How to find your creative flow

A little over a week ago, I finished writing the first draft of a romance novel.

If you saw my last New Moon post, you’ll know this was a project suggested by my guides, and at first, I totally thought they were joking.

But they weren’t, and so I did it. And guess what? IT WAS FUN AS HELL.

My guides had promised this would really shake things up in terms of how I approach my creative process and life in general, and boyohboy, they weren’t kidding.

I want to share one thing, in particular, that I’ve learned about getting and staying in the creative flow by writing this (very sexy) novel.

(And stick around to the end, where I share one of my favorite tips for fast-tracking your healing.)

Sometimes we’re actually replaying childhood wounding under the guise of “supporting our process.”

Midway through writing the first draft, I decided to look for a book on novel writing.

That might seem innocent enough, because, after all–what’s the harm in getting a little guidance, right?

Well, the first clue I might have noticed is that the writing was going GREAT, all on its own.

I could. not. wait. to sit down and write every day, and I had to drag myself away from the computer each night to give my eyes a break.

You’d basically have to rope me to some train tracks to keep me from writing. I just loved it, every minute!

So why did I suddenly feel like I needed a how-to book?

Well, when I dug a little deeper, I found an inner child part who was getting pretty nervous about me being in this awesome flow state.

As a kid, doing something for the sheer joy of it was suspect. At best, it was a self-indulgent distraction, and at worst it meant I was being willfully irresponsible and lazy.

Not to mention, allowing myself to be guided by my instincts and intuition was a recipe for failure.

I needed to consult the “experts” and establish the proper way to do a thing, otherwise it wasn’t worth doing at all.

Even though everything in my present-day, lived experience was proving otherwise, my inner part convinced me I needed to read this how-to book.

So I did. Or, at least, I tried.

The first page was filled with fear-mongering statistics about how many books end up epic failures, if they’re finished at all. Gee, awesome!

Of course the author, handily enough, had the perfect solution. All I had to do was read the rest of her book and do everything she said, and then I’d be safe.

Wow, did this ever match up with my childhood patterning!

She also denounced the exact method I’d been using to gleefully power through my first draft.

According to her, sitting down to write and simply letting it flow was a recipe for disaster. A surefire route to a messy, unfinished draft.

Luckily, it was at this point that I checked in with my body, noticed I felt like absolute garbage whenever I read this book, and decided to pay attention to that feeling…

…which is when I met my scared inner child who was pulling the strings.

And then, after taking care of that inner part, I tossed the book aside and got back to my own process.

Here’s the thing:

Sometimes the suggestions of our fearful, protective parts sound logical enough.

Writing a novel? Great, why not read a novel-writing how-to?

And you know what? Sometimes that is a good idea. But you get to be the judge of that.

For me, noticing how crappy I felt while reading was a clear indicator that this book wasn’t right for me, at least not at this stage in the process.

In the past, I would have ignored those inner cues (which, in and of itself, is a replay of being taught to ignore my inner cues as a kid)

…and I would have chalked up my discomfort to the “fact” that I didn’t know what I was doing because I suck, and hence I really better read that how-to book or my project is doomed to fail.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself.

You’re taking in information–maybe it’s a book or someone telling you what they’d do in your shoes.

And you notice your body starting to feel…not great. Maybe constricted or tense or like you want to be anywhere but here.

But maybe you also have an inner part who, when you were younger, had to just sit there and take it in, because perhaps it was an adult telling you these things, and if you didn’t accept it all as truth, they’d get mad or disappointed or they’d withdraw.

So your inner part learned to ignore to those cues.

Better to stuff down your inner wisdom than be rejected or punished.

Now, as an adult, you get to choose what you take in, and when.

If taking a course on astrology feels daunting and unfun, when all you want to do is explore your natal chart and see what comes of it–you’re allowed to skip class!

Maybe the class will circle back around later, and it will feel like just the thing. Or maybe not, and that’s okay, too.

If your friend’s advice on what you should do when starting a business leaves you feeling unmotivated and incompetent, you don’t have to take it in!

You can thank her, then let her know you’re going to explore this on your own for a while and aren’t looking for advice. Repeat if necessary.

And throughout, check in with your inner parts. They might be freaking out a little (or a lot) that you have the audacity to listen to yourself and do what feels good to you.

Here’s a tip:

It can work wonders simply updating your inner parts on how old you are now and the fact that you don’t live, for instance, with your parents anymore.

I have a lot of inner parts who, until I start working with them, still think I’m five years old and totally dependent on doing what my mom says unless I want to, like, starve to death and live in a ditch.

Knowing that I now live an entire state away (in a house, not a ditch), and I can drive myself to the grocery store (with my own allowance), can go a long way in dissolving inner-child fears.

This frees you up to see the delicious buffet of present-day choices rather than feeling constrained to choose between Moldy Shit Sandwich #1 or Moldy Shit Sandwich #2, which is often how our scared inner parts perceive the world.

So Full Moon blessings and a very happy Ostara!

Now is a beautiful time to plant the seeds of new projects and to uncover how you work best.

Just like actual seeds, we don’t all thrive under the exact same conditions (and thank heavens, too, because that would be super boring!).

You get to pay attention to what works for you…and do more of that.

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