Strike While the Iron is Hot

to write is to birth what is already conceived...
to write is to birth what is already conceived…

When it comes to motivation and inspiration, they go hand in hand.  But sometimes, when you’re inspired to do something, it doesn’t fit into the schedule.  So, what do you do with that then?

I personally believe in striking while the iron is hot.  Inspiration doesn’t come around every day and there are times when it’s difficult to come back to it once that initial flow has subsided, so I tend to just go with it.  This is what happened to me on Saturday so I wanted to quickly share a little about my crazy brain-dump of a weekend.

This is what it looked like:

Saturday

5:15am – stumble out of bed to take youngest sonshine to work

6:15am – stumble back into the house and stand in the kitchen trying to decide if bed or desk is the right place to move to next

7:00am – after procrastinating, eating and cyber-socialising, I start to write.

For the rest of the day, in spits and spurts, I wrote.  By 9pm, I had written 6057 words.  It is singularly the most content I have ever created, ever.  I went to bed pondering how the following day may look and promptly crashed into dreamland.

Sunday

5:15am – stumble out of bed to take youngest sonshine to work

6:15am – stumble back into the house and stand in the kitchen trying to decide if bed or desk is the right place to move to next

6:30am – got cracking on my draft.  I decided that I needed to ‘complete’ this today, because like many downloads of this nature, if I don’t strike while the iron is hot, I will never release the inspiration to anyone.

It took me until around 4pm to finally have my work ready to download via a subscription to my blog, create all the right links and bits and pieces to publicise what I’ve accomplished and end up with something I am super proud of.  Does it say everything I wanted to say? Not quite.  Will there be any mistakes in it? Probably.

But when a moment like this occurs and you end up dillydallying around making it perfect, it might just miss its moment to shine.  I expect that those who read my words are intelligent, savvy and intuitive people; folk who can work out what I’m trying to say through my honest, transparent and quirky style, so I don’t suspect a few grammar or punctuation errors are going to deter them.

So then, what was this all about?

  • Strike while the iron is hot – throw caution and housework to the wind. By take out if you have to.  Just don’t let that moment pass you by because it’s a shy creature, creativity, and rarely comes by again looking and feeling the same way.
  • Don’t over criticise your own work.  In moments like these, your true voice rings loud and clear.  Don’t over edit or refine what you’ve done.  Just let it breathe on its own!
  • Enjoy the moment and do cartwheels if it helps to release the bubbling tension in your gut – I went  for a walk this morning and felt giddy with genuine pleasure at what I have achieved.  This is not narcissism or self indulgence.  I truly believe I was feeling the pleasure of God in that moment.  Enjoy it – you deserve it!

So, that’s all for now folks.  My arms are beat up and I now have to be self disciplined and write for my clients.  The voice control may be in use today!

Have a wonderful week and be blessed with incredible spurts of inspiration!

 

For now,

 

Miriam 

I’m not going to write today.

I’m not going to write today. I’m dog tired and bleary from a very busy few days, so no, I’m not going to write today.

You see, I’m really good at starting things, but it’s a challenge to cross the finish line. A typical firstborn, I like to make a great impression off the bat and so pour almost every ounce of myself into that first few moments of a project/friendship/etc.  

But sometimes something odd happens. It’s like someone or something unplugs me and my power drains out. I need recharging all the time – is this how other creatives feel? Or am I but one?

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So you see, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to write today.  I just don’t have it in me. My mind is slushy, not from alcohol but from sleep deprivation. Did you know that even if you’re getting sleep every night, you can still be deprived? I learned that a little while back. It makes sense now how some days I feel like I wander through, vaguely managing to get things done but having no sense of time or direction.

It’s just going to be too hard to write today. My arms are sore from working solidly yesterday and my body just wants to lie on the couch and absorb sound waves from the telly. But it’s funny you know, because we think that watching telly will help us relax, because that’s what we’ve been taught it does, but it’s a lie.

 

It saturates us, numbing us to the sensations we are otherwise surrounded by: birds, trees, rivers and seas.

 

We can watch them on the telly – even see ones that we will never see in our lifetime. That’s a good thing, right? And as we marvel at the rare insect from the Amazon crawling along our telly, we miss the wondrous marvel of the spider systematically weaving its web outside our back door.

So, I’m no going to write today. And I’m not going to watch telly. I may have to unplug the darn thing but I will resist. At least until dinner time, when me and my family gather around it to eat. We watch, we chat, we commentate on world events from our armchairs and scoff our food down. We catch up on our shows and crawl to bed after an evening of entertainment. We miss each other’s cues and go to sleep, blissfully unaware of each other’s worries.

 

But we’ve shared family time and can tick that off the list for today. That’s got to be worth something, doesn’t it?


