Last updated on February 20th, 2023 at 02:04 pm
As part of my book publishing dream, I attended a workshop in San Francisco with my writing coach Ellen Sussman. I’ve completed the next milestone for my book–100 pages!
100 pages feel significant. I’d never written anything longer than 40 pages before. How did I do it? A page at a time, or more often a few pages in a sitting. A sentence, a paragraph, a scene at a time.
Now, the book draft still needs a lot of work. I wouldn’t feel ready to show it to an editor or agent yet. That’ll come after several more drafts, more research, craft, and polishing. Yet, I can see that I have accomplished a lot already, simply by sitting down and writing regularly, and by meeting all the deadlines that my writing coach has set for the group along the way.
Writing the book is a process, as the manuscript evolves, one page or edit at a time. That is all we can do in life, really–take it one step at a time.
I used to have a lot more anxiety about the “next steps” in life, worrying constantly about whether or not I was taking the “right” steps, and worrying about the outcomes of my actions–often trying to calculate everything six steps ahead, hoping what I was doing would bring me what I want.
It was difficult for me to just flow with life.
Learning to Let Go
I’ve been fortunate to find practices that have alleviated much of that anxiety about getting it all “right,” including a regular meditation practice. I’m so grateful for the powerful spiritual teachers I’ve encountered, and numerous friends and mentors who have taught me to trust myself and my instincts, and just do what needs to be done at the moment.
I still have doubts sometimes of course, and simply have to move through them. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever finish this book, or who I think I am to be writing it. Will it be any good?
That is where the support of my writing coach, writing buddies, friends, and social media supporters come in, keeping me going when I am feeling unsure, helping me find inspiration and just moving forward, another step and page at a time.
The Energy of A Beloved City
When in San Francisco, I find myself dropping so palpably into that energy space of trusting and simply doing what needs to be done, taking each step and trusting that I’ll know what I need to do next when the time comes. San Francisco is, to me, a magical city. I love the energy and beauty of the city, the diversity, and the eclecticism. Don’t you dare believe the negative comments people say about San Francisco on social media. It’s a wonderful place to visit. I love how the city offers itself up to me anew each time I visit, with new spaces, places, and faces to discover. It’s always an amazing visit. Always.
I enjoy spending time working on my computer at Cafe Gratitude, which serves raw food and has inspirational sayings painted and written, and posted all over the walls. I typed the following quote into the task list on my phone to remind myself of the importance of doing what I am called to do at the moment, and letting the rest go:
“Time is a flowing river. Happy those who allow themselves to be carried, unresisting, with the current. They float through easy days. They live, unquestioning, in the moment.” ~ Christopher Morley
I wrapped up my beautiful time in the city by blues-dancing in the San Francisco Mission District. The stresses of the day, the pressure of finishing pages of my book on time and checking other tasks off my list, and any lingering worries about what I should or shouldn’t do next, or what will happen next in my life, completely dissolved as I danced in the arms of one man after another.
In moments like this, how can I not be in the flow and love my life as it is?
Lisa P. Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, TED motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning in their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on her website or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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