A couple of weeks have passed by, my laptop has sat disused on my desk, and my writing has been neglected.
If I’m honest with myself, I am feeling a bit guilty that the time has passed. What if the momentum I built has gone away? The blank page has sat here, neglected, for weeks. How could I leave it alone? How could I let all the momentum that I have built over the last year and a half dissipate in mere weeks? What if it’s all gone? Real writers don’t have down weeks. Real writers write. Isn’t that what I teach? How can I keep teaching if I am not practicing what I preach?
The cursor blinks. And I sigh.
The truth is that all creativity goes in cycles. All of it. I’ve learned that it’s unreasonable to expect myself to be creative every single day, all the time, without pause.
Kate Northrup and her mama Christine Northrup talk about this thing called the fertile void. It’s a turning inwards, a fallow period, where creativity stops, and I appear to not be doing anything at all, but upon closer examination, that is not the case at all.
My soil is resting. It’s breaking down all the nutrients that I have taken into myself in the form of experiences, heartbreak, suffering, joy, laughter, and living and turning them into the ground that will grow what comes next.
Giving myself the space to be fallow is not a failure.
And I am willing to bet that my best work is yet to come.
So, I return to day 1. Page 1. Word 1.
In my world, over and over, I have come back to the lesson that it’s not a failure to stop, get “off track”, or take a break. The failure comes when I get so stuck in my own guilt that I don’t return to day 1. The longer it takes me, the worse I feel, and the more I resist coming back.
But so far I have always come back. And it always feels so good when I do.
Coming back to day 1 is the win. And this will not be the last time day 1 and I meet. It’s a new beginning. And new beginnings are wonderful.
In fact, it’s not so much a new beginning, as it is resuming after rest. I mean, would I expect a mountain climber to summit Everest without stopping for rest? No. So why am I so hard on myself?
For me, it’s the cacophony of social media, the hustle culture and the idea that if I am not hustling for my worthiness then I might as well give up altogether. It’s my desire to be “good enough”, to be “worthy”, to be “exceptional”. And it never leads me anywhere good.
I have found myself looking at my social feeds lately and feeling repelled by the hustle culture, the manipulative marketing, and the constant invitations to “improve myself” with one program or another.
I am good enough just as I am.
And I think it took this fallow period for me to see it.
I want to gently invite you to reflect on where you need to come back to day 1 in your life. What are you resisting, feeling guilty about, or procrastinating on? What have you been through lately in your life? What is your soil busy breaking down in order to produce the next abundant harvest of awesome that you can’t see coming yet?
You can rest. In fact, you need to.
Consider this your permission slip.
And when it’s time to come back to day 1, come back. I will be here waiting.
With so much love,