Every few months, my creative compass as a blogger goes a little awry and begins pointing towards approval seeking. My writing leans towards the show-offy shortcuts and borrowed genius. My effort becomes to craft that cleverly-written post that will get the maximum likes.
The symptoms are familiar: I begin to be driven by a compulsion of proving. I become a little hurried and irritable. I contract when given criticism. I wait anxiously for responses as a measurement of my worth. In essence, I become a victim of the blog.
At such times, I get a reminder from my mentor GD of the real reasons that we write. I had shared it in a post many moons ago in the form of five questions to ask before you blog. But it can be applied to any form of creativity. I am reposting here for so many new fellow-bloggers and readers who have joined since then. It’s a goldmine of wisdom that helps me get back on track.
A reminder that, as GD says: “Writing is just your excuse to connect with the Source. It is a means for your evolution – your device for meditation. A blog is just an excuse to be in that space. It’s finally not even about honing your skill as a writer – it’s about finding your integrity. Are you becoming a puppet and dancing for others? Or are you finding your truth and acting from there?”
The original post reproduced below:
The Awake Blogger
(Originally Posted November 2012)
A few months ago, when I was just beginning my blogging journey, I had asked my mentor GD for some tips on blogging as a path of reflection and self-learning.
The insights he shared in the form of questions to ask myself while creating a new blog could well be insights one could use while creating anything new. Just replacing the word ‘blog’ with cartoon/artwork/book/poem/screenplay could make the same questions a blueprint for any creative person seeking to tune into a higher and wider inspiration.
Some of the questions overlapped, but each was worthy of being asked again and again every time I sat down to create a new blog.
1. “What tiny contribution can I make to the planet today?”
Beginning with an attitude of being available for service silently opens the doorways of intuition and inspiration.
2. “Who am I being when I am creating this blog?”
GD’s one constant reminder to those around him is to develop sensitivity to who they are being rather than focusing only on what they are doing. Everything we create, he says, carries an invisible energetic signature of our state while we were doing it. The most brilliantly written post about love can have the energy of arrogance, fearful desperation or pushiness. Regardless of whether people consciously pick it up or not, they respond to the energy. So the underlying energy is as critical as the content and the awake blogger must gradually become sensitive to his energy while he is creating a blog post.
3. “Is this blog coming from a state of Flow or is it coming from a should, a must, a need-to?”
Sometimes, the starting point for a blog can come from a mind compulsion – a panic that too many days have passed, a fear that one is going to lose one’s readers, a desire to get validation, a need to project oneself as more evolved. Forget about enlightening others, GD told me once, blog for your own evolution.
4. “Do I have a desire for a specific outcome?”
If there is, GD said, you will manipulate the flow into a fixed direction. You will not be true to the natural impulse in the moment. Sometimes, just like the expensive car and house – blogging can also become another vehicle for self-gratification. Instead, consider approaching it as being an expression of me being fully, simply, me. So the question to ask is: am I being honest to myself and my deepest integrity? Is there any form of deception creeping in? Is there any subtle greed and fear operating?
5. “Is there any part of me which wants to convert/coerce others into changing their point of view?”
The analogy GD gave to explain this was that of a handsome gulmohur tree. Seeing the tree may inspire us. But the tree is not trying to make us like it. It is just standing in his own truth. As we get into the Flow, blogging becomes as natural, effortless and spontaneous as the bird singing its own song or the flower sharing its fragrance: a spontaneous happening with no thought for the result. Along the way, GD cautioned, don’t become too attached to your point of view. ‘Don’t hard-sell,’ he said. ‘The harder you sell, the more resistance you will face. Don’t take your own wisdom too seriously!’
Finally, GD reminded me: Don’t judge your old writings – your old blogs. That was the best you knew then. Appreciate yourself for going out there and saying your piece. And thank the blog and the readers for giving you an excuse to Flow. Everything in life is a means to return to your true self. Let the blog also become another reason to dive deeper into you!
13 thoughts on “The Zen of Creativity”
Apologies for deleting the “repost” of the same article a few hours earlier. But the custom-built format for a repost in this WordPress theme is so unwieldy and confusing. I felt this post deserved better 🙂
I’m glad you re-posted this. Yes happens to me too, not just in writing but every aspect of creativity that I am a part of. Been feeling for a long time to do a post on writing itself and perhaps it is calling to more strongly now. Thanks for this re-post. I apply these questions to making music because at this point in time I can see I am trying to undo the approval-seeking in it and return to the original joy of connecting back to Source through it. 🙂
When I looked into the approval-seeking today, I found that the story that I am not good enough is deeply entrenched in it. As well as another story that GD suggested I enquire into: “I need to write a perfect piece every time”. Which is insane & impossible, of course! Maybe this will help you also as you go into this dark underworld of the creative psyche 🙂
Yes. The not-good-enough is a regular construct but “I have to be perfect every time” is more subtle! 🙂 Thanks. Shall be more aware now. Love
Love. Really spoke to me today, this thought – have been trying to post once a day, and getting lost in the spin of it, further and further into ego-thinking and less and less relaxed and centred on why I want to blog in the first place…. Thanks for this!!
Wow – I can so identify with this. And the whole stress & manipulation which comes with it. So glad you got a chance to connect with GD’s words on this subject. Otherwise, it truly is a hopeless and endless pursuit!
Thank you for that “guidelines” as I am thinking since a long time that I like to write a blog on my own but honestly only for my pleasure and if someone reads and enjoys it well that would be wonderful. So your blog entry today is a huge “motivation” and my dream of writing my own blog a step further – I am still not brave enough to share my thoughts with the online world out there. LoL
Yes, if you write from this space, its fragrance will be something unique and beautiful… Like a happy bird singing her song. Whether anyone listens is immaterial… 🙂
😉 Thank you very much for your inspiration! LoL
This sure beats the Four W and one H, they teach you in J school. What a perspective to writing or any creative work for that matter!
Excellent and thanks for the reminders Aalif! Was thinking to stop blogging, looking at the “whys” and the subtle and not so subtle “me” motivations behind it. It’s interesting to watch the play of mind undermine the innocence of blogging, the initial flow of creativity, LOVE expressing itSelf. Rather humorous actually! So, blogging as a great mirror, revealing the sticky “me”. And thanks for the questions……very useful….
Fantastic reminders! Thanks!