I get frustrated when I want something but can’t see the way toward it. I want to write and have something to share with my Restless Writers at each meeting, but lately I’ve been on repeat saying, “I don’t know what I’m writing. I don’t even know what I feel compelled to write.”
They listen and are more patient with me than I am because that’s not one of my best-known qualities.
Maybe that’s why I have this Rainer Maria Rilke quote on my bedroom wall:
Easy for you to say, Rainer.
But, at the last RW meeting, I committed to have a writing date with myself. To create purposeful time to check in and see what might happen. That was yesterday. I found a few hours. Stopped. Meditated. Brainstormed. Scribbled down some letters from the alphabet. Hoping beyond hope my muse would appear and transform the letters into prose.
She didn’t. They didn’t. All I got were random, disconnected words, as if I was playing Scrabble. It sucked.
I abandoned the effort. I went to play the piano and sing a little. Even that didn’t satisfy, so I started watching David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The interview with Tiffany Haddish. I didn’t even know who she was, and I didn’t finish the episode.
Later, I went to bed with no progress.
Today, however, I awoke to a rare April 20-degree morning of warming sunshine. With a cup of tea in hand, I cozied up under the trees and with the sparrows in my backyard paradise. With no thought to writing, I randomly opened an old blog I kept about nine years ago and pulled up a post called “Being in Love with Not Knowing. Here’s a snippet:
“..the journey is to decide how we’ll walk our path – in terror of the unknowing, allowing it to paralyze us to stay in one spot, or to become in love with it and embrace the unknowing for all its possibility. The beauty of reaching “no idea” – having absolutely no idea – means you are now open to any idea…Sometimes you need to go through the “I have no idea” stage because the answer cannot yet be given. You have to take one more step and then another one. Let go and trust the path will soon become clear again. Be committed to taking one more step, and with that, become free and open to new possibility.”
Looks like I was channeling my inner Rilke. I read a few more old posts, which led me to read a few others’ posts about writing.
And then it happened.
A new poem released from within. My heart sang as my fingers typed for the first time in months. Look at that. I have something to share with the Restless Writers at our next meeting.
And I’ve published a new blog post!
I had let go and lived my questions. I guess Rilke and my former self were right. Beautiful things can happen when you sit with your not knowing. Maybe not right away, but they do. Release. Presence. Observation. Possibility.
Yes Andrea. Patience 🙄
What do you do when you have no idea what to write? Do share.