So recently I had a phone call with a psychic.
A) Because I totally buy into that shit. B) Because I really dig the goose-bumpy chill that comes with a spot on reading. And C) I’ve been feeling really disconnected from my purpose lately and I felt Skyping with an “intuitive” might help me figure out what the effing eff I’m doing with my life.
See, for the last five years, writing has been my passion. To tell stories that make people feel, this was my charge—my duty as an earthling. I was going to touch the masses, inspire the world and, in the process, make the New York Times Bestseller List my bitch. Not that fame meant anything, of course. I wasn’t doing it for the glory, I was doing it for the “love of the craft.” Whatever. The point I’m making here is that my focus was so laser centered that the thought of ever losing it was as probable as hosting a Snow Cone Social in hell. Don’t get me wrong; hell might very well end up being my final destination, but a Snow Cone Social? Who does that?
Anyway, there I was, all motivated. Did it matter that the New York Times hadn’t call yet? No. Was I swayed by my lack of representation in the literary industry? Psh. I was on my way and trusting that gut feeling was enough for me.
Then one day I woke up, sat down in front of my computer to start writing…and there was nothing. No connection to what I’d written the day before. No inspiration to write anything new. No fluttering in my belly at the thought of landing a publisher or a huge following. There was just a resounding, “Meh.” I had no desire for the craft anymore—no interest whatsoever in moving forward with my career.
Of course, this troubled me. “Where’s my passion? Where’s my purpose? Why am I still in pajamas at three in the afternoon? Oh dream of mine, why hast thou forsaken me?” And the drama bombs began falling from there.
I have an issue with losing things. This includes control. So when I start feeling upside down, I reach out. And when I want a shortcut, I make an appointment with a psychic. This is my way—take your judgments somewhere else.
Getting back to the story, our conversation went something like this:
Psychic: You’re an artist or something… A writer?
Me: Yes! (inner dialogue: I knew this was a good idea!)
Psychic: Let me tune into what the guides are telling me… Yeah, you need to start writing more, like a blog or something. Oh, and they say you need to clean up your diet too.
Me: Oh…ok. (inner dialogue: She’s clearly a fraud—this was a terrible idea.)
Obviously this wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Firstly, my diet is impeccable…for the most part—and I was expecting guidance on my novel. Not, “Start blogging.” I HATE BLOGGING. Why would I want to invest creative capital in doing something that a GAZILLION other people are doing?!? GAAAHHHH!!!!
But somewhere between cursing my spirit guides and shaking my fist at the sky, I realized my psychic friend might not have been so wrong.
Here’s the thing: whenever life gets uncomfortable, we naturally do whatever we can to make it stop, right? We pull away from what’s causing the pain to get relief. And in the case of fire, an acid spill or a homicidal maniac, running away is by far the smartest plan of action to take. But when it comes to emotional discomfort—vulnerability, fear, not-enough-ness—sometimes avoidance is the very thing that keeps us stuck in a painful rut. In my case, the idea that I’d lost my passion, my drive, my purpose, spiraled me into a mini-depression. Writer’s block had me feeling impotent, disconnected, and talentless; and all I wanted to do was avoid Microsoft Word so I wouldn’t feel these things. Any time anything work related came to mind, I would cringe and quickly think about something else, ignoring the pang of guilt in my gut, all the while doing my best to pretend that turning my back on my writing didn’t feel like abandoning my baby.
This went on for months. Did avoiding all the yucky discomfort make it go away? Have I returned to my happy place where inspiration flows like the falls of Niagara?
So, after much deliberation, I’m going to try something different—thank you, psychic friend. Since I’m pretty fed up with spinning in place, I’m going to move toward the discomfort instead of running away from it. Instead of paralyzing myself with the fear of writer’s block, I’m going to write in spite of it. Even if it’s shit. Hence the re-launch of my blog.
I don’t know what the future holds from week to week—what I’m going to write about, if it will inspire new material for other projects, or get me out of pajamas before noon. But I do know that healing never comes from running away, and, as that smart dude with the crazy hair said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Simply put, if you want to change your circumstances, change your attitude…and then go do something different.
So that’s what I’m going to do. Show up everyday, do something uncomfortable, and maybe my passion will come back to me in the process.
If not, I’m going to replace my entire wardrobe with pajamas.