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There is Always Write Now

Note: This is a post by Andy Mort, Andy is a UK based musician and writer. He is the founder of SheepDressedLikeWolves.com, which is a Blog and Podcast aimed at encouraging HSPs and introverts to embrace their creativity and push against the expectations of an often overwhelming world. Download his free eBook “The Gentle Rebel” here.

You are enough. You are in a position right now to be enough. Not next week, not tomorrow, not later today, not in an hour, not in a minute, right now. Right here in what we might call the eternal present you can choose to accept that you are enough. By making this decision you accept the freedom and responsibility to do the great work you’re here to do.

As writers it is important that we acknowledge this so that we can create without pressure (the future) and live without fear or regret (the past).


I remember vividly a moment when I was a kid trying to grasp the concept of eternity, forever, infinity. You may have had a similar experience. It’s mind blowing, painful even to try and get your head around the idea of never within the confines of our understanding of time. My mind was torn between the past and the future; the notion that forever is both directions.

And I remember having a moment of what might be described as mindfulness; a seven year old sat in his bedroom, realising that eternity was nothing but an everlasting series of nows. There is no past or future. Just now. There is always Now. Now. Now. Now. That last now is gone. It doesn’t matter, here’s another now. Now. Now…You get the point. There is never not a now.

It can be hard to remember this and easy to be perpetually discontent with our position. We spend so much time looking back, remembering, and pining through the rose-tinted glasses. And when we’re not doing that we’re anticipating the future, either with perpetual fear and anxiety, or perpetual hopes and dreams. This is such a prevalent issue for those of us who create, and desire to make a difference. Where we want to be always feels slightly removed from where we are.

But if we want to do great work we need to admit something: the ‘now’ is not like it used to be and it’s not like it will be. That’s a fact. The only thing we can control is how we perceive what IS.

Creative Limbo

We are often guilty of building limbo around our creative work; a sense of ‘not quite’, it’s either not quite what it was, not quite what it will be, or some weird mixture of both. We tell ourselves a story about now to make it feel more manageable and to justify the fact that we are not in step with the ‘now’. We offset our responsibility to the past or future, which when you consider the eternal now don’t actually exist.

I am bad for this lack of attention to conscious and mindful living. I am often so far off into the future in my head that you need a time machine to come and find me. I tell myself that great things will happen, but not until some abstract and undefined future comes into being. Or I look back with the belief that I can never create anything as good as I did in the past.

I recently read a quote from Eckhart Tolle:

Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’

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There is a lot of truth in that. Most if not all of our stress is caused by this sense of disconnect between where we are and where we want to be, whether that’s a place in physical space (e.g. home) or a place in time (past or future). And for creative people, stress is often found in that space between what we’re making and what we ‘want’ to be creating. But unfortunately we are finite beings with finite resources and limitations.

I mentioned that you have the choice to accept you are enough. And that’s the counterweight to this idea of stress. It’s accepting where you are and what you’re creating without desiring to be doing anything, anywhere else.

When you embrace this idea choosing now, you allow yourself to be moved into a mindful sense of the present where you can say ‘I chose to be here and that’s ok’.

By owning the process, and whatever you happen to be creating in the present you are free from the guilt, shame, regret etc of the past, and the fear, anxiety, and unknowing of the future. You focus on now, the writing in front of you and what needs to be done where you are, with what you have, in the place you are.

It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments. If we are not fully present for many of those moments, we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives but also fail to realize the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth, and transformation.

-Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The choice of ‘enough‘ is to bring our goals into focus now, and to apply ourselves fully to the things we can do in the present, leaving everything else alone until it becomes our focus.

Over to You

What is your mindset at work? At home? When you’re with your family? Do you accept the choice of enough? Can you become more present in your day to day? Share in the comments.

About Andy Mort

Andy Mort is a UK based musician and writer. He is the founder of SheepDressedLikeWolves.com, which is a Blog and Podcast aimed at encouraging HSPs and introverts to embrace their creativity and push against the expectations of an often overwhelming world. Twitter: @atlumschema

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  • Great post. Being a HSP myself I keep getting tripped up and feeling I am not enough because I am not like some others who are not HSP. I have trouble staying in the NOW because I am either pulled back into the past or as you said, looking ahead to that nebulous thing which will change everything. But it doesn’t. If there were a way to tune down the HSP so I could function more in the NOW that would be great. The struggle takes so much of my energy which could be used to move me forward. Instead I keep getting stalled. Thanks so much for your insight.

    • Thanks, Anne! Totally relate to that tug from both directions. It’s a hard thing to become ‘one’ with the now, because in a way it involves ceasing any thought process around it. The high sensitivity leads to a lot of thinking/over-thinking, and like with many things knowing what we should be doing, or being aware of how we SHOULD feel about the now isn’t enough to make it so. And trying to think our way into a new mindset is incredibly draining. I hope you manage to tune into your NOW!

  • For the next few days, my “Now” is painting trim work and doors around the house in preparation to put our house on the market. It is the most grueling endeavor I’ve had to endure. It’s been a struggle to continue my focus because I’ve been at it for so long. It’s a responsibility that must be done. Must. Your post has given me that extra boost needed to see it through, at least for another day.

    • I’ve just finished doing something very similar. A whole load of skirting boards! I’m sorry you’re having to go through that! It’ll be worth it though.

