How To Accomplish Anything

Early Morning Accomplishment

These days I start every morning working for a few hours on the book I am writing. At this stage it’s not about accomplishing anything more than simply  writing. I sit down, set up my keyboard and let the ideas flow for 2 hours. I try to roll with whatever shows up wanting to be written. Sometimes it’s a practice that I taught a group or client, sometimes it’s an idea that springs from something new. Sometimes the topic seems to spill out onto the page wanting to be written faster than I can type, (which doesn’t take much as my typing is abysmal). Then there are days like today when I find myself digging around in the corners of my own mind, looking for that elusive topic.


How accomplishment can show up.

This morning I imagine it to be like the raccoon my dog treed very early yesterday morning. My topic has scampered up the nearest tree and there it clings, hiding itself on the far side of the tree trunk, all I can see at the moment is 4 small paws and the tip of a ringed tail. Yesterday, with the real raccoon, I went back to hanging my laundry outside and occasionally glancing over until I saw the raccoon peering around to check for the dog. I’d put the dog in the house by then and slowly, after numerous cautious looks, the raccoon started to descend from the tree. He’d stop every few feet, check on my position across the yard, and then keep backing down towards the shed roof.

I peered from behind the line of clothes, waiting for him to jump to the shed and run off, but something in my neighbour’s yard startled him a few inches from the shed and Poof! He was back up the tree into the thinning branches. A few moments and many more glances and he moved around to get a better view. At that point I left him to go walk the dog, hoping that by the time we returned, he’d have found enough calm to descend and head home.

My topic seems to have settled comfortably into its own tree, hiding just behind the trunk of my ideas about this book, and all I can see is that there is a topic there, I can see the paws, but somehow, it’s been startled into hiding and the only thing I know to do is start writing anyway. I have to let go of wanting an accomplishment and trust that eventually, my topic will peer out from behind my imaginary book cover. Then I will be able to write about it. whatever it may be today.

Some days writing or getting things done is easy. Other days…? Well, not so much. That’s true for each of us.

Over the years I’ve learned not to waste time worrying about why I might be stuck. My first plan off attack these days is to make a cup of coffee, set out whatever materials I need, computer or camera or blank paper, and just start doing something with it. I try my best not to care what I am doing in those moments. I think about it like the warm-up.

I am simply moving my fingers in ways that remind them of the doing. Like a basketball player going through the motions of a free-throw without being on a court, my body gets time to warm up to the motions. I might take a few moments and clean the lens on my camera, or doodle some shapes on the paper. If I’m writing, I just start putting down words and phrases about the first thing that pops into my mind, and I let myself go. I don’t think about what I am creating, I focus on the act of creating and that seems to start the process rolling.

After that, I just keep going, trying to keep my own expectations and worries out of the creative process. It works for me and I’d love to hear what works for you. 🙂

I invite you to comment below.

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