As far as I can tell, intention is the most powerful and mysterious kind of treasure map there is. Over the years, I have trained myself to dream big, intend wildly, and let the failures and successes fall where they may. In the coming week, I am going to invite you to join me in a process for setting intentions for 2012.
But first, I want you to stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, put down that shopping list, and take a good look around you–and within you. Clarifying what you want in the future starts with understanding where you are, who you are, and the shenanigans you’re up to right now. So, I’m going to invite you to simply start paying attention and answering questions such as these for yourself:
- What is my writing rhythm lately? (How frequently do I write, for what duration, at what times?) Is it working for me? (Am I enjoying it, producing as much as I want, writing at the optimal hours, etc.)
- What am I reading? How is it serving / not serving me?
- How do my sleeping, eating, socializing, imbibing, social networking, and exercising choices impact my writing?
- How do my family life, work life, and community life impact my writing?
- What makes me want to sit down and write? (And what keeps me there?)
- When do I avoid doing the writing I am intending to do?
- What do I love about writing?
- What do I struggle with?
- How do I know when I’m in the sweet spot with a piece of writing?
- How do I decide when to edit (and when to stop editing)?
- Who is in my writing life right now? (friends, teachers, editors, writing group members) Are they a fit for me? (Am I energized/inspired by their company? Do they give me the kind of support/feedback/camaraderie I want and need?)
- What am I working on that pleases me?
- What can’t I seem to finish?
- What do people tell me about my writing that seems accurate?
- What do I believe about my writing life?
- What writers / books / writing do I admire?
- What do I admire most about my writing?
- What do I appreciate most about how I conduct my writing life?
- Are there habits, fears or beliefs that are limiting my ability to write in the way that I would like?
- What am I grateful for in my writing life?
- How have I written / submitted for publication / published in accordance with my goals (or not) in 2011?
- How would I describe my writing in 1-2 sentences?
- What did I learn about myself as a writer, or about writing in general, in 2011?
Maybe you’ll want to write down answers to the questions above that speak to you. Maybe you’ll want to come up with your own inquiry into who you are as a writer today. However you choose to go about it, my hope is that you will spend some time observing your writing life. Simply paying attention helps us see how our how our actions and desires are aligned–or out of alignment.
When we know the truth about ourselves, we have choices. Consciousness opens the door to possibility, and maybe even godliness.