On Clarity, And Why You Need It (A Love Letter)
If there’s one thing I know for sure about myself and my writing habits, it’s that I need clarity in my life. And, life is puzzling. Life is overwhelming. Life can get out of control. Life can require decisions to be made. I also need clarity in my writing. And, of course, writing is puzzling and overwhelming, too. And there are tons of decisions to be made.
So often sometimes clarity is hard to achieve. When I don’t have it, I dither. I procrastinate. I waste time looking at coats on the internet. In other words, I do nothing. A couple of recent examples:
–In my ongoing efforts to cultivate meaningful relaxation time (rather than, say, falling asleep with my mouth open on the couch or scrolling through my Instagram feed), one recent evening I thought I’d do some knitting. Or maybe I’d work on that rug hooking kit I started before it got so hot? Hmmm. Not sure.
You can guess what happened. Nothing. A big fat nothing. I didn’t do either. I grabbed my phone and scrolled. And looked at photos of people who had created beautiful knitted and rug hooked items. Sigh.
–I am a dedicated online shopper. Internet retail was created just for me. I support many UPS and FedEx drivers with my habit. But sometimes I put things in my cart and then I can’t decide. I click away. I go back and take a peek. The company emails me that I’ve left something in my cart so I have to go take another look.
I drive myself freaking crazy with my indecision and lack of clarity. (Of course, some part of me must love this because I just keep doing it.) And I am here to tell you this: a lack of clarity=indecision=no progress. Whether it is buying something or writing something or being creative in any way, you need clarity.
What to do if you don’t have it? If you just can’t seem to make up your mind?
Just take a step. Take an action. Go in what looks like the best direction at the current moment. If you can’t make up your mind about what you should do, try working on something else. (I wrote this newsletter early this week, because I was full up on my novel for the moment.)
Often, clarity in writing will not happen until you actually start writing. Yes, prep work is good and I’m a firm believer in it. But sometimes all the preparation in the world won’t get you where you need to go until you launch in.
It always comes back to that, doesn’t it? Just do it. Just write.
In Case You Want to Read More…
I’ve been putting a lot of posts up on Medium for a variety of reasons. I’ve actually been planning to write a blog post about this here—thank you, Suzanne, for the suggestion). That will happen all in good time. In the meanwhile, here are links to ones that are up:
And Don’t Forget
–We had a last-minute cancellation for the France workshop, so there’s an open spot! If you’ve been thinking about it, now’s your chance. It is not too late to buy plane tickets! A week in France, devoted to camaraderie, hiking, sitting by the Mediterranean, eating delicious fish and bread and cheese and drinking wine? Plus a transformational writing experience? Yes, please.
–Join the Facebook group. Participating in groups is the only way I like to be on Facebook and this one is good. It goes quiet periodically, but then it perks up again. I try to post something of interest every day (or at least every few days). Do join us!