As I begin writing this morning, I have no idea as to what will appear - well, I guess that isn’t entirely true…but it would be fair to say that this is not a post that I have planned to my normal levels. A well planned blog post this morning falls secondary to just sitting and writing: for this is one of my intentions for 2018 - to get back to my blogging.
I logged on to my website a few days ago and realised it has been a full year since posting last. I knew it had been a while, but I was shocked. When I posted last January I had no idea it would be 12 months until I got around to doing it again. The cynic in me could question “what is different now”? Yet I know that blogging is important to me, to the way I work, to the way I understand my process - professionally, spiritually and personally. I don’t consider myself a creative person - blogging and my website is one way in which I CAN express myself.
And for 2018 this feels more true than ever. The practicalities of life these past 2 years have blocked my writing process: completing my MSc in 2016 (which itself involved writing 12000 words for my dissertation - its fair to say that was more than enough writing), and within a couple of months successfully landing a role teaching counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Brighton (and all that brings in terms of ‘learning on the job’). Then in 2017, being Course Leader for the MSc in psychotherapy, I had to take the course through re-accreditation with the UKCP (United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy); and if that wasn’t enough I moved house (which also involved moving my private practice).
In my year-end review - a process I have done annually since 2011 - I looked across the personal, spiritual and professional domains of my life. I connected with a sense of contentment, appreciating how the hard work of creating a new life had finally settled in to a reality. Choosing to re-train as a therapist some 6 years ago…and here I was, living out that vision: doing it, teaching it, and integrating it (with my spiritual life).
Looking back enables a looking forward: and in reviewing 2017, touching in to life having settled, there is a strong sense of space emerging. I know I need to be careful, because I (like many others) can be guilty of over-planning when space appears. However, this space (perhaps what Perls would call ‘the fertile void’) feels like an opportunity to prioritise my writing. And my aspirations for what that looks like?
- Making the time to sit and write 2 or 3 times per week
- As this writing practice takes shape, producing 1 blog post per week
- By the Spring, feeling the momentum for writing has gathered enough to begin a bigger project - that of ‘blogging a book’
I’m aware by sharing this intention to write a book publicly, I am doing one of two things: setting up a very public fall, OR using an audience to bring accountability and another reason to commit and keep committing. I have long felt I have “a book in me”, and reading Nina Amir’s text over the Christmas and New Year break inspired me to try blogging it - it was sharing the process with a reading community, one that could offer guidance and feedback on my writing as I go, that inspired me to go for it. No doubt I will share more about my book aspirations in the blogging weeks to come, but for now, I am just getting it ‘out there’.
So, 2018 - a year of consolidating my weekly rhythm: my client work in private practice, my work teaching counselling and psychotherapy; a year in which I continue to explore the ways to integrate the psychological and spiritual paths (my own, and helping my clients) through writing; and on a more personal note, the year in which I attend a four-week retreat (the longest I will have done) and the year in which I get married. A lot to be excited about, a lot to be grateful for.
I hope you accompany me along this journey by coming back each week.