Spew or Brew

{Warning - this post is a response. It is raw and un-edited. There are no images. When I say "you", I often mean "I" or "we"; when I say "we", I sometimes mean "me". It was gonna be a comment which somehow seemed safe, so I thought I'd be a little bolder as I work through how I feel about it all in my own practice} A friend of mine, Lisa Wilson, over at LifeUnity, posted today about a topic that I go back and forth about, too. In fact, I giggle as I type this, because I've been thinking of writing a post about it for awhile myself... but I haven't... which is funny simply because that's exactly what she's talking about. Having things to share, but not sharing it... or better put, refining what you share or sharing the raw uncut version. Lisa has a way of bringing light on things that seem relevant in my own life. So here are my thoughts...

It can be a bit overwhelming to know when and how and what to share online. While I feel like every online writer and blogger probably feels this at some point, I can't help but wonder if it isn't especially acute for artists of multiple mediums somehow. We express ourselves in many ways, and so we have some of our most profound moments of revelation, inquiry, curiosity and sheer wonder in the midst of various activities and processes.

And those moments are often in states of utter wordlessness. *bliss*

Once we move into the work of trying to put words to these glimpses of inspiration and perspective, it can feel... flat or somehow incomplete. Then, when we try to go back in and edit and tweak for presentation with just the right technical tricks, the mojo can feel like a distant memory and the task is a chore... and our artist brains are aching to be off in the next process of experience anyway... so, aw, screw it. Nobody reads this stuff anyway...  or so we tell ourselves. I'll wait until I have something better, that makes more sense right as it flows out.

Sometimes I get stopped mid-sentence when I write by the realization that what I'm saying is certainly true, as is its complete opposite, which I might say and feel tomorrow... and while that feels and works beautifully for me and what I *know* of truth... what will people think? I'll look like a blubbering contradictory fool.

Words are powerful... we ought to be mindful. Especially of the ones that hold us back inside ourselves.

On top of that, if you are a savvy, lover-of-learning, and infatuated by the world wide web possibilities, you've probably spent a little time seeing what other people have to say about sharing, so that your little moment of inspiration can reach as many and whoever it is meant to. It is just so easy to start to feel BOMBARDED  by all these tips on how you 'should' be doing it to increase traffic and effect, or keep people's attention, or optimize your time, or blah blah blah. Everyone seems to have a secret edge, or so they claim...

Don't get me wrong - I regularly play around with how I approach a blog post or making a piece of art... and just about everything else I do. I actually sometimes love the act of editing with special little widget-tweaky-glitz and clever phrases, when I approach it from a place of creative, poetic motivation. And I pay attention to the latest biz and blog tips... but only to a certain degree.

Because, at the end of the night, if I walk away from taking in all of that outside jibber-jabber so much that it has paralyzed me from sharing - which is a profound part of my creative process - than I'm not living in alignment with my own wisdom. All of that outside input is loud and pushy and starts to feel like a righteous bully to me after awhile. So I've begun to bring a real mindfulness to choosing who and what I allow in as far as outside tips and tricks.

Because there is wisdom in the simpler rawness of a moment - a truth that sometimes gets edited out for the sake of an idea of greater perceived clarity or show or, even more predominantly, a fledgling business and the pressure of all of that bling.

Sometimes I can't help but wonder, if everyone has it figured out how to make blogs, businesses and profit out of your true passion self-sustainable, then why are they all making businesses out of how to start, improve or run your business? Does anyone else see the red-light in this?? Or are we just a culture passionate about business and business only? Anyhoo - I diverge... let's back up.

There is wisdom - perhaps, even a feminine wisdom - that just doesn't fit into the (masculine) or edgy, angular types of tips and tricks out there on how to keep a reader engaged.

As women, we flow. As artists, we flow. It is in flow that we thrive and inspire most deeply, soul to soul. Because it is living in action, in motion, in welcome openness to abundance of inspiration.

So if I sit down to write and share, but lose the juice in trying to box it in (like I did just before I wrote this other post two weeks ago), then it's time to re-assess.

Because I honestly am not seeking a sustainable, creative way of living through some model or formula of execution that somebody has found works for them. I am seeking it through my own living truth of experience - in the juice. I started writing my first blog for ME, and it organically became a place that inspired others in a bigger way than I imagined. (35000 hits for a first-time blog in one year ain't too shabby, really).

And I believe that it became that way because I was raw, open, vulnerable, so not perfect. So not guided by numbers and goals... but just trusting the fun of it. Curious about it all, and especially about the discoveries I made in the process of sharing.

Of course, there is another experience and wisdom to be had in not sharing sometimes. Lisa says, "Most times, I simply lose energy when thinking of how to share it." And that is a rich place to notice, too... some things are best held close - and words are often truest when they don't get bogged down by preceding thoughts, in my own experience. When they flow. So I always come back to this:

What blogs do I enjoy? Who do I like to read - what is it about their approach? How do I feel when I leave their post or image? How do I want that ONE reader to feel on the other end - the one that sees something that they really needed to read or hear that day that they came by my blog.

And, so even though I am great at editing, I keep it to a minimum in favor of the juice and flow and my own sense of personability. I edit when it feels real good to me - when I'm curiously engaged. But mostly, I am striving to share the feeling that I've known in those moments that inspired me, so that the excitement can somehow transmute through me, to you, where you sit - almost as if we were sitting together over coffee or in my studio.

I wouldn't be rehearsed or edited in my studio. I sure as heck wouldn't give you an elevator speech about my vision... but I'd be driven to share a glimpse of my devotion with you - the part of me beneath all the fluff, the part where the motivation lies. I'd feel shy a bit, but excited to have you there, and you'd see some art that was finished and a lot that wasn't and a whole big messy studio of creative energy - and if you got me talking about what I LOVE about life and art... I would be transported back into those feelings and I'd share with you what came forth, quietly at first and then with great passion... and I'll bet you'd have questions, and we'd talk some more, and maybe you'd share some of your inspired truth, too... in fact, if you had the time, I *know* you'd get it. In fact, you would relate and we would CONNECT, beyond words, by moving through and trying words on together. And you'd want more of that feeling in your own life, even if you don't think of yourself as an artist.

And you know what? I'll bet we'd get quiet in the reverence we felt for that connection that happened in the experience of the sharing. And then, I would inevitably want to make some art - and you could stay and make some, too - or go head back out into your day and find your own way of engaging and keeping the juice alive.

If you don't get hooked or have time for that or the way I express my experience of it... well, at least when it comes to most of my blog posts and art, that's A-OK. That just means it's not for you right now.

So, Miss Lisa, this ended up being about my own place on this mountain we're standing here looking at, and my path up will inevitably be a bit different than yours... and I just love that so much.

What I do know, is that I have your blog on my toolbar because of what I receive when I take the time to open up to you sharing your process. Just like you did today. You keep it real and raw and honest from your truth. And that speaks to those of us who value that approach. You emanate in clarity by exactly how you show up. I appreciate it because it stimulates my own focus and life into a deeper clarity as well.

Like in this post, (which may not be apparent for all of its raw wordiness) - but trust me, the nuggets are in there in the moments I took to process and respond. And they'll evolve, organically, within me and my process - whether I put full-fledged conscious focus on their refinement, or let them spew out in the flow of ideas as they come. As they evolve, I have a feeling I'll be re-visiting this idea here, probably with less words, as I feel inspired to.

So, for me, it happens either way - we just get to choose what feels best for ourselves right now.