[These thoughts are taken from the book Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice, by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrews.]
Before starting a new project:
- Does the path you are considering expand you–stretch you beyond your comfort zone–and invite you to grow?
- Does the path you are considering increase your sense of connection with other people and the world in which we all live?
- Do the enthusiastic stirring of your heart persist even as you experience obstacles and setbacks in your project?
Some exercises to (re)discover your heart:
- Remember the beginning: In ten minutes, write you earliest fond memory of writing. Then reflect on what came alive in that moment. Was this a first step on a path?
- Locating love: What loves are you pursuing in your current writing project? Make a list then speculate about each item. What might it take to nurture each particular love?
- Remember to surrender: What might your current project be asking you to surrender for the sake of creating a clear and compelling story for others, to invite them along on your path?
And always remember that with each new writing project, you are indeed setting out on a path of heart. How you choose to travel it is up to you and you alone.