writing

Are You Called to Write?

I believe in callings.

I believe that each of us has something that we were put here to do, and when we find what it is, we must do it with all our hearts.

And… it isn’t always easy to get clear on what our calling is.

Why?

The noisy, busy world we live in and the noisy, busy minds we are encouraged to cultivate by the mainstream makes it hard to hear ourselves and the deeper whispers of our souls.

And that’s often how a calling comes through, as a whisper.

It took me a number of years to come around to realizing that my deepest call is to write. I spent my 20s and 30s sorting myself out in that regard, changing careers, soul-searching, and more (like helping other people get clear on their life callings!), only to come back to the insight that my 6th grade self already had hit upon: I want to write.

Are you called to write?

If you’re here, reading a website named “Called to Write”, I’m going to assume that you also feel that call. That you have the inner compunction to put words to the page in some form. You may or may not be doing it yet, or maybe not yet quite the way you want to be doing it, but I’m guessing that one way or the other, you’ve been feeling the call to write for some time.

When I conducted a survey a little while ago, 71% of you said that you felt called to write without a doubt. That’s huge. And fantastic!

And, interestingly, 71% of you also said that you struggle with procrastination.

Isn’t that fascinating?

The very thing we feel called to do is the very thing we tend to avoid.

And it’s entirely normal.

One of my favorite things Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art (aka “Jenna’s Bible”) is this:

“The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

In other words?

The bigger the dream, the more we fear and avoid it.

The good news

The good news is that it’s not as hard as it feels to help yourself write the way you want to. You just need to understand what’s really going on behind the calling, behind the resistance, and along the life journey we’re making as writers so that you can start to match up what you’re doing on a daily basis with your deeper calling.

I’m leading a free teleclass next week to help you do just that.

It’s titled: “Called to Write: How to Align Your Daily Actions with Your Soul’s Deeper Purpose”.

In the class, I’ll be talking about:

  • Symptoms you may be experiencing if you’re not living your calling — and what to do about them.
  • Mistakes you may be making that might be stopping you from pursuing your calling.
  • How to know you are called to write — no more second guessing what you were put here to do.
  • Things you think may be signs you shouldn’t write but are not accurate — and you should ignore!
  • Surprising facts about how you can fulfill your calling to write more easily than you expect.
  • The mythic journey you must complete in order to fulfill your calling.
  • Action steps to align your daily actions with your soul’s deeper calling.

If you’d like to join me, please register here: http://programs.calledtowrite.com/teleclass

 

 

Do You “Believe Beyond Reason?”

When Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western television series,Firefly,” was cancelled by the Fox network in 2002, the fans of the show were devastated. But Joss told his actors that he wouldn’t give up and that he would find the show a new home.

Eventually, he found that place with Universal Studios in 2005, where they made a feature length movie called Serenity and resurrected the Firefly story.

Joss says about his movie making, “It’s not to make things people like. It’s never to make things people like. It’s only to make things that they love.”

Refusing to Let It Go

What I love about this story (in addition to loving the show unabashedly), is that Joss was so committed to vision and believed in it so much, that he refused to give up. And his fans and cast did too. Joss says about the experience, “[People] fell in love with it a little bit too much to let it go, too much to lay down arms when the battle looked pretty much lost. In Hollywood, people like that are called ‘unrealistic’ … ‘quixotic’ … ‘obsessive’.”

He seems to be totally okay with that. :)

When he presented the first footage of the movie at San Diego Comic Con, he said to the assembled masses of fans, “This movie should not exist. Failed TV shows don’t get made into major motion pictures unless the creator, the cast, and the fans believe beyond reason.”

Isn’t that the most beautiful turn of phrase?

What Do You Believe Beyond Reason?

What are you so ridiculously over the moon about that it makes you giddy just to think about?

The word passion has become so overused in our culture today, I’m not even sure we know what it means anymore.

To most of us it apparently means something like, “What do you think is a realistic way to make money that you would enjoy doing?”

And while that is a useful question when one is paying one’s bills, it is NOT really the same question as “What are you passionate about?”

Seems to me it’s time to change the question.

Let’s start asking, “What do you BELIEVE BEYOND REASON?”

“What do you believe in so deeply, so permanently, so passionately that you can hardly keep yourself in your skin because you are exploding with joy when you consider it?”

“What brings tears to your eyes when you allow yourself to even just consider the possibility that you might be lucky enough to do it for a single minute of your life?”

Do that. And do it as quick as you can.

Because really, why would we do anything else?

Time’s a wastin.’

Watch Joss’ Introduction Here

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.

 

Jenna

 

7 Steps to Get Clear and Get Going On Your Big Vision for Your Right Work

You know you’re Not Happy doing the work you’re doing right now.

Or maybe you’re beyond not happy into Soul Sick and just know you can’t bear to get up in the morning and face going to that job another single minute.

You probably even have tons of ideas about what to do instead but you’re still not sure where to start. You might even feel like you can almost put your finger on it, but not quite give it a name or describe exactly what it is that you want to do.

But deep down you know it’s time to either: 1) Start your own “thing” (read: business) or find a job that’s finally suited to your temperament, life purpose and innate talents.

I call that finding your Right Work or your Authentic Work.

