Ten Thousand Hours Of Writing and A Universe Of Heart
Becoming a writer isn’t easy, just as loving yourself unconditionally isn’t easy. But putting in the hours for both are necessary – if you really want to make your dreams happen.
Haruki Murakami knows it wasn’t just lit language and luck that forged his success with writing. It was good old-fashioned hand-blistering hard work.
As he states in his memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:
“Writers who are blessed with inborn talent can freely write novels no matter what they do – or don’t do. Like water from a natural spring, the sentences just well up, and with little or no effort these writers can complete a work. Occasionally you’ll find someone like that, but unfortunately, that category wouldn’t include me. I haven’t spotted any springs nearby…. If people who rely on a natural spring of talent suddenly find they’ve exhausted their only source, they’re in trouble.”
What he’s trying to say is that it actually takes work to be a writer.
And what I say is, on top of that, it takes deep inner work to be a writer.
It takes pure, unconditional love of the Self.
To really nail it as a sustainable creator – someone who lives a fruitful life of creativity – is to love each cell, each beat, each whisper of your beautiful heart, and to expand that love all around you. Sure, you can master all the techniques, but if you’re not fluent in the language of your heart – if you can’t connect deeply with the Self: The spirit that resides within, the true author of all your works, well, your spring will only last so long. Your words will dry up pretty quickly.
Most of our creativity falters out of fear.
Fear is simply attachment to the ego. As humans, we’re pretty adept to fear. We might even be addicted to it. This is the root cause of writer’s block, even when we’re not really aware of it. Writer’s block is just a euphemism to say that we’re afraid, depressed, or detached – because we’re not fully connected to our hearts, and therefore we cannot create with ease and flow.
And, well, society hasn’t always been kind to artists, so there’s many reasons we might be hesitant to commit our hearts to our creations. We’ve been taught that only the very luckiest in the world can exist as fully self-sufficient creatives, and that this talent cannot be relied upon – in fact, it’s egotistical, naïve or nihilistic to even think that one could succeed at such a foolish, useless life choice.
Being a creative also means stepping outside of the norm and creating things that are unusual and original. Take French artist Claude Monet: when he first unveiled his Impressionist works, they were widely dismissed as childish. Now, history has proven his artwork to be genius, widely beloved, and deemed exceptional in execution.
Andy Warhol’s pop art masterpieces, including his soup can paintings, were met with scoffs by many who felt the paintings were nothing more than junk. Wrong again.
In the 20th Century, the World Wars and the Great Depression took centre stage. For our parents and grandparents, there was no time or money left to indulge in the arts. No wonder we’ve been brainwashed to believe that the arts are reserved for the rich, or for the lucky, dreamy, languorous few.
These beliefs are further infused into our ancestral lines, and generational healing is desperately needed to change the story.
What’s the story that stands out for you? Are you afraid of failure? Afraid of being poor? Unsuccessful? Afraid of what people might think?
Or are you even secretly afraid of success, and what this unveiling could change in your life?
With all these toxic thoughts buzzing about our brains, it’s no wonder that we shut down our dreams and do something less complicated, like… climb the corporate ladder. That’s easier than doing your soul work, isn’t it?
How many times have you heard someone say, “You should lean in to your creativity when you’re retired and have more money and time”? I have. Many times. I feel like replying, “Right, like when I’m too tired to write because I have health problems from the soul–sapping job that was never my first choice?”
I believe… that it is possible to become a successful creative, if I tune in to my heart and don’t let the fear win over. I’m having evidence of that already. I also believe, like Murakami, that it takes a lot of work to become a writer. That’s kind of comforting, because everyone can succeed with hard work. It’s called mastery, and according to writer Malcolm Gladwell, it takes ten thousand hours to master anything properly.
So let’s put in the hours, and the hearts.
First, we must breathe, expand our hearts, and love. Then pick up the pen and watch the magic on the page unfold.
Softly, softly, softly, I tune in to the truth of my heart. And when I listen, fully listen with every cell in my body – not just with my ears, but with every bubbling organ, every surface of skin, every twist of hair – I can attune to the beautiful, gentle whisperings of my heart which rises to a crescendo. I am fully present. Here.
With me. My Self.
When I’m deeply embracing my heart, I know I am a powerful, truth-telling, vibrant writer, full of personality and life. I have a skill that is unique to other writers.
I accept and love all other writers. I love all beings on this planet, unconditionally. Because I love the beauty of my heart, unconditionally – therefore I can love, and be met with love.
And so I can write.
Listen to my podcast, “Silencing self-doubt”, if you’d like some tips on how to overcome the toxic thoughts that hold us tight in the web of writer’s block. Then, listen to my “Meditation for Creativity.” Let me know what shifts for you! Just search “HeartWriting” in your favourite podcast app, or follow the link www.heartwriting.com.au/podcast. I know you’ll be back in your creative bliss bubble very soon!