We spend a lot of our time distracted by our daily chores and commitments. So much so we tend to ignore what our instincts are telling us.
You know how it goes. You spend your time working or, unpaid and traveling to and from work.
You spend time dropping off and picking up the kids. You use up invaluable hours of the day preparing food, eating, sleeping, relaxing with your loved ones, watching TV, socializing, caring, volunteering, whatever.
All the time in the back of your mind you have this little voice that says: You really should be writing, you really should be writing...
Your instincts know what you want but your activities are committing you to a lifestyle you don't want. There's the writer’s dilemma. How do you stop doing what you don't want and start doing what you do want?
Simple - listen to your heart.
I believe there's a reason why we have instincts - they are there to tell us what we really want.
They are there to nag at you to deal with the things that are lacking in your life.
Think for a moment about your dreams – the one’s you have at night.
Your brain needs balance. Your life may be focused on certain activities, relationships and commitments and these alone may seem to be enough stimuli for your waking hours. But during sleep, the brain needs more - it needs to be stimulated to take in a more fully rounded life experience.
So it compensates for missing life experiences by 'making them up' in your dreams.
It's a natural coping mechanism - designed to keep you sane.
On a subconscious level, the brain is taking in, assessing and dealing with all the information it receives - real or imagined. It processes everything, striving for balance.
But what if there is something left over, something found wanting in your life, how would that manifest itself?
I believe it manifests itself as instinct. It's an intuitive yearning that is telling you that you have an emptiness that needs filling - a feeling that something else or some other direction is right for you.
And, for your own good, it's something you must respond to.
For the sake of your writing, you must begin acting on instinct.
Learn that being selfish is most times okay - and in everybody else's best interest and not just yours!
Even flying in the face of logic, you must do the things that your reasoning mind might regard as crazy. You must begin to follow your heart, rather than always listen to your rational brain. For a healthy and fulfilled life, you must begin to do what your instinct is telling you to do.
And guess what?
It will work for you. You’ll be happier than you've ever been. More successful than you could have ever hoped for. Every day you’ll be doing more of what you love - taking life as it comes and doing what your instinct tells you to do at any given moment.
And you will be rewarded.
Is this path reckless? Irresponsible? Impossible?
Maybe – but do you really want to spend your life letting what other people say influence your need for more creativity? Do you really want to spend your days running around after other people instead of responding to your desire for more ways of expressing your true self and finally living your life with integrity?
Just because other people want you to do things, be places, and honor commitments they forced you into, doesn't mean these things are important. Most likely, in the great scheme of things, they're really not.
Since when was anybody else the boss of you?
Sure, things may get sticky. For me, when I first resolved to start listening to my heart instead of my head, I got sacked from my job. My old boss said outright: "You and I know you shouldn't be here, you should be doing your own thing. Just think of me as the bitch who made it happen!" Sweet lady.
But really, it turned out for the best because my old boss forced me to come to terms with my life. She'd given me no choice but to confront my destiny.
I could have panicked and got another job. Done what everyone else was telling me - seek security, seek boredom, seek a living death.
But no - this time - I refused!
I knew then I had to be a professional writer - what my instincts had been telling me all along - and that I had to make it happen, then and there - or die trying.
So that's what I did. I woke up every morning from that day on and just did what my heart told me to do: write a book today, set up that website now, teach this writing genre, start that writing school, become a publisher, write screenplays for Hollywood, whatever felt right. And it's what
I'm still doing to this day.
Simply responding to my instincts.
(And I guess it's worked out pretty well!)
So, if you have some nagging voice in the back of your mind - listen to it - and act on its advice. It's doing more than just nagging.
It's showing you the way to your destiny!
(c) ROB PARNELL
Articles on Writing