Easy: The Writing Life Made Simple

Many years ago, motivational speaker Michael Wickett made this observation during a talk I attended, and it has stayed with me ever since. If what we experience is created by our own thoughts, and if the quality of our daily lives is determined by what we think, then instead of constructing our world by our worries and fears–which only makes things harder–we may as well “make it up easy.”

I’m currently reading Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn. In the book, she explains how life would be pretty boring if everything was the same every day. What gives life its excitement is the ups and downs, the challenges, and roadblocks along the way. She calls these things “contrast.” Face it, she says, there will be contrast. She teaches the reader how to “buzz,” how to draw on and charge up our inner joy reserves, no matter what the outward circumstances.

We are in a do it culture. We run around with our to-do lists, our planners, our check boxes. I plot and write my next murder mystery. With these new ideas, I’m learning that thinking and feeling carry more power than doing.

Thinking. The last office I worked in, I asked one of the firm’s partners about efficiency. After struggling with deadlines, an over-abundance of project tasks, long hours, and never seeming to get ahead, I asked him, “What’s the secret to getting things done? How can I improve my efficiency?” What he told me came as a surprise. Stop, he said, remove yourself from what’s coming at you. Take time to think, to breathe, to reflect. Think about the situation before diving in. First ask yourself: does it need to be done at all? Second: if it does need to be done, are you the person who should be doing it?

Easy Writing Life

Feeling. According to Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting, changing your circumstances has more to do with how you feel, cultivating joy, and creating an abundance of good feelings, rather than charging ahead and taking action with a negative, fear-based mind set, such as action to avoid a loved one getting mad at you, or to avoid any negative consequence. When you focus on an unfavorable result, you are sitting in your bad feelings. By changing your energy to the positive, your flow improves, your experience improves, and you may notice a thought–that would have been dismissed under the duress of negative emotion–that makes a difference for your circumstances, and take action on it. Your positive ‘vibe’ will attract solutions.

I’ve learned how I feel affects how I think. How I think affects everything I do, including the plotting, writing, and editing. Feeling and thinking differently changes what I chose to do, the approach I take, as well as how I am while I’m doing it.

Perhaps if I change my approach to my experience of life, I can in fact, “make it up easy.”

SOFT

We rally against the contrast
Anxious thoughts and hard action
When our buzz of joy cuts through so easily

Go do it, jump up
Take the lead, grab the horns
Pounce on time, it wears the mask of our foe

Sit? Think?
Soft answers can’t pierce the trouble at hand

The stream of time rushes by,
roils against the rocks of our actions

Until . . .

We turn inward,
Embrace the tree of joy,
Breathe peace.
We watch our stature rise,
Smile, and
The contrast subsides.

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About Christian Belz

Christian Belz has been a practicing architect in Metro Detroit for 28 years, and is a member of Detroit Working Writers. He won the Grand Prize in Aquarius Press's 2011 Bright Harvest Prize for his short story "Chambers." His fiction has appeared in Writers' Journal, The Story Teller Magazine, and Wicked East Press's anthology: "Short Sips, Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2." He is currently seeking publication of his first two murder mysteries, featuring architect sleuth Ken Knoll.
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