Category: Writer’s Rehab

The 12: Service

Step 12: Service

Writer’s Rehab

For those in recovery programs, practicing Step 12 is simply “how it works.”

I’ve always wanted to change the world, but I couldn’t figure out how until I began to write.  I believed each and everything I wrote would somehow find its way into popularity and create epic change.  I believed that under the rock from which I wrote, my work would be discovered and used as a measure of greatness, or my work would earn the validation and recognition I desired and I would finally be a ‘working professional writer’.  I used to wake up each morning with an insatiable desire to write, and while that can be perceived as a good thing, it was the opposite because I didn’t truly consider myself a professional writer.  I thought of myself as a ‘starving artist’.  But ironically the truth is I was both.  The craft of transposing my thoughts and ideas into text literally consumed me so much so that I would have sold my soul to be a ‘professional’ writer, but because souls aren’t something that can be sold, I gave away my humility instead.  The cost to be a high paid professional writer was steep, and I didn’t even know I paid until it was too late.

Through the past 12 steps I’ve come to a lot of insight and realizations not only about the craft of writing, but also about what kind of writer I want to be, and about who I am.  The journey was difficult, as with most inward journey’s, but it was also very inspirational.  I’ve been able to attain more balance not only with regard to the craft of writing, but also within myself, which is where it all begins.  Truthfully, along this ‘adapted journey’ I didn’t give the ‘spiritual awakening’ moment  much thought, but having had one as a result of these steps, I’ve realized the creator’s unspoken challenge  and value of creating things that are in service to oneself, and to others.  I’ve also shifted to a healthier perspective on writing to that of a child-like nature: children are born with pure imagination and a profound desire to create and explore the world around them.  Unknowingly this is the overwhelming feeling I got from the craft of writing– It makes sense I would want to over indulge in it.

Recognizing this feeling has helped me to spread it into other areas of my life.  I’m not just a writer, I am a creator.  However, as a creator I realized that I can’t change the world.  I can only change my perception of it, just like any of the greatest creators of our world.  And only through that insight can I change my world.  We are all creators who must recognize this fact, and be in the child-like state, living with imagination and a profound desire to create or write, but above all be in service.



The 12: Connecting

Step 11: Connecting

Writer’s Rehab

The purpose of Step 11 is to discover the plan ‘writing’, as I understand it, has for my life.

Connecting and fully understanding  my purpose for writing has been a challenge for me.  It has been the means of my own personal growth and discovery.  As long as I’m alive, I will write.  I will express my thoughts and feelings through text.  I will create and share stories, and serve others through my words.  Interestingly, because I truly wanted to quit my ‘addiction’ when I began this experiment, the purpose of ‘writing’, which has been so integral in my life, has been a bit illusive.  In my formative years, I wrote for the pure joy of it because I didn’t have to think of it as a career.  In my later years, my conscious effort to write was simply a means to an end.  During my ‘starving artist’ period it became a vehicle for self-expression.  And now it has become a ‘product’ of service to others.  Going forward, being a writer is and has always been a discipline of my choosing.  The direction of my career is also my choosing– For me, quitting ‘being a writer’ would mean I’m a failure.

The pieces and projects I’ve worked on were only the beginning of the greatness ahead of me.  And it is a long continuous journey I’m ready for.   And although my past projects may not have found the success I wanted for them, I love them just the same.  If I believe my ‘next’ project will always be my best project, I will keep moving towards success.  Through writing, a higher power speaks to me, and I simply do the best I can to capture the miracle.  This is the hardest part of the craft of writing.  However, it is when I am still, when I am silent, when I am quiet, I can capture the words.  My writing habits have changed over the weeks, but there remains an unseen compelling force pushing me to continue.  And although my continued purpose of writing may not be in blog form, it will no doubt be a means to an end that not only expresses my thoughts and feelings, but also serves others.

The 12: Maintenance

Step 10: Maintenance

Writer’s Rehab

Nobody likes to admit to being wrong. But it is absolutely necessary to maintain progress in recovery.

Admitting when I’m wrong has been an experience that has taken me from one end of my spectrum to the other.  My soul searching list in step 4, listed my ‘sins’ of the craft of writing. And in the attempt to gain balance I must acknowledge the virtuousness within my craft.  This list will help to identify what’s ‘write’.

Humility— Maintain a realistic sense of my accomplishment without attachments to the outcome or labels; keep a healthy perspective towards writing.

Temperance— Setting aside time to write is important because it is time for myself.  This sacred time must be treated with respect and not wasted.  I most be mindful of moderating my time spent writing and time spent with others.

Charity— I must remove the thoughts that the work must be perfect and love it as it is– celebrate the manifestation of the idea, and the sharing of it with others.  The material possessions gained from the work are secondary to connecting with others.

Diligence— Continuing to work from a spiritual place allows the work to grow more naturally.   And although there will be times I don’t feel like writing, I won’t give up on myself.  I will proceed with faith and continue putting words on pages.

Patience— Knowing my work is good enough doesn’t mean I don’t have to continue to work hard at it.  I must remember this fact when I get angry about projects not turning out as planned.  I have patience with myself while working through the creative process and keep up a sense of peacefulness and stability.

Kindness— Using the spirit of competition as a way for my work to improve doesn’t mean being jealous of other artists: I am only in competition with myself.  I learn from the last creation and improve upon it.  I must show compassion and trust in my work, and the work of others without judgement or resentment.

Chastity— Although I may not be able to avoid the deep-seated desire to write, I can maintain a healthy perspective towards writing and make sure my thoughts and actions fall in line with a more balanced and positive outlook.


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