Writing for the Love of It

It feels good to be writing a blog post again three months after taking a self-care pause from blogging, working on my book, striving to grow a platform for a book proposal and struggling to build my coaching practice. Although the stressors that precipitated the pause are still present, it has become clear to me that I need to start writing again.

Earlier this week, I finished reading Julia Cameron’s wonderful book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond. Its effect on me has been profound, and I believe that it is one of the most personally important books that I have ever read. I have known about Cameron’s classic book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity for years, and, although I skimmed it at some point in the past, I thought her recommendations weren’t really for me. Maybe the time just wasn’t right. I bought It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again about four years ago on Kindle. My reading list is (happily!) long, though, and I just got to it last week. Reading it in the middle of my crisis-induced self-care pause was a fortuitous blessing.

Despite the subtitle, the book is really about crafting a retirement of purpose and meaning. Retirement is still several years away for me, but I am looking toward it and thinking about what I want to create for my future—especially in light of pulling the plug on all my passion projects. Initially, I thought the book might be more applicable a few years down the road, but it is so beautifully written that I kept reading, still thinking that I would enjoy reading it now but would implement the tools in it later, closer to retirement.

While not quite ready for retirement, I recognize that I am at a different kind of crossroads.

Gradually, as I read, inspired by Cameron’s ideas on creativity as a life force, I began to see that I could make her tools my own and benefit from them immediately. On July 5 I began to incorporate my personalized version of her Morning Pages into my life as a writing meditation. Reading and reflecting on her words, I realized that, as a passion, writing is key to my self-care.

Reading It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, doing my writing mediation and riding my bike over the past week and a half, I decided to resume writing my blog, but with no pressure to keep to an editorial calendar. I will write when I am moved to write. I will write for the sake of writing, because I love it, because it heals me—not to build an audience for a coaching practice or book proposal. I have been humbled by the helplessness I have felt in the face of the still-present issues that led me to the pause, so my writing will be introspective and descriptive, rather than prescriptive.

I will transition my website to a simple blog. My emotional energy for coaching or even for my book is depleted. Maybe I will return to the book at some point. Maybe I will use some of the nearly 60,000 words I have written in that manuscript for something else. Maybe it was just meant to move me part of the way down the road on my journey toward becoming the person I need to be to make the contribution I am charged with making in the world. I don’t really know, and I have decided that is okay.

As I return to my blog and reclaim the power of writing in my life, I plan to break all the rules around blogging and building an audience and internet marketing. I’m out of energy for all that. I will write for the sheer joy of writing. Hopefully, my words will bring some good to the world and will add value to people who read them.

Journalist Cyril Connolly said, “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

That’s how I feel at this point. I will write because I need to write.

Reading Cameron’s compelling book helped me to see that the things that make me who I am—cycling, reading, writing, veganism, commitment to health, compassion—are my keys to serving the world. Maybe it is much simpler and much more joyful than I have been making it. I have decided to settle in, emphasize my passions and pay attention to ways that I can make a positive difference.

Julia Cameron conceptualizes God as “Good, Orderly Direction.” The more I sat with that description, the more I loved it. I think that is what I have been given toward the evolution of my blog—Good, Orderly Direction—and I am grateful. I have an idea for a way my blog may grow into something more someday (perhaps in retirement), allowing me to serve the needs of our world in a deeper way. But, again, no pressure. I am writing for joy and healing and hope right now.

Starting today, my website will transition to a simple blog. My new title is: It’s Just Wind: An occasional, evolving blog celebrating plant-based pedaling for health and compassion.

I will keep my current web address (https://justwindcoach.com/) at this time, even though it has the word “coach” in it, and I am no longer working to build a coaching practice. Keeping the same website is easier than changing it, and easy is what I need right now.

Gabby Bernstein says, “Obstacles are detours in the right direction.” Although I really, really want to be finished with the obstacles that are constantly looming in front of me at the moment, I can see that the pause they enforced positioned me to make decisions that leave me with a sense of peace.

In this new evolution of my blog, I will write and publish as frequently or infrequently as I feel inspired to do so. Julia Cameron has such a gentle, encouraging way of nudging her readers toward action. I intend to emulate her gentleness with myself.

I highly recommend It’s Never Too Late to Be a Beginner. For me, it is the right book at the right time, a much-needed spark of hope.

So, I initiate this new phase, trusting that I am guided by Good, Orderly Direction. I believe this blog will help me navigate the uncertain roads I am traveling in this season of life, and I hope sharing my thoughts and experiences will help others and add positive vibrations to the world.