I was in a class about getting on with writing, and realised that if someone, almost anyone, gives me an order such as “Write for the next ten minutes without stopping”, or “At four o’clock sign in to Focus Mate and work in silence for 30 minutes” I will happily follow instructions and produce something, and feel very pleased with myself!
How come? What is going on in my mind?
Am I a pleaser? Well in that class there was no requirement to report back or show anything, so I don’t think that’s the motive.
Do I seek approval? Probably that’s a little closer - that I do feel pleased with myself and that is a good start!!!
Do I need a destination or goal for this piece of work? That does help, yes.
What about a deadline, is that a motivator or a threat? Bit of both, and I respond quite well to deadlines, yes.
So I might have this fantasy of spending half the year in a cabin on the beach on a wild coast somewhere, or half way up a Welsh mountain, getting up at dawn, and writing reams and reams of inspired prose before lunch… one day… um … but the thought that nobody cares whether I do it or not feels a bit stupid.
I think I’m getting a clue as I write this: it’s the feeling, or knowing, that there is a container holding the space while I go do that thing. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is human, like my classmates, or a structure, like a time frame, or an imaginary workroom like focusmate, or a magazine expecting an article, I just experience a sense of validity.
How about you?