Anyway, I just thought you had a right to know that I’m not in the mood to write today, so I’m not going to write. Thanks for understanding.

Miriam

Now why did I have to go and discover that for?

11:10pm. Way past my bed time, but I get so wired up after going to the drama class. But I had to put pen to paper, so to speak, to get some stuff out of my brain box. I find early morning and late night my mind is quieter and I can encapsulate what is going on.

So it’s no wonder that while driving to my drama workshop I inadvertently discovered something. I realised why I had been having trouble choosing a script that resonated with me. It’s always the way, that when I discover something wonderful, I often end up discovering something else that is potentially wonderful, that simultaneously has the potential to be terrifying. I’m often left thinking “if only I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t have to deal with the crossroads that I’m at now”.

What did happen during the week was that a) I forgot to find a script until last night and b) after looking through a couple dozen, I didn’t end up choosing one, and instead wrote two of my own. I’ve done this before, with other creative pursuits and what I realised in the car, was that I made a choice that was governed by my default position. I chose not to choose someone else’s script because that puts me in a vulnerable position.

I might not like the script and therefore not do it justice
I might do a bad job and be criticised
If I feel judged, I will probably feel like I’ve failed and won’t want to try again

So it seems that my choice has nothing to do with finding a good script and everything to do with feeling vulnerable to the fear of failure.

Great, now I have a choice. Damn. Now I am at the crossroads and am vulnerable to whichever direction I take.

On the one hand, if I choose to stay where I am, I let go of any opportunity to grow through my inhibitions and fears, and possibly even overcome them. On the other hand, if I just go with it, choose a script, even if it doesn’t immediately grab me, and just see what happens, I might just break free and release something extraorodnary hiding away.

If I’m to be totally honest with myself, I don’t have a choice. This is why I say that it’s a shame when I discover something of this nature, because once unearthed, I cannot ignore the new information. I’m an addict of sorts. An addict of self discovery and growth. I cannot help myself!

So, even though I am pretty sure it’s going to be uncomfortable and I’ll feel pretty vulnerable at times, I am going to open this chapter to find out what’s inside. Maybe it won’t be so bad this time! Maybe I’ll get through it more quickly and with greater success than I have in the past. Maybe I’ll stop judging my future attempts by my past ones. And maybe I’ll discover a new default position has taken the lead and not only my writing will benefit, but my inner being will too.

Time to open this chapter and get discovering. After I sleep :)

(C)2014 Miriam Miles. All rights reserved. http://www.miriammiles.wordpress.com

Don’t let me run…

I relish the thought that my words may someday resonate so deeply within a persons’ own core, that they become a part of that person.  That at the moments when they need them the most, my words vibrate their physical being and cause them to rise up to whatever demon or mountain they face.  

Desert

I don’t care for words that flatter or words that pump up a false sense of security.  ‘It’s going to be okay’ is probably one of the worst.  Maybe it’s not going to be okay?  Have you ever thought about it? Or how about this one ‘I’ll be thinking of you’.  That one is really saying ‘I am really uncomfortable with the situation you are in, and I don’t actually know how to help you, so rather than tell you I don’t have the answer, I’ll just placate you because that makes me feel better’.

Jaded much? Perhaps.  Words are powerful.  Some are like a grenade and some are like a cool glass of water on a stinking hot day.  I hate the words that tumble out of the mouth without reason the most. The ones that are uttered with no heart; no desire; no belief.   

It’s time that we stop saying things that we think make the situation better.  

Who do they make it better for? You? Or your friend who is drowning in the quicksand of depression?  What makes you think ‘It’s going to be okay’ is what they need to hear right now?  Stop talking and start helping.  HOLD THEM.  They’re drowning!  Grab their hand and cry with them.   

Sob into their shoulder as they let go because they’ve finally found someone who isn’t afraid of their pain.

You see depression and anxiety run together.  They feed off each other’s wins too.  You can be both depressed and anxious at the same time.  For me, this is sometimes the case and it’s genuinely exhausting.  On the one hand, you have depression swallowing your fight and on the other, anxiety is stirring you up, slapping your fear senses and throwing fuel on the fire of paranoia.  You’re caught in a vortex of sorts, being sucked in and frantically trying to get out.

Other times one takes the lead.  If it’s the darker beast, it grabs me and like a constrictor, slowly and systematically squeezing every ounce of fight out of me.  Sometimes I forget that I can fight, and I let it win.  It slows me to a coma, closing off my tenuous connections with society and support.

It’s these times that I need you to grab hold of me.  Pull me back.  Don’t tell me to help myself.  If I’m this far gone, I don’t remember how to.  I’ve lost my words.  I’ve forgotten my strength.  I no longer recognise me.  This is why I need you.

