It's time to write like fire with skin

I recently posted on Instagram that as Dear Artist nears completion I will be in my secret writing cave of creation. This program means everything to me and it's my biggest solo online course yet, so this beautiful month is all about alchemy :: weaving, writing, making, editing, recording, playing, experimenting and more. 

Dear Artist is a program for artists. And an artist is anyone who writes...a heartfelt caption on Instagram, a letter, a note to self. It is anyone who makes...a wedding dress, a child, space, a sandwich for lunch. It is anyone who dances...through the living room on the way to a fresh cup of coffee, in the car, on stage. It is anyone who creates...a charcoal portrait of your lover, a new online class, a mess. It is anyone who desires, more purpose, more abundance, more meaning. An artist is anyone willing to be open to the vulnerability of possibility, of what they long for most, of their deepest self. 

To everyone who has already joined me... YES!! I'm so excited! And if you're thinking about signing up, there is sacred space for you and it's right next to me. 

But the cave has gremlins.

And as all artists know, setting aside time and deciding to create often wakes up the hidden gremlins of distraction. They pour out of their dens, starving, and head straight for me. So I began a running list of everything that has tried to STOP me from writing this course and I'm sharing this behind-the-scenes real-life glimpse because babe, the struggle is real. And even those of us who create programs about creating are not exempt. That's the secret beauty of it. 

Real and recent distractions...

· deciding my website needs a new design and feeling frustrated that I can't do it right now
· suddenly needing a new instagram account for my writing and looking up all the names, but they’re already taken
· thinking: I should create a local workshop
· thinking: I need to dust everything
· perfecting designs in canva, and it takes me hours
· scrolling through Facebook
· checking social media notifications
· crying because I’m not writing
· texting people about not writing
· writing deadlines on all my calendars and setting alerts on my phone with lots of exclamation points
· drama
· being terrified that this sucks and everyone will hate it and I won’t help anyone and who am I to create this thing and wouldn’t I be better off working at Whole Foods
· thinking about how we all die and I don’t want to leave a disorganized mess so I need to declutter and get rid of all the things & become a minimalist
· all the beautiful images on pinterest
· hating the font I’m using to type with
· looking up new fonts
· deciding I really just want to live on the wild coast in Oregon next to Mary where the forest meets the sea, take pictures, dance in the fog and light, eat fresh figs and write books
· deciding I can’t write
· remembering that terrifying article about the Really Big One that will hit the PNW any year now and thinking I should just stay in Texas
· overwhelm at all I need to do
· being hungry because I didn’t eat earlier
· being too full because I was famished and ate too much too fast
· feeling guilty because I haven’t worked out lately
· not liking the essential oils I blended together and not knowing what to change
· stressing over the cigarette smoke coming through the vents from the apartment below
· driving around to find the perfect coffee shop to set up and write in
· not finding any; giving up and going home to start dinner
· trying to figure out what is sustainable financially, energetically and more
· being irritated
· thinking about how expensive it is to have a paid mailing list service and switching to a free one, then worrying it won't do what I need
· adding up all my monthly business expenses
· organizing my inbox
· being distracted by all the shiny new courses I want to take
· being sweaty & hot
· forgetting my why & rummaging through all my piles of notes looking for my why
· writing about not writing
· reading about writing

This is a live list, so I add to it whenever I need to. I've found that this gives the energy a space to be seen and held so it doesn't stop me as much as it used to. Try it! Next time you have something important to do, open up your Notes app and every single time you find yourself procrastinating or distracted, write it down. Give it a space to be held and acknowledged. Turn it into a game. See the humor in it.

And trust that it means you've got something important at stake, and no matter what, you're going to make it happen.

Hillary McFarland