Didn’t intend for this to be a trilogy of posts but have some more thoughts to share on it so here goes. If you haven’t read my Part I and Part II posts on this theme, might want to check those out first to perhaps be able to follow my train of thought. Or, don’t and give ‘er a go anyway. I wish you luck. I can barely stay on the traintracks when I read my own stuff.
I read a book about a month ago that I was so engaged by, I read it in 2 days. That’s fast for me. I usually like to read slowly, absorbing each portion of a read bit by bit, contemplating what the words on the pages I just read mean to me. Often, I’ll have a notebook nearby or my word processor ready to save all of the wisdom. But this book, I couldn’t put down.
What’s the book you ask? Hang tight, I’m getting there. The title might make you stop reading this and hit the back button in your browser. If you do that, I could miss out on getting a like or even better a comment out of you. I like those things so humour me and keep reading okay? Plus, maybe this post will inspire you and I really really really like it when that happens.
I’ve been on a roll of selfie helpie kinda books lately, with an eye on ones to help me achieve my 2016 goals. One goal is to cook more. So I dusted off the crockpot and bought a slow-cooker cookbook. That’s a self-help book in my eyes because I’m a lousy cook. Another goal is to yet once again, try meditation. The why’s of that one are too long to get into so I’ll save that for another post.
So the book to which I refer is about meditation. BUT WAIT … don’t stop reading because I said that if you’re not ‘into’ meditation. There are some primo lessons I got from the book that dispelled some of the myths I bought into about the practice and broke down some of the walls I surrounded myself in as to why I couldn’t meditate successfully. And because of my first two posts in this threesome, I now realize those lessons translate over to my writing. That’s what this post is really about.
The short’n’sweet of it is this:
I can’t fail at meditation. I can’t fail at writing.
Why? Because quote-unquote failure is a part of it.
And therefore, if it’s a part of the practice, then our so-called failures within it are success. Wow – what a revelation. What I believe qualifies for sharing on epicfail.com is actually something to be proud of, to claim victory to, and to share without reservation with anyone who will join me in being a little (or a lot) perfuctly fecked up. Cool.
To almost, almost finish this post, here are 3 quotes on meditation from folks who know a thing or two about meditation and about writing. The original quotes are then paired up with my rewording of them to apply them to writing instead.
Mark Epstein: If meditation is hard, you’re probably doing it right.
If writing is hard, you’re probably doing it right.
Sharon Salzberg: Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to overcome so that one day we can come to the ‘real’ meditation.
Editing again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to overcome so that one day we can come to the ‘real’ writing.
Dan Harris: Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It’s about feeling the way you feel.
Writing is not about writing a certain way. It’s about writing the way you write.
And to almost conclude this post, here’s the book I am so enthralled with. Thanks for waiting for it (if you didn’t already scroll down to this part that is) …
How I Tamed The Voice In My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, And Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story
By Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America
Chances are I’ll write more about the book. It’s had such a large impact on my life I practically can’t not write more about it. In the meantime, you can find more about Dan and his book in the following links. Be sure to take a peek at this YouTube video too. If a person who experienced having 5.019 million people watch him have a panic attack on live television can figure out how to be 10% happier, my hunch is some of us writers – no, ALL of us writers – can figure out how to be 10% writier (yes, I made that word up, it’s not a typo). And a lot of it lies in not only accepting that we are perfuctly fecked up, but in realizing that is the absolutely perfect way to be.
In partial response to today’s Daily Prompt – Incomplete. Or maybe more so I can say I’ve completed a trilogy of posts for the first time. I dunno.
Image source: Celestine Chua user on Flickr.com, CC2.0 Generic