A while back I wrote about the Three Ps of Creative Writing: Patience, Perseverance and Passion. You can read that post here.
I still believe in the three Ps. But I get bored quickly. And I like finding new ways to motivate myself (and others).
Because creative writing is hard. Always and forever.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the power of words.
I don’t mean only in the creative sense. You know, how they can build entire universes with the stroke of a pen.
I’ve been thinking about words in the magical sense, too. How their magic can be harnessed on a practical level.
Words can influence reality. They can call to us events and situations. They can manifest or make real, that which we long for. They can certainly influence outcomes.
Be mindful of the words you use on a daily basis. Don’t be careless with them. Monitor your speech. Don’t be reckless or cavalier with what you say.
And, when it comes to your creative practice, don’t labour under words or labels that don’t feel right. Don’t try to harness words, or adhere to sentiments, that don’t resonant personally. If they don’t feel right, they won’t work for you.
When it comes to my own writing life, there are some words I never use.
Discipline (Bleurgh. Summon my inner fascist? No thanks.)
Dedication (Okay, dedication is… okay. But I still don’t like it. It feels forced. And lacklustre.)
The word that’s been working for me lately is devotion.
I like to think I’m devoted to my writing.
Devoted to finishing what I set out to do.
Devoted to the craft, to the learning, to the constant sense of discovery.
Above all, I’m devoted to living a creative life.
Whenever I reflect on devotion, it helps me lift my game. It makes me try harder, be less ambivalent, fickle or downright lazy.
Devotion is gentle but strong. It is steadfast. It implies belief, too. Belief in what you’re doing and belief in its value.
Next time you’re floundering, contemplate the word devotion. Consider how you might apply it to your practice, your attitude. Ponder your creative goals through its lens.
If it feels right for you, invite devotion into your life. Let it work some magic for you.