Take responsibility is about not blaming others when things don’t go the way you hoped. Instead of looking for somebody else to blame, you can turn it around and take responsibility for your part in the drama.
The original lojong slogan is: Drive all blames into one. This doesn’t mean you blame yourself or make yourself feel guilty for everything. It’s not about beating yourself up or feeling bad. This slogan just asks you to notice when you might be avoiding responsibility and to turn it around. Take responsibility for your choices and your reactions.
Blaming others doesn’t change what’s happened or help to solve problems. Being self-righteous doesn’t help either. In fact, nobody can make you feel or do something that you don’t accept on some level. So when you react to a problem by seeking to blame somebody else, it’s probably because, deep down, you know you may be partly responsible for what has happened. At the very least, you are responsible for your reaction. Only you have the power to change your own mind and you do that by accepting responsibility for how you think.
Apply this slogan to your writing practice by taking responsibility for your writing and the choices you make. Only you can do your writing. If you don’t write on any particular day, you can’t blame anybody else. You’re the one who has to decide to write and then make the time to sit yourself down and do the work. Nobody is standing over you with a big stick making you do it.
And if anybody or anything can stop you from writing – then perhaps you’re not a writer. That may sound harsh, but if you really want to write you’ll find a way to do it, no matter what your circumstances and no matter who appears to stand in your way. Take responsibility for your dream of being a writer and make it happen – and write!
Exercise: On the days you don’t write, who do you blame for your failure? Rant in your slogan journal about all the people and circumstances that you blame. Hold nothing back, get it all out of your system. Who is really to blame?
More in the book – available now: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers