2/16/2017

Commitment to Write

Commitment to Write x Ashley Neese

I’m a teacher and writer. A big part of how I teach is through personal sessions, classes, and writing here on this journal. This might seem like a strange thing for me to say for those of you that have been following my journal for a while and have seen the ups and downs of my life and writing practice.  What I am after right now is accountability. My desire to streamline my practice so that I can focus, becoming more effective leader and writer is strong and I am using this journal to hold me even more accountable.

My Instagram profile clearly states ‘writer’. I have been getting paid to write for years and I am weeks away from sending out my first book proposal (omg it’s actually happening!). Despite this, I still struggle with identifying as a writer. In many ways I don’t feel good enough for that title, like I haven’t earned it. Part of that is because my practice has been inconsistent this past year and one of my goals for 2017 is to jump all the way into writing. We are now half way through February I am ready to make that commitment.

Here we go.
All the way in.

No matter what my insecurities or fears have to say, I know in my heart I’ve been a writer since I learned to trace sandpaper letters back in Montessori school. I couldn’t wait to start expressing myself through the written word. My Aquarian sun longs to be on the cutting edge of the incredible video technology available right now and drop writing all together, but there is this other part of me that simply wants to write. To create sentences. To explore ideas, feelings, techniques, and relationships through the twisty road of telling stories, noting observations, and building poems out of thin air.

What I love about writing is that it helps me slow down. It drops me into the present moment because I can only type/write as fast as my fingers/hand can move and that process supports my active mind. In a world where there are countless distractions, it feels radical to engage with a medium that by its nature asks us to move at an unhurried pace. Of course we can write super fast, but even in that we are limited by the mechanics of our hands which are energetically linked to our hearts. This creative act is one of the most loving ways I choose to take care of myself.

The other day Nic and I were driving to Oakland from Las Vegas listening to a very inspiring and life changing conversation between Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin. During their talk Seth shared about how and why he has been blogging daily since 2002. I was floored. His commitment to writing everyday, in one place, invited me to take a long look at my personal writing practice. So many times over the years I have said, I’m going to write everyday and it’s never held the test of time.

I tend to feel scattered with writing. I’m writing on the online journal, Instgram, logging my dreams each morning, jotting down an evening gratitude list, saying something on Facebook, sending emails, and texts. Really all I do is write but something about my process doesn’t feel satisfying because it’s too all over the place. One of my biggest takeaways from Tim and Seth’s conversation was getting into the habit of having a daily writing practice in one place. Today I am committing to that place being this journal.

Towards the end of last year I publicly announced I would publish 2-3 x per week on the journal and I’ve been okay at it, but haven’t met the goals I’ve wanted to meet. Listening to Seth talk about the practice being not about writing a perfectly polished piece everyday, and that sometimes, oftentimes, it’s as simple as stating what you noticed that day, shifted a huge piece for me. I look at other blogs and see people constantly creating loads of content and to be honest I get a little anxious. All of the sudden my writing practice becomes some weird measuring stick for how I’m not doing enough. That is not what I want this to be about at all. I am not interested in writing everyday to get something from the outside. I am interested in writing everyday to become a more compelling writer and a stronger leader.

I’m not going to get better by comparing myself to others or feeling like I need to create a journal like so and so has. I am going to get better by writing in one place. Everyday. No matter what.

The lengthy personal growth essays, essential how-to posts, and heartfelt poems are not an everyday occurrence and that is perfectly fine with me. Those creative energies will come through and flow much smoother if I keep writing in between the bigger highlights. If I keep listening, continue paying attention, and write, even when I feel like the words aren’t coming together very well, so much will be gained.

Years ago while studying Tantra yoga philosophy I learned about the importance of the space between the poses. In the West, most yoga students are concerned with the asana or posture. What fascinated me about Tantra philosophy was the emphasis on the pathway from one pose to the next and how that transition was in many ways more valuable than the posture itself. I’ve been thinking about this a great deal in relationship to teaching breathwork, writing, and navigating my relationship with Nic. There is magic in the space between the highlights. It isn’t just about the punctuation used to give whatever we’re fixated on meaning; the pause between breaths, the nine book proposal drafts before the great one, or the fiftteen messy conversations before that groundbreaking moment where you change the behavior, this is where the real work is and this is the landscape I am becoming infinitely curious to explore.

So here I am. Committing. Out loud. In writing. One word after another that I will be here, on this journal, sharing something everyday. Expect to be blown away. Expect to witness my struggles. Expect to feel. Expect to be inspired by the alchemy of one person, showing up, day after day devoted to her life, her craft, her relationships, and her never ending desire to make this world a little bit brighter.

All my heart. x

Save

Save

Save

Comments

  • Corina

    I like that! All of it! :-)

    • ashley

      Thank you so much Cornia! Thinking of you and wishing you a wonderful weekend. x

  • Kyana

    Wow. Yes. Very inspiring. Looking forward to experiencing this with you.

    • ashley

      Hi Kyana,
      It’s wonderful to hear from you! Thank you for the encouragement, I am thrilled to be creating community with you around this <3

  • Mary

    Thanks, Ashley, for this helpful post. I definitely relate. Found your work through a mutual friend, Andre. Best wishes for continued joy and growth on your adventure!

    • ashley

      Hi Mary,
      You are welcome! Thank you for stopping by and saying hello. It is wonderful to connect. Wishing you a wonderful Spring. x

Leave a Comment

© ASHLEY NEESE 2017