Have you ever tried to ride a bike r-e-a-l-l-y slowly? It requires both hands on the handlebars, lots of steering, over-steering, under-steering, concentration, control, and a conscious effort to not think about crashing. But when you increase your speed, release your need for controlling every minute detail, and trust the idea that your momentum will carry you forward, something incredible happens. The wind rushes at you. It is exhilarating, and you scream at the top of your lungs, “Look, Mom. No hands.” Then you wave with a ridiculous grin plastered across your face as you whoosh by.
It’s easy to fall into the alluring trap of wanting certainty and control in our lives. Exercising control over specific aspects of our lives is beneficial. With our basic needs met, staying healthy, ensuring financial security, and maintaining solid relationships with friends and family, we can learn to trust and appreciate unexpected events.
These same feelings came up in a few of my writing sessions this week as I fought to stay in control of the piece I was writing. I struggled to craft the perfect sentence with precise words that lead to a foregone conclusion. I plodded and toiled and time ticked past with little to show for my efforts. Firmly controlling every detail of my progress resulted in slow progress. I became angry and frustrated with the appalling lack of words on the page at the end of an hour.
So, I tried something different. I relaxed into the rhythm of my thoughts and trusted that the storyteller inside me would provide the phrases to keep my momentum alive. I stopped sweating the small stuff. My speed increased, and the blank page overflowed with an unbelievable torrent of paragraphs that spilled onto multiple pages. I started grinning like an enthusiastic child riding a bike with no hands.
Are you going fast enough?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer