itsonlyafirstdraftblogimgae

For the last seven months, I worked with several clients to help them develop their writing skills, craft blog posts, create social media content, and pitch articles – all while I was falling deeper and deeper into the depths of my own dark hole of writer’s block.

Here’s a glimpse into my wordless world:

Me: “OK. Today, I’m going to write. I will write EVERY day for at least an hour, and it’s going to be awesome.”
While in the shower lathering my hair: Words are freely flowing through my mind. I mean, I’ve practically written out the entire blog post in my head. All I have to do is sit down and type it up. I think, “OK. I’ve got this!”
Sitting down at my laptop I think: Where oh where did those words go? Vanished. I have nothing to say, nothing to write. What the crap am I doing with my life?
The rest the day: I spend the remaining part of the day writing for my clients and not myself: “Why can’t I do this for my own work? Dammit.”

Then it starts over with me going to bed promising myself, tomorrow will be the day, that I finally write again.

Countless blog posts and business projects have been sucked into this black hole such as:

29 Things I Learned From My 29th Year
Death’s Ability to Transform
Why Work/Life Balance Doesn’t Actually Exist

…along many more.

I’ve learned a lot during this process. We start these negative cycles, and they feel nearly impossible to break. Nearly. What I know now is that we are our own source of biggest resistance, but it can be challenging to recognize this when we are in the thick of it.

And that’s where I was…in the thick of it all.

2013 was by far the hardest year of my life. It wore me down, beat me up, and spit me out so often, that I felt as if there was nothing left inside. I started to question EVERYTHING. Life, death, love, what I was doing, and my purpose.

Here I was, planning my dream wedding, traveling the world, and getting to do the work I loved in amazing places like the jungles of Costa Rica. I was living the life Eric and I had worked so hard to create, and yet, I felt miserable. I was lacking purpose. I felt a deep sense of loss of connection to myself and the world around me.

Then, sometime last fall, I came across this Rumi quote: “What you seek is seeking you.”

When I read those words, I felt things shift. It has since become a daily mantra for me. I often go through the day with this quote running through my mind on repeat.

“What you seek is seeking you. What you seek is seeking you. What you seek is seeking you.”

At the moment where I felt the most lost in my life, this quote calmed me. I could almost imagine those things I was seeking – inner peace, self-love, fulfillment, acceptance, a sense of being grounded, the words to express my voice – were all out there seeking me as much as I was desperately searching for them. I truly believed at that point, if I pushed forward, I would convene with them somewhere along this crazy journey.

So that’s what I did. I kept on keepin’ on. I worked with my clients, brainstormed like a crazy woman, had meetings with potential partners, had fun, and took time for myself. All while feeling totally lost, confused, and frankly paralyzed with fear. I didn’t know what else to do, but at least a small part of me believed, that I would eventually figure it out. If I just kept on going.

And then one day, something did happen.

In early January, shortly after my 30th birthday, I woke up with a deep sense of peace. Something felt like it had shifted. The questions I had been asking myself for months about how I wanted to work, and how the various pieces of the puzzle of my life would fit together, finally made sense.

Now, things haven’t just been smooth sailing since then. There have been painful moments of doubt and anxiety. (Because we will never be 100% free from these two things; we just learn how to navigate them better.)  However, for the first time in a long time, I felt like, “Yes. I can make this happen!”

Maybe Rumi knew a little something after all.

The only thing, I still couldn’t find the words I wanted to write. Which became, well, kind of a huge problem, since all of my plans and current projects revolve around exactly that.

And then I was reminded that most good writing (if not all) happens with multiple drafts. So what the heck I told myself, “It’s only a first draft. Just start.” The greatest novels in the world took drafts upon drafts to write. But you can’t start without the first draft. If you want to write a blog post, you just need to start.

No matter what you are doing in life, whether you are plotting big changes, moving, starting a business, or writing, you just have to start.

So this blog post is me beginning my next phase. The phase where I make my passion-filled, purpose driven plans a reality. One where I’m writing, even when I don’t feel like I have the words to say what I mean. I’m taking action, even when I’m full of self-doubt. Because a first draft is just that. You can always change it, add to it, delete it, start over, and bring in others to help you. But you can’t create what you are seeking to create without it.

The creative process is hard. Building something is hard. Change is hard. You won’t find a single person who has done something extraordinary who hasn’t struggled, faced tremendous roadblocks, and failed a few times to get where they are.

So keep going. I challenge you to join me in starting that first draft, whatever it is. And remember: “What you seek is seeking you.”

And for goodness sake, it’s only a first draft!

In the comments, please tell me all about what you are starting in your own life!

P.S. – This blog post is not a first draft. It is a product of multiple revisions and Eric’s edits.

P.P.S – This blog post would not be possible without the advice from my dear friend Lara over at Kind Over Matter. Thanks Lara! <3

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