Years ago, I tried to walk on a slackline. As Wikipedia describes it “Slacklining refers to the act of walking, running or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors.” What’s special about a slackline is that it means dealing with the dynamic of a line that bounces and stretches like a narrow trampoline.
Stepping on the line, I could feel the instability. It immediately led to me trying to control my body and especially the legs. The more I tried the more the slackline started swinging. With the line swinging from one side to the other I couldn’t stay more than a few seconds on the line.
I was trying to do something that my brain was better at when left on its own. I had to learn to let the chaos be. Taking up an upright position, anchoring myself by keeping my eyes on some point I had defined, I just had to wait until my brain had learned to deal with the new situation. Balance established itself allowing me to start moving on the line.
The same happens with thoughts. When trying to find a solution, when seeking to figure out something specific, they often can’t flow naturally. When effort is put into creating a result they easily get stuck in the effort.
They start to flow again when given a direction to flow towards. Most often this is achieved when starting to describe whatever is known about the subject. How does it look like? How did it feel? What was the experience? How did it transform itself? And so forth.
The output of that very first step is the input that will serve in the next steps. It provides the data that will allow moving towards a solution or an answer. Once data is there, the method to transform it into a solution will emerge. We may have to learn to use it, but that’s solved through practice.
Writing is no different. It starts with chaos. Let it be.
You’ll have enough to do with the steps that follow like organizing, transforming, enhancing, or editing. They become your art.