I am getting to know myself better. Surely, but slowly. Even all my weird patterns.
You would think that with 38 years on this planet I might have some idea of who I am, how I process things, react and create. Still sometimes I seem to forget, overlook or even ignore things I know to be true.
Thankfully, the latter tends to be less and less true as I age. Suddenly I am hyper aware of the ‘how and why’ I do things. I have my own patterns after all.
Case and point – my creative process when it comes to writing.
It’s like a roller coaster. And, it has a very predictable pattern. Yet each month, without fail I go through this cycle and it almost always freaks me completely out. It goes something like this. I call it my 10-step cycle:
- Get really excited about story ideas – jot them down, make notes of potential angles and outlets. Start pitching.
- Work on the month’s worth of secured stories – get even more excited about being ability to share story AND get paid.
- Put pen to paper … well, more like fingers to keyboard. Begin brain dump.
- Feel immediately inadequate about first drafts. Begin worrying process.
- Stress for at least a week that I don’t have it in me. I have lost my talent. Beat myself up. DO NOT write anything remotely good. FREAK myself out.
- Relax and let ideas start to swirl back. Have feelings of deja vu. Get the faint feeling things might work out in the end.
- Begin to get a groove back. Edit my drafts over and over again, over the course of a couple weeks.
- Excitement for the end goal starts to build. It is going to be OK. Get shitloads of work done. Feel fantastic.
- Feel satisfied with final edits. Begin feeling like I can call myself a writer again.
- Hand in assignments, pitch 5 more and start over again.
So why is this month different? Why did I write about this in a section where I share joyful happenings?
Because I finally was able to prepare for, and identify all the stages in my 10-step cycle. And, although I did feel an onset of panic (see #4), I decided right then and there to chill out and trust my creative process would not let me down. And it didn’t! Of course it didn’t.
A great realization that comes from recognizing my pattern is now I’m aware of when I’m in the sweet spot (#’s 6-10) and it’s not just a fluke! So I now try to pack as much work in as I can when I am in this part of my cycle.
Today I celebrate as I can finally cut out a couple of these steps and be a little easier on myself.
“There’s a pattern to what you’ve pulled off in the past. It wants to show you your way in the world.”
~ This quote comes from Danielle LaPorte, someone who got me thinking about my own pattern in the first place.
Do you have a creative pattern similar to mine? Or completely different? I would love to hear about it.