I’m currently taking an online writing class with James Patterson. He’s a prolific author. And I’m always curious about writers in their own lives. How do they do it?
He writes seven days a week. He loves writing and is as passionate today about it as he was when he began. He believes that if your writing process isn’t bringing you happiness then something is wrong and you’ve gotta fix it. His enthusiasm is inspiring. He describes his working day: morning coffee with the newspaper, writing, then lunch with his wife, then golf, then more writing. If he isn’t walking the golf course to get some air and move his body, he is writing. As I hear him describe this simple flow of what feels like freedom to me, I sense a twinge of regret — or is it resentment? — in my body. His is the kind of day I’ve longed for my entire life.
So, I explore that twinge. What is it telling me?
It tells me that I feel sad because I haven’t been able to achieve that simple focus on writing … yet.
But then I take it deeper.
Wait a minute? Who makes his lunch? Is his breakfast prepared for him? He is a dad so who took care of his children while he was writing? Does he do his own laundry? Is his house cleaned and maintained for him? And I’m reminded of a man (or two or three or four) that I’ve lived with and how his ability to close the door or leave the house was something he fully expected and embraced as his right to life.
I explore this further. I can feel that there is no part of me that would be okay with that kind of focus at the cost of home and hearth not being tended to. It’s not right or wrong, good or bad. It is just a whole other way of functioning in the world. And one that I have come to appreciate more and more.
My writing life includes and encompasses the beings I care for and the home I create. It isn’t a distraction to put the laundry in the washing machine between pages. In fact, it is a continuation of my creativity.
My day looks like this: I wake up, write, feed the dog (there was a time when I fed children, made lunches and took them to school at this time and meditation had to happen before the break of dawn), meditate, write, eat breakfast with contemplative reading, write, walk outside in rain or shine, come home to read alongside housework, laundry, gardening, grocery shopping, meal preparation and then client calls as a reprieve from the writing.
Not bad, eh? A wholly self-generated day where I am my own boss. I answer to nobody but me.
So why on earth would I feel badly that I do all of that AND write? (For all I know, JP does the same.)
I understand that what gets triggered in me as I hear about the simplicity of this man-writer’s day is a centuries old resentment of being slave to everything and everyone in order to survive. It is a thread in our human his/herstory. And it is time for that victimization to be laid to rest. But not before I honour all the invisible labour that has supported my life so I may have the luxury of answering the call to my higher order of living. And that higher order is to be found in what some would judge to be the mundane.
It is noble work to raise children, make home and tend to the needs of other beings. And as a woman in this world, I need to value my contribution. When I know my own value then I will honour my lifestyle. I may have been entrained as a Patriarchal Daughter to enslave myself to others. But when I know who I am at the core of my soul, a Mother and an Artist loaded and coded with divine gifts of being, then I can more fully appreciate the service I offer through my beingness.
The Divine in me, as me, is the one and only one who assumes my right to write and live as She chooses to be. I look no further than my own hands, my own feet and my own voice to know Her.
Heaven is an ever-expanding good. We are living in It here and now. To see the Divine in All That Is, is to know the value of every thing. And the way to rise above the powerlessness of not having the life you think you should have, is to embrace the one you do have with reverence. All that you are meant to be is right where you are now. Be still. And know you are Goddess.
In Truth & In Freedom,