This year I’m blogging my book De-Stress Your Writing Life. You can read it for free on Creativity’s Workshop every Friday. In today’s post we start a new chapter.
Do you feel you’re in control of your writing life?
Have you taken up the reins and set off in the direction you want to go?
Or are you waiting for someone to take you by the hand and lead you out?
We’ve looked at what it means to be a writer as well as the positive, independent mindset that will help you achieve your writing goals. We’ve also gone over a number of fears and barriers that could stop you in your writing tracks.
In this chapter we’ll look at ways that you can actively direct your writing mindset so you can pour all your imagination and energy into your writing projects.
- First, we’ll look at emotional needs you may have and how you can go about filling those needs.
- Then we’ll consider how you can write yourself a personalized pep talk to reinforce your positive mindset.
- Finally, we’ll go over what true balance in your writing life means.
Fill Your Emotional Needs
All of us have emotional needs. When we’re upset, we need comfort and sympathy. We thrive when given recognition and approval. When attempting creative projects we need inspiration and direction.
The problem is that we all too often rely on other people to provide us with these things. We wait for permission, we search for inspiration, and we crave approval.
By expecting other people to fill these needs, we hand the reins of our writing life to those who aren’t invested in our personal journey.
So what’s the answer?
The answer is to fill these needs ourselves. It may sound counter-intuitive or even impossible, but let’s look at some common emotional needs and see how you can take back control of your writing life.
Discomfort can come from something as simple as the wrong chair or something as complicated as disgust for the writing we’re producing.
Obviously, if your chair is causing your problems then that’s an easy fix – find yourself a new chair. But when the discomfort runs deeper than that, the solution may not be as forthcoming.
Often what is making us uncomfortable is not the situation itself, but our way of looking at the situation. By finding a new and positive way of looking at our writing we can regain comfort and satisfaction in our work.
For example, what if you are disappointed in the quality of writing you produce first thing in the morning? You could try viewing that writing time as removing the bilge from your writing ‘pump’ so the clean words can flow later. This simple shift in your mindset can completely change your feeling towards your writing, even encouraging you to write more often.
Give it a go: Choose an aspect of your writing that you find disappointing and then look for a positive slant. It may take a bit of practice, but you’re a writer – your job is to find new ways of describing and explaining a subject. Once you find a more positive way of looking at the situation, write it down in a pep talk so you can refer to it often.
Sometimes we just want someone to acknowledge that the writing life has its difficulties and that other writers battle with the same hurdles as we do. We want someone to put their arm around our shoulder and say, “I know, me too.”
Most writers are quite open about their difficulties, which can be a great benefit to the rest of us. Reading biographies and blogs by other writers can help us see we’re not alone when it comes to things like writer’s block, editing haze, and other quirks of the writer’s life. It’s not unusual to find that a ‘great’ writer battled with similar insecurities to those we individually face.
Even if we can’t find similarities from these sources, we can still acknowledge the difficulties we personally face and take the time to appreciate how hard we’re working.
After all, the only person who completely understands what you face is you. So give yourself a hug, a pat on the back and an encouraging smile.
Give it a go: Write down one of your biggest writing hurdles and describe how it makes you feel. Sit with that feeling for a few minutes and acknowledge the impact it has on you. Now write yourself a positive message to help you continue facing that problem with conviction.
Add your comment below. Have you ever found comfort in hearing about another writer’s struggles?
Like you, I have off days and sick days. At the moment I’m battling through a flare up of my chronic illness. But I know that a regular writing routine is important, so I make sure I have something here for you to read every Friday as promised.
If you’ve found the above helpful, please either send the information on to a fellow writer you feel would benefit or leave a little donation in the kitty to help things along.
Everyone who donates will receive a free electronic copy of the book once it has reached completion.
Thanks for dropping by.