Writing In The Slow Lane – Depth Over Speed

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There is a deeper flow to our lives, the kind that can be likened to the silent, ever constant movement of life that takes place at the bottom of the ocean.  Sometimes the surface may be still and calm. Other times turbulent and violent. But always, way deep down, there is a silent, even flow, and it is here that writing in the slow lane takes place.

writing in the slow lane

By-Pass Duality And Dive Deep Down

Often our mind is compared to the surface activity of the ocean and I think it’s a good analogy of the ‘monkey mind’ dance that is forever bouncing back and forth between the poles of duality. When we set out to write though, and if we want to write with the real juice of our creative source and supply, I always recommend by-passing duality and diving deep into the depths of our own ocean floor.

But First, What We Normally Do

Mostly we tend to rush through our days in robot-like fashion, numb to the deeper flow of what lies inside of us. Much of the time we’ll feel empty, and this emptiness tends to push us even harder to live faster and acquire more, when what we most need to do is slow down and become quiet.

All of life unfolds in its own sweet time and it’s crazy to assume we have any kind of control over it.  When we think this way, we create an ever present state of anxiety within, a kind of permanent inner ‘rushing’ that only leads to lousy writing and high blood pressure!

A Way To Trust The Natural Unfolding of Things

One of the best ways to experience the opposite of this inner ‘rushing’ is to take up an interest in gardening, and if that’s not your thing, then I invite you to at least attempt growing a potted herb or two on your windowsill.  Planting a seed in the dirt, making sure it’s getting the proper amount of light and water, and then letting go and allowing life to do the rest, is an incredible experiment in trusting how things will naturally unfold given the ideal conditions. Same holds true for our writing.

An Invisible, Mysterious Symmetry

The creative process is no different from whatever the energy is that causes a dormant seed laying in the dirt to eventually sprout and bring forth the fruits of its unique existence.  There is an invisible, mysterious symmetry that takes place beneath the surface that we simply trust when we stick a seed in the ground. This is a primal trust rooted in the core of our being and something we never question when it comes to gardening.

Writing In Rich, Fertile Soil

Writing in the slow lane requires us to place ourselves underground in the rich, fertile soil of that invisible mystery where we can tap into creative genius and where our art will be given a chance to incubate, sprout, and grow into something which will add value and meaning to the world.

writing in the slow lane

A Way To Create More Space and Less Pressure

Another great exercise I like to do when I am feeling that internal pressure building up is to write down the very thing that is causing the anxiety. I have long given up questioning how writing something down seems to work magic in gaining the crystal clear clarity we are looking for around it.  When I write the problem down, it seems to create a whole lot of space around it because it’s no longer crammed inside my head and then I see if there is something I can do to rearrange things so I can have a more relaxed and graceful experience of the unfolding of my day. There are zero benefits to feeling rushed and crazed.  By slowing down to a more natural inner pace, things will mostly progress without too much effort, including how we write.

“Grace does not pressure, but offers.” – John Bowen Coburn

Writing In The Slow Lane Despite Our External Preferences

Naturally, there is no correct way to work creatively. For example, someone may require total silence while another may need the activity and hustle, bustle of a crowded cafe. Some writers are night owls who love to burn the midnight oil while others, myself included, love the feel of the predawn hours.  The secret is to not lose touch with our inner ‘slow lane’, or in other words, we must learn to write from the depths of our silent, ocean floor no matter what our external writing preferences or conditions are.

Writing As Prayer

I like to compare writing in the slow lane with prayer. The kind that has us tending to our soul. And it’s not prayer for our writing that I’m talking about. No, not at all. The writing itself, if it’s coming from the slow lane, does not require a speck of prayer. What I’m talking about is how writing from the slow lane is like praying for ourselves. Often as we write we can run  into self-doubt, fears, and resistance. All of this is natural and fuels our creativity. If we try and put a lid on it or silence it, we are only sabotaging the very work we are trying to do.

Allowing The Divine To Guide Our Writing

As writers, we don’t have the luxury of denying the parts of ourselves or our lives that need attention. Writing in the slow lane is like a long, deep prayer to peace, and when we surrender and allow it, the Divine, in all its wisdom will guide us through all the places we need to go, including giving us just the right words to helps us and others feel strengthened and healed.

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.” – Sophocles

Any Questions?

If you have any questions whatsoever or need a hand with anything, feel free to contact me.  You can also leave me a comment in the comment section below.

Wishing you much love & happy writing,

Heather

8 Responses

  1. Hi Heather,

    I really like how you wrote this. The whole growing a plant in a pot actually makes me want to do it. I will be doing it this week. SO EXCITED.

    Thanks for this 🙂

    • Hi Alex,

      I’m so happy you liked the ‘growing a plant’ tip.

      I’ve always found analogies and examples so helpful when I’m trying to grasp the meaning of something new and this one about planting a seed just speaks volumes of the trust we have when placing a seed in the dirt. We just expect it to grow, slowly and surely, without another thought.

      The same should hold true with the creative seeds we plant, as long as we are planting them in the same medium. The dirt can be likened to the depth of our ‘ocean floor.’

      Have fun planting, and happy writing!

      Heather 🙂

  2. Absolutely adore this post, Heather. What a beautiful analogy, to liken writing with tending a garden, and that image of the gorgeous shoots emerging through the keys of the keyboard drove the point home. I can’t get that image out of my mind. Will meditate on and see what appears on the page…

    • Hi Lauren,

      So glad you enjoyed the writing-gardening analogy. I love to garden for this very reason…it reminds me to have the same kind of trust…that the seeds I plant in the dark dirt will produce results.

      The keyboard image was such a ‘synchronistic’ find! It was so perfect for the post.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts.

      With love, and happy writing!

      Heather 🙂

  3. Wow, I love this!

    So cool, comparing our minds to the ocean and writing to the way the earth works. I never thought of gardening or growing plants in such a way before. I don’t think I really have time to add gardening to my life, haha! But growing something on my windowsill… that might just happen.

    As a writer this certainly gave me a lot to think about! Some really great analogies, and you are a very good writer yourself!

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Hi Steph,

      So glad to hear you loved the analogies. I love to use them when I write to explain what I’m trying to say sometimes.

      How wonderful that a fellow writer such as yourself found the time to read my post. Really appreciate it, and thank you for your kind words.

      Happy planting, and happy writing!

      Heather 🙂

  4. Hey Heather,
    I loved the feeling when reading this article. It gives off a soothing and comforting vibe. I love the idea where you said when you have anxiety just write down the very idea that is giving off that feeling. I actually do this and it’s like a miracle. As soon as I write it down I feel so much better. I really enjoyed reading what you wrote and all the tips were really great. Have a great one. 🙂

    • Hi Michael,

      I’m so glad to hear that you felt a soothing and comforting vibe from reading my article. This is always my deeper intention when writing…to soothe and bring comfort where needed. Yay! It’s working. 🙂

      Isn’t it just like magic when we write a problem down and get it out of our head? I don’t think I could ever explain what really happens…somehow bringing it into the physical realm by putting it on a piece of paper allows for some deeper mystery to move in and give us clarity and relief.

      Many kind thanks for taking the time to stop by.

      Warmly,

      Heather

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