I had overworked and stressed my muscles last week. After one day of moaning and groaning and one night of tossing and turning I decided to forget tidying the house. I sank into my giant bathtub filled with hot water and a healthy dose of Epsom Salts, and I grabbed one of my favorite inspirational Deepak Chopra books: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I keep three or four books there at the end of the tub, and a pair of cheater glasses, +2’s I think, just for this purpose. Of course those books are beginning to look a little the worse for wear with watermarked pages, loose bindings, and warped covers. But the words…the words are still good. The words are magic.
When I chose my page at random (I always close my eyes and run my finger along the edges of the pages and then open the book) I came to the last part of the chapter on The Law of Detachment. My eyes fell to this paragraph:
“And when there is no evolution, there is stagnation, entropy, disorder, and decay.
Uncertainty, on the other hand, is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom.”
I took a few moments to dwell on those words and then read on, only soon to find myself returning to that page and re-reading. I kept adding more and more hot water, and my fingers soon became prune like. My thoughts shifted to my writing. I had been stuck for a long time in moving on and writing new words, but about six weeks ago I’d had a major shift in thinking. I’d tossed out what I’d been working on. What I thought I should be working on. What I thought my small following of readers would expect from me. What I thought would be the best path if I wanted to pursue a career as an author. What a bunch of hooey. Of course I’d gotten stuck. As soon as I gave up that useless thinking and decided to reclaim the fun in writing, everything changed.
Fast forward six weeks and I realize I’m back to having fun with my work. I’d chosen to write a hero I’d never written before, and a subject that came with only a vague understanding but would prove to be fun to research.
The reasons for my happiness are there on Chopra’s pages. Embracing uncertainty in life is the same as embracing uncertainty when it comes to our writing. Stepping into that unknown land of writing a new book, without obligation to anyone but yourself and the story you’re trying to tell, is so freeing. Being uncertain of where that story, and those characters, may take you is what keeps the writing new, fresh, and exciting. There is a heightened sense of adventure and mystery about the work when you allow uncertainty into the picture, and that is priceless.
So, what revelations on life, or writing, or both, have you experienced lately?