Here’s How to Get Clear and Get Started on Your Big Vision for Your Right Work

1. Get Clear On What You Were Put Here to Do
It sounds easy to say that, I know, but it’s also not as hard as you think it is to find your life purpose. It is written out like a road map, right on your hands, for you to follow. I can easily tell you what it is through a hand analysis session.

2. Don’t Rule Anything Out
When it comes to crafting a Big Vision for your life, don’t rule anything out. It’s way too easy to let your inner critic (or as Julia Cameron says, your “Censor”) start yammering at you too early in the process. You DO want to critique and refine your plans, but not until later on in the game (see Step #7, below).

3. Dive Deep
Now it’s time for some deep sea diving. What are all those long lost secret dreams and cherished notions you’ve let go of along the course of living a practical life or the life your parents told you to have?

I always have my clients look for patterns and themes in the answers they come up with, because strangely enough, even when you’re spinning in confusion, there’s always some method to your madness. Usually it’s simply a matter of taking the time to stop and pay attention to all the powerful clues your psyche and soul are hinting about.

4. Dream Big
Once you’ve got your Censor under control and you’ve spent some time going deep down, expand it outward by brainstorming and dreaming big. There’s no point in holding back here, so have at it.

At this critical point in the process, it’s tremendously helpful to get input from like-minded mentors and peers who can help you stretch beyond the limits of your own thinking.

  • What would you LOVE to do?
  • What would it look like?
  • Who would you be doing it with?
  • Where would you be working?
  • What would you be doing?

Imagine it in full, technicolor detail. Steep in the energy and imagery of it.

5. Detail Your Vision
Next, spend some time detailing out your vision on a practical level.

  • How does it work with your available energy?
  • How will you know when you’re successful?
  • How much money are you making?
  • How many people are you working with? How many widgets are you making?
  • How many hours are you working?
  • How many days, weeks, months are you working?

6. Reverse Engineer a Plan
Now, take a look ahead and see yourself living that Big Vision in the not too distant future. Then, reverse engineer from that future point in time to here. How did you get there? What steps did you take?

Once you start exploring, you’ll see it’s not so hard to get there from here.

7. Implement, Refine and Adjust
Now that you’ve crafted your plan, get out there and start doing it. Rely on your Censor to give you input on places to adjust and refine. Get help along the way to keep moving and keep your momentum going.

Ready to Get Into Action?

I love nothing more than seeing you get clear on your Big Vision and getting into action making it real. I’ve laid out all the steps for you — now it’s up to you to make it happen.

For those of you who know you do much better with support than working on your own — reserve your spot now for my  Voice Your Vision retreat  in Berkeley on April 29th and 30th for and I’ll help you get clear and get going. (Early registration ends this Friday).

~~~~~

What’s Jenna Up To?

~> March 29th, 2011. My Artist’s Way Accountability & Support Group continues. Details.

~> April 20, 2011. Speaking at the Thriving Practice Workshop Series in Berkeley, California on creating a web presence and using social media to reach clients.

~> April 23, 2011. Next broadcast of my Radio Lightworker radio show “Dreamification.” Details. Listen from anywhere in the world to this Internet radio show.

~> April 29th & 30th, 2011. My next Voice Your Vision retreat will be held in Berkeley, California. Early registration is now available through April 1st at midnight Eastern Time. Special savings if you’ve already had your hands analyzed. Contact my assistant Jamie to schedule a private one-to-one chat with me to find out if this program is right for you. Check out this video to get a sense of what it’s like to work with me in this way.



Joe Versus the Volcano: A Hero’s Journey

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Joe Versus the Volcano” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

The horror of the opening sequence when Joe goes to work in the morning makes me cringe in delighted horror.

If you haven’t seen it, a very washed-out, sickly-looking Joe approaches a dark factory, marching along in a line of stumbling, automatons in dark business suits, trampling the lone, brave, bright yellow flower audacious enough to eek out an existence between the cracks of the dismal concrete pathway.

Once inside, Joe sits in an office without windows, tortured by the incessant flickering of fluorescent light bulbs going bad, listening to his co-worker’s constant sniffling and his boss’s endlessly repetitive telephone conversations. And all this not to mention the fact that Joe has a pointless, bureaucratic job devoid of meaning. It’s enough to make a sensitive soul tremble in terror.

And when I compare this movie to the typical, modern-day work experience, it doesn’t seem so far off despite its exaggerations, especially for a sensitive soul. Anonymous cubicles, fluorescent lights, limited privacy, meaningless work. It’s no wonder we have such trouble finding satisfaction!

But that’s not really why I love the movie.

What I see embodied within the film is the hero’s journey – a return to true self. Joe goes from being a hypochondriac to a vibrant, life-filled being because he is finally willing to say “No” to what no longer serves him.

He finds joy in life by engaging life – and by living with courage and curiosity. He is given the gift of a giant wake-up call (albeit a false one) that finally gets his attention. His misguided belief that he is going to die inspires him to consider a new way. He starts to speak his truth — he tells people what he really thinks — and he doesn’t hold back or play it safe. He quits his soul-sucking job and finally starts to LIVE.

Like Joe, salvation is possible for us when we take the time to discover our true selves, learn to see the joy in life again, and let go of what is dragging us down. So what are you holding back from? How are you playing it safe? What are you ready to let go of? How are you longing to be free?

Remember, it’s never too late to start now.