Last year in August, with airfares and all costs considered, I invested about $10,000 in getting to a Writer’s Workshop in Swaziland with Author William Whitecloud. I wrote about it here.
The next thing I did was succumb to five months of writer’s block.
I came home from Swaziland clear on my book and ready to write. I had one week between my Africa trip and a trip to the US for the business my wife and I have together. In that week I made a start on my book in the first week of September. Then I didn’t write a word for it until the thirteenth of February this year.
Now truth be told William had given me all the tools not to need to face Writer’s Block. We did his Master Your Destiny work for the second half of the retreat, which is very much about choosing in favour of your vision. My vision required me to make some big choices though that would significantly alter my life, and it took me a little while to see what I needed to do.
Across those five months, my writing did not call me. Sure, my guilt did, but my writing felt like a task to feel guilty about, and therefore I didn’t make it my priority in spite of it being my number one vision. I was busy with two businesses.
I decided I had too many rocks in my jar, and I decided I needed to empty out all of the rocks, and then put writing back in first. I had two income generating activities in my life, there was my Business Coaching, and the Essential Oil business my wife had started, and which has become a passion for me too. On an incentive trip to New Zealand in January, that we had earned through our essential oil business, my respect for the company whose oils we are Wellness Advocates for deepened even more as we spent significant time with one of its founders. They represent everything I am writing about as one of the most conscious businesses on the planet. It became clear to me that both my writing and our business would be served by me stepping out of my Business Coaching. And so I took a very large rock out of my jar and set it aside making space for my writing.
I had now created the sown field where a new seed could be planted, where I could enter with permission to focus and to selfishly set aside the other things of life, and actually enjoy the experience of writing.
In the six weeks since February 13th I have written on all but two days, I am writing prolifically, and the process of writing is sheer joy. I have 167 pages written, and that after three waves of revision as the shape of my Preface and first eleven chapters has morphed and deepened.
I carved out time for my writing, and I made it important. My crystal clear knowing is that my writing is fundamental to my life purpose, and I get constant nudges from life to get moving on it. But life can happen to me, and until I choose to take control of my life and make purpose and meaning happen, life will be what comes at me.
The second thing that changed was now starting to write. I began allocating my mornings to writing, up to midday, and giving the afternoons and as necessary evenings and weekends to our business. After the Writer’s Workshop I was pretty clear on my theme.
The five months in between for all that I am self-critical was however transformational, as exposure to a beautiful and important aspect of our business gave my theme an even more potent twist and gave me a theme that is profound in its clarity, and it’s offer of new insights to the world.
I sat with my theme and started to write, and having carved out time to sit in my writing every day, I began to truly feel my theme. As I have sat writing about it each day, and as I have seen the challenges that face the solutions I offer, I was faced with a choice. Do I pretend away the challenges by leaving them out, or do I face them and develop understanding I did not yet have? I have chosen the latter. I have started to write about the challenges not yet having the answers, and as I wrote about the challenges the insights have landed and I have seen deeper layers of wisdom unfold on my subject.
The other thing I have changed is, I have gone back to a model of going to bed by a reasonable hour. The ancient science Ayurveda has long known the effect of the body rhythms’ as part of the natural cycle, and advocated 10pm as a time by which to be asleep at the lastest. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks, and all I’ve really cut out is time wasting on Social Media. My wife and I have also begun putting our phones on Aeroplane mode as we go to sleep, which has affected both the quality of my sleep, and my dreaming.
I now rise between 4:30am and 5:30am usually coming to awareness just a few minutes before the time my alarm is set for. I go to my study, and I write. I am writing at that time of day when the energies are magical, in the time around dawn, and my state of consciousness is high.
The creative experience that is writing needed to be honoured, it needed me to create a space, and to make it sacred. I have even made my writing space more sacred on the encouragement of my Writing Accountability Partner Wendy Ward by clearing my pile of papers off it, and by bringing some of my favourite sacred objects to sit around my keyboard.
Wendy and I had committed to a journey of being accountability partners in Africa. When I began writing in February and sharing about that on Facebook she reached out and we are both now in the early stages of our books and committed to the journey of helping one another create New York Times Best Sellers you would see on a book stand at Waterloo Station in London or Times Square in New York.
My writing has now become a joy. I cannot think of anything else I’d rather do than rush to my study and write in the mornings. I write for four or five hours until 9 or 10am. I honour the energies that have visited with me on a day and I write until I have reached a natural conclusion of a chapter or an idea. I don’t make appointments for our business till after 10am. When we travel for the business I take my Notebook computer with me and I write every day irrespective of where we are. I know that staying in the energy is critical.
The joy has become indescribable as my work truly unfolds to a level that is truly humbling. When I began, my idea was an important one, and one worthy of a book. My writing began at a surface level, and I faced what was not there yet. As I have looked for the deeper insights, they have unfolded before me, and the structure is forming that will allow me to impart insight in ways that will land deeply with the reader. It is a deeply satisfying process.
With my sleep allowing me to write early, I am now free to work on our business for a fairly conventional business day. My two big professional rocks, my writing and our business are both being honoured as they need to be.
Finally, in our business I work with my beautiful wife Petah-Jane Auckland-Hall doing something that is totally in alignment with who we both are working in Essential Oils with a company I consider to be one of the most conscious companies on the planet. We live our joy in our work, and I have now found the joy in my writing.
I know with certainty I will be published and the book will be a best seller. I have chosen that outcome, and my choices affirm it every day.
I don’t know whether to consider my five months Writer’s Block, but there were blocks and they stopped me from writing, so it seems to me it was. Now the blocks have gone and my first book moves closer to finding its publisher with each day that passes.
Ura P Auckland
Image Attibutions : ‘Ura’s Desk’ by Ura P Auckland