One of the recommendations I find myself making regularly to my mentoring clients is to create two (or more) different writing rhythms to suit specific phases of life.
This idea came from working with many women who were writing alongside their role as mothers, and usually working on a raft of other business and personal projects as well.
They would reach a point of regularity with their Conscious Writing practice and then the children would break up from school and all their good intentions would melt into the maelstrom of childcare.
Much as they loved being with their family, they ended up feeling frustrated about not being able to continue their usual writing rhythm at the level they’d worked so hard to reach.
A Valid Alternative
The principle of having more than one writing rhythm applies to all kinds of life situations, not just to managing school holidays for parents.
It could be a major project at work or a health-related issue that demands an increase of your time and attention, or choosing some well-earned down time with a slower pace of life that still includes some writing.
Whatever the details, having a valid alternative to your usual rhythm enables you to maintain some degree of progress – and feel good about doing so – whilst respecting the reality of your current circumstances.
Paring your practice back to the essentials often means reducing the amount of time you spend on each component and prioritizing the aspects that are most beneficial to you as an individual.
If all you can do is take five minutes to breathe consciously and deeply to ground and centre yourself, then spend 15 minutes writing a few paragraphs or reviewing your work from a previous session, so be it.
Showing up regularly, even at a moderate level, is enough to nudge you forwards until you can pick up the pace once more.
Raise the Bar
The reverse scenario applies when you find yourself writing to an imminent deadline and need to raise the bar in order to complete your work on time and maintain your conscious approach.
When you’re under pressure of time, it’s important to recognize that skipping the preparation in order to crack on with the writing is a false economy because it’s unlikely to deliver the depth and vibrancy you’re aiming for.
Instead, you can speed up the process by decreasing your other commitments as much as possible, increasing the time you spend writing by turning up to the page six days a week.
Aligned and Authentic
At this level of regularity, you’ll soon develop such familiarity with the Conscious Writing process that your preparation time is naturally reduced and your readiness to write from an aligned and authentic state becomes the norm.
I do recommend taking at least one day off each week to allow for unconscious processing to refresh your perspective and recharge you creatively so you’re ready to pick up the flow again the next day.
Experiment and Explore
Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment and explore what delivers the results you’re looking for with your writing.
Learning from the experience of others is always a good starting point; then it’s a question of applying the principles in a way that genuinely works for you.
Whatever writing rhythm(s) you come up with, I encourage you to choose them confidently, commit wholeheartedly, try something else if they don’t work and validate your individual process and pace.
How do you manage the different phases of your life in relation to keeping your writing going? Please share your comments or ask a question below. Thank you!