  • SS

    I live in the ‘now’. I don’t regret my past. I accept I am enough.
    I have an illness that lives with me in the ‘now’. I have accepted it and that whatever I am able to do in the limits it sets is enough too.
    However, sometimes, just sometimes, when things go wrong,…

    • That’s a really powerful testimony. You sound deeply inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ashley

    This is a wonderful post. It’s very inspirational.

  • Great article. I definitely struggle at times with remaining in the present and letting go of expectations of where I should be with my creative goals. What I have found empowering for myself is reconnecting to my body throughout the day. Our bodies don’t live anywhere but in the present. It is our minds that take us to different places. When I reconnect to my breath, or feel my feet planted on the ground I can tap into the beautiful now.

    • Thanks, Jackie! I know the feeling and I love that insight. Our bodies cannot live anywhere but in an ever state of now, and yes our minds carry us away. With creative goals this can be huge. And I don’t know about you but for me if I’m not careful no goal that I meet is ever good enough. If I’ve done enough to hit a target then that means the target needs shifting. This is fine with the right perspective; not so good if it’s seen through a lens of perpetual dissatisfaction, which I sometimes slip into. I find breathing/meditation practice very helpful in the process of reconnecting to my body – I love the way you put it! 🙂

      • Andy~ I can totally relate to the feeling of my accomplishments not being good enough. I can struggle with projecting my own timelines, expectations, or thoughts about how things should look, onto a goal or project. However, like you said, this can create a cycle of perpetual dissatisfaction. For me mindfulness/connecting to the body is helpful as is putting myself into a mindset of surrendering. Surrendering to the process, to a larger wisdom that creative work comes to form in it’s own time, in often unexpected ways. Of course this is easier said than done sometimes. Just gotta keep flexing the presence muscles 🙂

        • YES! I love that concept. I have experienced the ‘creative formation in its own time, in unexpected ways’ so many times, despite my impatience. Little seeds of ideas, or creative nuggets that don’t fully form until all of a sudden everything slips into place. The need to surrender always trumps the inclination to force when it comes to the creative process. Very nicely articulated, Jackie!

  • Andy – thanks for sharing some well timely thoughts…..I am ENOUGH….NOW….

  • jami

    this was perfect timing and I get it. I have printed this article and have it clearly placed where I can see it everyday. I have felt in limbo for a few weeks now and it is a bad feeling. A couple days ago I gave myself permission to not worry about my writing schedule for now and just focus on other things I enjoy. It did a great job of making me feel feee. And the other wonderful thing it has done, is kept my story in my head in a different way. In a more curious way, instead of a “have to be” way. I feel this little vacation I granted myself is actually going to bring me to the other side of my limbo state and energize me with new perspective to my story. I am just perculating right now 🙂

    • That’s great news, Jami! So glad that this came through at the right time. Sometimes it’s really important to step back from the pressure we put on ourselves. You hit the nail on the head; not only does it help our general wellbeing, but it also allows us to look at our creative projects/potential creative work with fresh eyes. Stepping away can feel counter-productive, but is so often exactly what we need to do to take things to the next level. I hope you manage to find an exciting way back into your story!!

  • Mamacyn

    I am held back right now because every time I share something personal, my not so nice sister in law has to make some negative comment to my husband, who then feels compelled to share it with me. Talk about having negativity in my life to put a major damper on my creativity! What do you all do when/if this happens? I don’t feel like writing anything anymore in fear of her judgemental comments!

    • Wow, thanks for your comment. It would be great to get other people chiming in on this one. I don’t know if it helps at all but I think most of us probably have one or two people in our lives similar to your sister-in-law. They have a way of saying something about what we do, what we are trying to do, or what we dream of doing, that just completely deflates us/takes the wind from our sails.

      One of the things that I have learned is to just persevere and attempt to ignore those snarky, cynical voices, reminding myself of why I write and who I write for. Clue; it’s not for them. I also have an email folder with all the encouraging messages I receive from people so that when I do hit the inevitable periods of deflation I can go there and remind myself again of why I write and who I write for.

      Obviously I don’t know anything about your personal situation or what your sister-in-law said but I know, especially in families people can feel entitled to ‘know what’s best for your life’, and to say whatever they want.

      I would say, know WHY you’re doing it, WHO you’re doing it for, and that you are not alone. It’s an inevitable part of being vulnerable/creative. If there wasn’t a risk involved then people wouldn’t be critical, envious, or cynical. Please don’t give up!

      • Mamacyn

        Thanks so much Andy. Yeah, my husbands mother and sister hate me for no reason other than the fact that I took their son/brother away – BTW they are both single (go figure). I will do my best to take your wonderful advice! Take care, Mamacyn

        • lupine

          Mamacyn, your hospital parenting blog sounds wonderful and so needed! Keep writing for it!

          Your family situation sounds exactly like what my long-suffering mother went through with her female in-laws. MIL and SIL always hated her for taking away their precious son/brother. I suspect misplaced resentment has been around for a few centuries and it doesn’t get any easier to deal with!

          My own female in-laws frequently treated me badly when my husband wasn’t around and my hubby inherited their negativity. Even my step-kids still blame me for taking their dad away from them, though their parents had been divorced for 3 years before we ever met.

          So, there hasn’t been much encouragement or support for my writing, but I’ve published essays, articles and books anyway. Anything “personal” in my writing has, of course, been attacked! I’ve recently been in a dark place from the “aloneness,” but I’m learning additional writing skills and moving my website to WordPress, etc. to keep the creativity going while my much needed employment drains my energy. I refuse to be defeated by envious, spiteful people, so will continue to include personal experience as I inch back into full-time writing. You do the same!

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