While out on my morning walk, my mind turned towards a book I had read over the summer, On Writing by Stephen King. The book was in essence a memoir and writing course crafted as insightfully and engaging as you would expect from the renowned author. Among the many valuable takeaways, there was one in particular that I cannot seem to get off my mind.
“I distrust plot for two reasons,” says King, “first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible.” “My basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves. The job of the writer is to give them a place to grow.”
To me, this says it all. Not just about writing a good story, but about how we live and more accurately create our lives. It is a basic principle to the success of manifesting our soul’s purpose.
I am currently at a crossroads (middle age, empty nest). I have been occupied lately by not only reviewing my life to date (what I did well, what I could have done differently), but also with the challenge of creating a plan for the next half, one that will maximize my remaining time here on Earth.
I have spent countless hours envisioning and planning, looking at finances, measuring my strengths and weaknesses, honing in on my dreams and wishes, and running different scenarios.
It has been hard to settle on one plan.
There are so many ways things could go wrong. I could change my mind. My circumstances could shift. The world could throw another curve ball. All of these uncertainties have stalled my movement.
I am beginning to think that my problem could be in the plot.
Maybe I don’t need to have it all figured out before I begin. Maybe if I focus on where I want to end up and my most important values and create a loving and nurturing place for them to grow, I will end up somewhere extraordinary. And the journey will always be exciting and fun because its direction will evolve. There will be unexpected twists and surprises and I may get further than I would have had I tried to plan it all myself. My life may be fuller and more meaningful if I allow the guidance of something greater in.
King wrote most of his best selling novels in this fashion. He showed up every day, put in the time (and much talent of course), and let the grace of his genius come forward.
I intend to heed the words of the great writer and apply them to my personal journey. I am going to put my end vision out there and set the intention for creativity, adventure, magic, health, and love. I am going to create an environment that is nurturing and conducive to growth, and I am going to let go of the details and allow my life’s purpose to guide the way.