embracing creative freedom… and your limitations

Last year I participated in NaBloPoMo. No, it wasn’t some sort of Teletubbie conference but a commitment to post on my blog every day of the month of November. November is a national writing month and the blog version stems from NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month, in full.

A lot of writers participate in it and as today is day one, my Twitter feed has been full of tweets relating to this writing challenge.

I have been pondering how I want to spend this month. I want to commit more time to writing fiction, but then I want to push myself again with writing for this blog.

The heart of the matter, if I’m truly honest, is that the idea of writing fiction everyday freaks me out a little. I can tell myself time and time again that you just have to get going. Just write. Write rubbish. That’s what it will be at first and that’s ok. Just get a story down.

But apparently, it’s easier said than done.

I feel limited. Limited time. Limited energy. Limited capacity. The overriding feeling being:

I can’t.

This is why these challenges can be so effective and helpful. They force us to get stuff done. To put words down. They say, in order to reach the word count, perfection is not a requirement, creative freedom is. Over-thinking needs to sit back and put its feet up, while reckless abandonment to the story that wants to have its way needs to take over.

I read this this morning:

“And thus we come to an important life principle: embrace your limitations.” – Jamie George

Too often I blame my limitations.

George goes on to say:

“Recognise that each limitation points toward something of value in your life.”

A profound statement that has the potential to turn our perception of our limitations on its head. Though some limits are far-reaching, permanent, and hugely disappointing.

Perhaps you think your limitation is that you’re not creative. Brené Brown writes, “‘I’m not very creative’ doesn’t work. There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.”

What have you been telling yourself that you can’t do with regards to creativity? How can you embrace your limitations?

Well, I have concluded that I can commit to doing my own blended version of these two challenges: posting a blog post every other day and writing fiction on the alternate days.

I can commit to doing this whilst knowing that my limitations may cause the result to be something different than I may have expected, or hoped. I won’t deem it a failure to have written less or missed some days. It will have been a result of my current season of full-time motherhood, most probably.

A season that nourishes my creativity whilst also limiting productivity. What colours and landscapes does your current season, or limitation, invite you to experience? What loves, fears, frustrations, and passions does it evoke in you?

During this month, November 2016, I will write every day. I will recognise that I could produce more with commitment and effort whilst embracing the knowledge that limits are limits and can be unpredictable. I will ignore the voice that tells me I am limited creatively.

And, I will tell myself:

I can.

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