.
I always find that these intense work interruptions create a break in my writing momentum and it’s difficult for me to get back into a daily writing rhythm. I know I need to work on this or I’m going to find it difficult to straddle the film and writing world as I work my way through the industry and try to make some money. I haven’t quite figured it out how yet. It’s gonna take some time and experimentation.
Thankfully (or not) at the moment I’m waiting. I’m applying. I’m hoping for a paid job in the near future and am writing in the meantime.
Right now, I’m listening to the space between thoughts of unemployment and job searches. I’m hearing the voices of my current screenplay as the characters fight it out in my subconscious.
I ended up two months behind in my screenwriting class, but I realized if I did four classes a day I could catch up and finish the course with a bang. And I have caught up. I have written my little fingers off, coming up with subtext, outlines, character and plot. And the not so crazy thing is that I have enjoyed it. It’s gotten me back in the swing of creating and writing.
I still have days when I get scared of that white page and find myself (like tonight) up past midnight sipping chai after chai, watching the stories as they dance before my eyes.
What gets me up and going every day; what allows me to begin again every day no matter how much I am struggling, is the faith I have in my own storyteller, like Katrina spoke of above.
I no longer doubt my inner writer, or push her around, or cover her mouth with my hands. I simply sit and listen, for she is always there telling me to create. However, in order to listen I need to create space; to open up my laptop, pull the cap off my pen and force myself to get something down on paper every day even if the words I write down are not exactly the words my inner storyteller whispers in my ear.
I’m lucky that I had the opportunity to write a daily blog for a year. This honed my faith in my writing ability and now I don’t have to listen to my inner critic telling me I should give up every time I find myself struggling to get the words down on the page. I push past that misery guts and listen out for the web of ideas my inner storyteller is constantly spinning. Knowing that she’s always around, working hard, gives me the faith I need to simply sit down, listen and write what comes.
What advice can I give you on creating space for your inner storyteller? Here are a few ideas:
- Find a space where you can create your writing ritual. Make it a safe, sacred space where you can play creatively with your writing.
- Before you start writing, ask your inner storyteller to come out and play.
- Create a ritual around writing and listening. Start your writing day with a prayer, a writing exercise, a cup of tea that relaxes you and gets you listening, a yoga sequence that settles your worried mind. It’s up to you… whatever works! Just create the ritual and stick to it till you can’t stop yourself from sitting down to write.
- Turn off your phone, the television, the radio. Close the door to your family. Block out the white noise. (I need complete quiet to write, personally.)
- Locate your writing space in an inspirational place, e.g. in a room with a great view or a your favorite coffee shop in a busy neighborhood. (I need to stare out at nature and life taking place to find my listening space.)
- Take a walk or exercise, let your mind wander. Many famous writers have used exercise as a means of connecting to their listening space where the ideas begin to flow.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – write every day. And if you forget… Begin Again
How do you create space in your life to listen to your inner storyteller?