Yes, you can create deep, heart-tugging, soul-empowering habits day after day
You might have to force it, even fake it, at first.
But the flow will come.
If you surrender.
To the power.
It’s early Monday morning here in Driebergen. It’s dark outside. I have a candle burning. I have to wake up my son in 20 minutes.
In other words, I have 20 minutes of this scene, atmosphere, mindset, this power.
I’m writing fiction. Well, I will be writing fiction when I finish this little meta piece here.
Let me back up.
In November 2017, I spent a week in a castle on a writing retreat. I know, I know, sounds awesome.
I had one of the most profound, efficient, effective, and creatively exploratory writing periods in my life. I wrote the entire books (or at least structures/outlines or parts of) several books.
It was brilliant, mind-boggling, lovely, dreamy, and…
Remember where I am right now?
I’m in my lounge. In my little Dutch town. It’s a Monday morning. I have 15 minutes. I have to wake up my son. Even Pepper is itching to get me to move.
I have my headphones on. The good ones.
I’m cranking out, yes, this is a bit of a secret, (please don’t tell my friends I went to The Who concert with in high school), um, well, I might as well come clean: Grace VanderWaal. Here you go.
My youngest son was really into those talent shows for a while. This girl won.
I don’t exactly know the chain of events that led me to listen to her album over and over (and over…) inside the belly of a castle in Austria in winter 2017.
But yeah, I did.
Here’s my point. I have one, I swear.
She’s cranking in my ears right now as I type this.
It brings me back to the castle.
This brings up my fiction-writing self, my creative, the storytelling beast that hibernates deep in a cave in my heart.
I close out the distractions. It’s dark. It’s early. No one else is awake (although they should be…). I have a small chunk of time for me and only me.
I’m writing fiction.
Well, I would be if I weren’t taking this sidetrack and writing to you about it.
Yeah, don’t do that.
At least, not often.
But I’ll make an exception.
Because I’m sharing a secret. A master key that can discover a vein in your creative genius (which you have, by the way, we all do) which you will open and let bleed onto the page.
There you have it.
I just “gave away” one of my secrets.
It feels good.
There is not a finite amount of creativity, of love, of power on our little planet.
You just need to discover it.
Now, onto you.
Find your Grace VanderWaal.
Find your vein.
Bleed your story.
P.S. The album that triggers all of this is called “Just the Beginning.” Can I whisper to you how appropriate this is? Every single day is just the beginning. But you have to start, something needs to trigger it. This is my trigger. What’s yours?
It’s now later and I realized I didn’t quite lay out step by step how to do this. In fact, you might be thinking, “Gee, that’s a great idea, Bradley, let me just organize a castle in Austria for a week, no problem.”
Here’s how to do it without a castle.
- Time: chart out, map out a week (if it’s only 5 days, e.g. weekdays, that’ll work)
- Pinpoint: choose a solid hour each day, ideally at the same time. Do you know your own creative clock? For me, it’s the first thing in the morning.
- Block out: turn off, close down, get away from as many distractions as possible. This is where music can help.
- Sit down: get comfortable (but not too comfortable where you’ll fall asleep or even get sleepy). Sit up straight.
- Get ready: focus, breathe, get ready.
- Clear your mind: I know, I know, easier said than done. Still, you can do it. Just like the dust under the sofa cushions: you’re never going to get it all.
- Close your eyes: prepare your mind for the next hour. When you feel it, open your eyes.
- Press play: turn on your music.
- Repeat: literally, hit repeat on that music. Over and over.
- Write: ideally, not your regular stuff. Take a new direction, angle, or perspective. Break through your barriers, overcome the hurdles (HINT: you just crawl over them), and dare to keep going.
- Keep going: for an hour.
- No, really.
- For an hour.
- Breathe out.
You have your key to discovery.