Great Writer Series Update: The only way out is through

The Great Writers Challenge continues as I push through writing my online course project. It’s the end of Second Wind week and the early alarm clock setting is starting to wear on me again. Last night I fell asleep on the couch in front of the TV sometime around 9:30pm. I woke up when I heard myself snorkel (you know that noise that’s a cross between a snore and snort).

Let’s just jump right back into this ….

Day 10: Share and the challenge is … Find someone whose message we need to hear and share it on your blog or via Twitter or Facebook.

Great writers share. Not just their own knowledge, ideas, and expertise. They also share the work of others and credit them accordingly. So let’s get on with this. Stop self-promoting and start sharing.

FINALLY an easy challenge …. I didn’t even have to think about this one. I’m not going to give you a list of other bloggers to read like we do with our blogger awards (which BTW, I was nominated for one of those awards – working on the post and will share that with my thanks soon).

I know exactly whose blog I’ll be sharing with you all today. It’s one of my oldest friends Marjorie and her blog called MS Kinda Sucks

Marjorie and I were best friends in 9th grade. Our BFF’-ship would have lasted longer if the two of us had not gotten ourselves into a bit of trouble involving a nasty car accident (that’s a story for another day). Her parents had enough of our antics and she went to another school after the accident.

We lost touch with each other until we reconnected about 3 years ago on Facebook. By then Marjorie’s life had taken a new turn that she was struggling to deal with her in own way. She was an active mom with her kids (PTA, team mom, class mom) and what she refers to as an adventure enthusiast (running, cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, adventure racing, rock climbing).  Ask her about the time she and her husband were dropped in the middle of some jungle for a test pilot TV show where they had to do these challenges to get back to civilization. I get exhausted just from hearing her adventure stories let alone imaging myself doing these things!

All of this was before her diagnosis in March 2005 for Multiple Sclerosis. Her life has changed quite a bit as she started to realize the limitations her body was putting on her active lifestyle. By the time we had reconnected, Marjorie was working through her physical and some times mental struggles as her MS progressed.

Marjorie and I see each other once a year when her family comes down to Florida for their annual spring break. I shared my blog with her during one of our annual reunion lunches and she became one of my first followers. I always encouraged her to write a blog about her MS. She has such a great sense of life about her and I truly felt she had to share her story, even just to connect with others so they wouldn’t feel alone with their struggles.

I’m proud to say Marjorie has finally started her blog! It’s more then just about her physical issues with MS … well, I’ll let you read it yourself: MS Kinda Sucks

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Day 11: Declutter and the challenge is … get rid of the clutter in your workspace and in your writing.

Before you can do the work of creating anything, you’ve got to clear off the desk and get your stuff in order. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but your mess isn’t helping you. It’s not contributing to the creative. And you need to stop hiding behind it.

WHEW — another easy one for the day! 1. Clean up your space: I’ve got a crazy mess going on in my office space, especially my desk. I’m the Queen of the Piles – there’s a pile for the bills (to be paid and to be filed), a pile for my work projects (including file folders, notes on legal pads and invoices to be input in Quickbooks) and the dreaded pile that has everything I’m not sure what to do with but haven’t filed or thrown away.

He’s right you know. I need to learn to keep my work area cleaner if only too help me keep my thoughts clear. I have promised myself to do a good cleaning this weekend.

2. Cut your writing down to its purest essence: I love how he states this step – Eliminate weak, lazy words like “that” and “things” and anything you don’t absolutely need. Then say what you have to say and be done with it.

My writing class has busted me on this one! I’m guilt of overusing the word THAT and THEN/THAN. When they give me their feedback on my stories, I have so many red marks, circles and underlines it reminds me of being back in school. But they’re right with their comments.

When I remove all the fancy words and 5-sentence flowery descriptions, my writing becomes more in tune with what I’m trying to say. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

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Day 12: Provoke and the challenge is … Take a risk. Write something provocative and stand by it.

Why do we do this? Because this sets others free. To do the same. To live freely and honestly. So get in our faces; tell us the truth. And watch the ripple effect.

Crap – here we go again with something challenging. The last two days were pretty easy. I was hoping the rest of the 15-day challenge would be these small habits I can change easily without having to deal with something affecting me right down to the core.

As someone who has openly admitted to having CDO (or OCD to those of you who haven’t read the post), change comes slowly to me. If it’s a REALLY big change, I experience an uncomfortable physical feeling which can lead me to hours or sometimes, days of working through with these emotions. Let’s put it this way – my comfort zone is two feet to the right, left and above me. That’s the comfort zone box I live in. So now he’s asking me to tear down my walls and to take a risk.

Since I believe in this process, I made the decision to share some posts with you I wrote awhile ago. They’re sitting in my blog notebook as I write out all my thoughts and posts before I type them. Now is the time to type them out and share with those of you in my blog community.

To learn through experience, not to fear or resist the inevitable discomforts that arise from emotional processing and hence emotional growth. It is to learn through experience not to react to emotional processing by dramatically behaving as is our world is ending. Instead, it is to learn through experience to embrace the discomforts of emotional processing as a sign of our inner progress. The invitation being extended here is to willingly ride our inner dragon and to learn from experience that our inner dragon is only tamed when we consciously choose to ride it.

(Passage from The Presence Process by Michael Brown)

Buckle up folks and keep your arms and legs in the vehicle at all times because the only way we’re getting out is through.

Photo credit: The Tunnel

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3 thoughts on “Great Writer Series Update: The only way out is through

  1. I am a big fan of saying the only way out is through because it is exactly how I have gotten past some big stumbling blocks in life.

    • Hi Jack – for some weird reason, this comment got sucked into the spam folder and I just now found it. Sorry about that as I always think its cool when you stop by 🙂

      I actually started using that mantra from the book I quoted in the post (Presence Process). Some days it seems easier to not deal with stuff but then it always comes back ten-fold. I learned its better to feel all the raw feelings so I can move past them, even though it can be harder then just hiding.

  2. Pingback: The Story That Needs to be Told « My journey to live an authentic life

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