2. Only Write/Writing Abundance, Practice One: Connect

This is the second post of a projected very long series and future info product whose name is still under consideration (hence the dual titles above).  For background on what's going on, read my post from Monday. You might also want to read about the Writing Abundance system that this series is going to cover in depth.  You can do that here.  All of the posts will be readily available in the sidebar to the right, at least until I introduce it as an info product.

On Tuesday, I began the series with a post that talked about choosing paper and pen.  Whether to begin with tools or the first foundational practice of connecting is always a bit of a toss-up for me.  Generally in workshops I begin by talking about connecting.  However, each foundational practice includes exercises to play with, because, dahr, this is a writing program.  So it seemed logical to discuss the importance of finding paper and pens that you love.  But then again, maybe it's not, because nobody ever called me logical.  Crazy, yes.  Right-brained, yes.  (Often the two are confused.)  Now that we've gotten that settled, let's get going. Hands_prayer_praying_267345_l

The Importance of Connecting

The first foundational writing practice considers the importance of connecting.   I start out talking about connecting because I believe it is the single most important aspect of becoming a prolific and prosperous writer.

What do I mean when I talk about connecting?  It is actually a multi-faceted practice, and includes:

•    Connecting with the work
•    Connecting with other writers
•    Connecting with family and friends to gather their support
•    Connecting your work with the world

However, far and away the most important connection you will make is the one you cultivate with God…or the universe…or source…or creator…or a higher power…or the divine.  Call it whatever you want, establishing this connection around your writing is vital. 


To me, connecting with Source (which, for the sake of simplicity is the term I am going to use throughout) is one and the same with connecting with your higher self.  And your higher self is the source of all true and authentic writing.  In this way, connecting is about being open to receive, take what you get, transform it, and gift it back to the world.  This is really what writing is all about, no?

But we writers like to make things difficult for ourselves.  We struggle with our passions, fight with our muse; close down our connections so that the words won’t come.  It’s enough to send us fleeing from the page.  And then, instead of realizing that all we need to do is open up the connection again, we blame ourselves.  We tell ourselves we’re not good enough, not talented enough, don’t have the discipline to be writers, aren’t pretty or handsome enough (as if it mattered!).  We let that stupid, know-nothing critic come in and dominate the party.

The origin of story and voice is deep within and of course it comes directly from our connection to Source.  The thing is, in that connection to Source, you will find everything you need: truth, beauty, ideas, creativity, motivation, passion, you name it, and it will be there.    All you need to do is ask.  Really, what we are doing when we access our creativity is accessing our connection to Source.  In this way, writing is the most profound of spiritual acts.

And in these spiritual acts are the levels of awareness where stories rest.  They are also where voice and style are formed—they are your deepest essence, your true, higher self.  It is this voice that we want to draw forth and put on the page.  The goal is to show up at the page, get out of the way, and let Source guide you.  Connecting is centering, a way to get to know yourself—and Source—both of which are vital for writing with integrity and truth.

But how?

That is what we'll cover over the next few days.  So stay tuned.  And feel free to write about how you connect in the comments.

Three Rules

I'm reading Crush It, by Gary Vaynerchuk.  In case you haven't heard of him, he's the marketing genius Kodakz760_662439_l who built his father's liquor business from four million in sales to fifty million in sales in just eight years.  How did he do it?  Mainly through video blogging, with his show, Wine Library TV, and the use of social media.

His book is a quick read, and essential if you've not yet dabbled much in social media.  If you have, you'll probably get more in the way of inspiration than new information.  But hey, I'm all for inspiration!  And one of the things that Gary wrote about inspired this post, so there you have it.  Specifically, in chapter one, he writes about the three rules by which he lives.  His are: love your family, work super hard, live your passion.

I've been thinking about this three rule thing a lot lately. I'm really attracted to the concept of living life by a set of rules, which is odd, because in general I'm a rebellious type.  Years ago, in a critique group (which I seem to be thinking a lot about lately, since I wrote about it here, too) we talked quite a bit about characters with moral codes.  You know the kind–the detective who may, to outside appearances, seem to be completely insubordinate and anarchic, but when you dig deeper you learn he's got good motivation and a strong compass to guide him.  A current example of this on TV would be, of course, Dexter, who is a serial killer who kills serial killers.  

So, I decided to assign myself the task of coming up with three rules by which I live.  I approached this by thinking about what my absolute, bottom-line, bedrock beliefs are, and by how they get played out in my day to day life.  Oh, and by the way, you'll see that these are, because of my very nature, writing related, but as far as I'm concerned writing bleeds into life and life bleeds back into writing, so the two are inseparable.

Ready?  Here goes:

Three Rules for Living

1.  Always Connect.  In my Writing Abundance workshops, I always, always, always begin by talking about the practice of connecting.  To me, this means connecting with something bigger than you, most likely the divine, in however you view it.  Take time to meditate or pray, in whatever form this takes for you, every day.   Beyond this absolutely crucial practice, you can view this rule in other ways, too, as in connect with friends and family to get their support for your writing, connect with others via social media, connect with writers through critique groups or other networking opportunities.  Connecting is vital.

2. Give it All Up, Get it All Back.  This also translates to, put it all on the page, always.  I just wrote a whole blog post about the practice of letting go.  It is a worthy thing to aspire to in life, and it will serve you well in writing, too.  Put everything you have on the page every time you sit down to write.  Fling your whole self on the keyboard or paper.  Don't hold back, don't back off.  You can–and will–edit later. Fling yourself at life, putting everything out there, without worrying about what will happen.  Remember, we only think we know what is going to happen tomorrow.  I've learned the hard way that plans can change in an instant.  So don't waste time trying to control what you can't (and this includes reactions from agents, editors and readers).

3.  Write or Create Every Day.  I am a firm believer that writing every day is the best way to establish a prolific and prosperous writing career.  It is incredibly difficult to maintain momentum on a project when you are only giving it sporadic attention.  Yes, there is something to be said for taking breaks, and I'm a fan of downtime (I love me American Idol) and self-care, which I deem to be essential.  But there are 24 hours in a day, in case  you hadn't heard.  Couldn't you spend just 15 minutes of them with pen and paper?

So there you have them, my three rules.  Ask me about them same time next year and I might well have a new set.  But these are mine for now.  What are yours?  Do you like the idea of having rules to live by?

**Photo by DrewMeyers, used under Creative Commons 2.5 license.