Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Despite being considered an “invasive species” in Australia, I love Golden Dewdrops (the shrub pictured in the photograph) because of its colour. Apart from being my favourite colour, for me, purple is the colour of enthusiasm and excitement. The shrub is actually named Golden Dewdrops because of its golden (highly inviting, but extremely poisonous) berries that hang in clusters like dewdrops.
I’m excited because the project has a clear direction and one that takes me to doing one of the things that I love best – writing. Even though the writing that I will be doing is considerably outside my comfort zone (prose, non-fiction, where I only have enough knowledge from research to be dangerous) I am still looking forward to it. I love to write (hopefully testified to by this blog) and any writing project puts a spring in my step.
One of the biggest challenges about this writing project (aside from the sheer quantities of research that I am having to get my head around at speed) is that it is collaborative. Writing collaboration has never been one of my strengths. In fact I have avoided it studiously after my first attempt ended in f-a-r too much drama-rama-ing and in-fighting for me to bear (I don’t ever do disrespect, drama, spectacle or scenes in public or private.) For a long time I considered that my intrinsic loathing of collaborative writing was resultant from my innate control-freakery. Then I met someone I could write with and learned that it wasn’t about who was in charge, but more who was doing the writing.
I am not only a ruthless editor, but also blissfully unattached to whatever I write. I have had attachment to my work beaten out of me by editors who are far more ruthless than myself. The only way to survive is to LET GO – becoming perfectly comfortable with the harshest criticism of your work without taking it personally. This, I have decided is a skill, developed over many years and one that professional writer have to develop. The majority of amateur writers become mortified if you even suggest that there is so much as a comma out of place.
I am concerned that Will, our resident Subject Matter Expert, is not going to take kindly to my “red pen.” Moreover, I am also concerned that dancing around him, in order not to hurt his feelings is going to produce a sub-standard product. I believe that step number one in this adventure is to learn to Let Go.
The undertaking to “let go” has been a life mission since reading the book Letting Go by David R. Hawkins M.D., Ph.D. when it was first published in 2013. Seven years later it remains a life mission, but at least now I believe I am beginning to get the hang of it. David Hawkins is one of my favourite teachers, but this was by far his most interesting book. I remember at first being slightly annoyed that there weren’t more precise instructions on the “How-to” of letting go, but as my understanding of the material has developed, I now have a reasonable idea of why he didn’t – because how you let go is unique and different for everyone and leaving instructions would have been far too prescriptive and probably wouldn’t have worked for many people. Working out how you let go is part of the challenge.
I have this strong feeling, that on this project I am working on, there is going to be a lot of “letting go” on my part.