I don’t need you to be brave or have answers.  I need you to be real.  I need you to cry with me and walk alongside me.  I need you to stop trying to fix it and just be here…in the dust…I need you to be real.

And if it’s the razor rather than the snake, it cuts me into little pieces, and I am fractured and confused and full of paranoia and fear.  I can’t rationalise that this is going to go away.  I’m like a jack in the box being continually sprung with no respite.  I’m coiled up inside, mentally constipated, unable to formulate ideas that will release me from its’ grip.

So then, grab me for I shall run. I am in full flight. When I say I’m okay and you can see that I’m not, don’t listen to my lies! Grab me. Speak black and white words. Don’t wait it out and see. Slap my mind with your concern. Tell me you don’t know how to help but you want to anyway. Shout so that I hear your words because the noise inside my head is deafening. It drowns out all sense and reason.

 

Run, run, run! All I want to do is run. Don’t let me run!

 

Hold me until the shaking subsides.  I don’t mean emotionally.  I mean physically.  Waste your strength on me, for I am worth it.  Your solidity surrounding my fear tells me, somehow, that you believe I am worth it.  I need this right now, more than I need air.

This is what friendship is all about.  Being there when the boat is capsizing.  In the waters, waiting out the storm, arm in arm.

You may feel like you are doing all the work but please know that I am in this too. I’ve not disappeared – I am still here but I am trapped.  I am here, and your strength is rushing into me, flooding my senses, bringing me back to life.  You are my lifeboat right now.  You are humanity holding on to the one who needs you most right now.  You represent the core of being human when you refuse to let me go.

And as the storm subsides, you will feel it.  The release.  Your strength may be used up but what you must know is that it will be replenished.  For what you have given, you will receive ten fold.  Your sacrifice has brought me back from the brink of turning to stone.  Your hope has revealed new truth to my despair and my fractures will now begin to heal.

Will this happen again? Maybe.  Possibly.  I don’t know.  Maybe many times.  Maybe never again.  But know one thing.  You didn’t let me run.  Your aid delivered a strength that no drug can recreate.  Hope.  You gave me hope, though you may never have realised.

Someone cares. I don’t need you to have the answers.  I just need you to care.  To show me that I’m not alone.  To hold my hand when I am afraid.  To cry with me and hold me.

Your words count, yes.  But your actions scream louder than any perfectly scripted letter.  Use both in tandem, and know that you are part of why I chose not to run this time.

Sometimes depression comes calling. It’s time to stop answering.

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Sometimes depression comes calling. Sometimes it’s hard to ignore, because it creeps, quietly, slowly, taking it’s time. One door at a time, you enter in, initially unaware of the game, until eventually it sucks you in and you’re lost to the labyrinth within.

Feel familiar? Hm, I know this beast too. In fact, as I write this today, I sense it’s pull.

It’s a lethargy. A senselessness. A numbness that tries to take over the senses. The body wearies and the eyes become laden. The mind, sodden with claggy, muddy half-born concepts. The heart grows colder, isolating itself from the pulse of the mind, eventually taking you down and over the edge.

I write these things, not to scare, or to torture the psyche, but to reveal the occasional inward workings of my mind. I write these things to remain transparent.

I too suffer.

Sometimes for just a short while, a few hours perhaps. Other times I am not so fortunate and days go by before I realise how long I’ve been wandering around the labyrinth.

I write these things for you who know this place.

Rolling down the hill into a depressed state is not something easily understood. It’s not something that can really be categorised. It’s not even something that you can truly recognise each time, as it wears so many faces.

It is a chageling, a chameleon, morphing itself to suit your current circumstances.

It is wily, and therefore we must be wily too. On guard, day to day, minute by minute, we must stand against the assault.

Aware, awakened and alert.

R.I.P. R.W.

Unravel My Skin

 

I don’t know much

About genre, or form

All I really know

Are the colours I’ve worn:

Metre, rhyme,

Rhythm and style

Awaken the words

Like a song in the night.

 

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I thought I wrote songs,

Turns out I sing prose.

Turns out all those sounds

Would eventually come ‘round.

This new life that I’ve got?

It’s one that I chose,

Carefully shrouded,

It finally arose.

 

For there was a time

Where I hid behind lines:

Stave, key and melody,

Hidden behind time.

And there I remained,

Nearly wasting away,

Until I let go,

On that glorious day.

 

Wasn’t till I released

This magical beast;

Not until I said yes

To syntactical bliss,

That once again yoked

With my words, now we’re one,

That now I can sing

My words yet unsung.

 

So, sing well dear sentence

For in you there’s no pretence.

You’ve been born this day

Now say what you’ll say.

Unravel my skin

Release what’s been held:

The words that spring forth from

This deep hidden well.

 

(c)2014 Miriam Miles. All Rights Reserved.