So what do I mean by making space? Why do I call it the unknown frontier?
A definition of space is a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied. So I mean for you to free up your time and your mind. By doing this you make yourself available to the new or the old ideas that got buried under years of “have-tos” and “shoulds”.
It’s the unknown frontier because you don’t know what’s going to show up. Not knowing freaks many people out. We don’t always like to wait for inspiration and sometimes we don’t have to wait. Sometimes it just appears. But there are other times when we need to be patient and keep from filling up our lives and minds with too many tasks and thoughts.
I’m not advocating for you to do nothing at all, though you may need many moments of that. You can experience new insights while you’re writing, as well as by staring out a window. What I’m making a case for is relaxing and allowing your ideas, your own intuitive guidance, to rise up.
Sometimes we get desperate when we can’t come up with an idea. That desperation is not conducive to contacting your subconscious. Sometimes we just want to avoid thinking about it all and so keep ourselves busy. And sometimes we fill our minds with the tasks yet to be done or replay past regrets. We have a tendency to fill our lives and minds up when we’re afraid. It’s a way of avoiding the real work because we’re afraid we’re aren’t good enough or will never have a good idea. But I promise you are full of good ideas as well as bad ones. Our minds are idea-making machines. Thinking is what our brains are wired to do. So don’t think that you could ever be empty of ideas.
You also don’t have to worry about following a bad idea. If something doesn’t look like it’s going to turn into what you hoped, you can always stop working on it and wait to see if the space you give it brings you another way of viewing it, of making it work. You can also just leave that project and work on another. There is no failure – only experimentation. Sometimes ideas seem great in our heads, but when we flesh them out, we find they don’t work. It’s okay. That’s the life of a writer and of anyone trying to turn ideas into realities.
As I mentioned above, space is good for your current projects and not just for coming up with new ones. That space can help expand your ideas and bring new insights that may make your project better. Just don’t put too much space between you and your work. If you do, you can lose track of your thoughts about it.
When you give space to your work, you need to be aware of your motives. Are you doing it to make it better or are you afraid it won’t be good enough and so are procrastinating? If you find you do this over and over and never finish a project, you are letting that nasty perfectionism win. First drafts don’t have to be perfect. But if you are ever going to move forward on your project, you have to get it written. Leave the polishing for later.
As I write this book, which will be my first published book, I’m being challenged by perfectionism. Since I was small, perfectionism has plagued me. It has killed many projects. I let it. It won’t kill this one.
This is one of the things I’ll talk about in the “Healing Your Stuff” section. When we take a step out of our comfort zone or when we put ourselves out there in some way, resistance will rise within us. Think about any of the new things you’ve tried. Did you feel afraid? Did you think you wouldn’t be good at it? That’s only natural. You may feel these things, but you have to understand that you have the power to override them and keep going. As you work on something new, you’ll get better at moving through your doubts. Your confidence will build and you will finish.
But first you need your idea. And to get that you need space.
The Writer's Aha! is available on Amazon for $0.99.
In it you'll discover ways you can tap into your subconscious for ideas. The suggestions in this book promote both mindfulness and mindlessness. They encourage you to slow down and create space in both your head and your life. Space is the key to uncovering your best ideas for a book or anything else you create, including a life you love.