To celebrate the start of the next session of my Writer’s Circle this coming Monday, I’m sharing a free series on “How to Find the Courage to Tell the Stories You Are Longing To Tell.”
Today’s fourth and final post completes the series with thoughts on “How to Make Writing A Whole Lot Easier.”
- To read the first post in the series, “Why It Requires Courage to Write”, click here.
- The second post, “How to Spot the Stealthy Smokescreens that Stop You From Writing”, is here.
- Yesterday’s post, “How to Find Your True Stories”, is here.
It can sound like the easiest thing in the world to write. But when it comes to sitting down and facing the blank page, writing can be downright terrifying. Perhaps surprisingly to some, it takes a lot of courage to overcome all the fear, self-doubt, stories, and resistance to making it happen.
What I’ve seen is that when you take action to do the following things for yourself, writing becomes much much harder NOT to do. And that makes it SO much easier.
- Find peer support.
Connect with other writers. Be part of a community. Live and breathe writing and talk about it with other people who are actively engaged in writing and are firmly committed to their writing, come hell or high water.
Personally, I’m part of several writing communities, including my online Writer’s Circle, my screenwriting class, and the online Scriptchat community. I make it a priority to hang out with writers who are writing regularly — and not just talking about it.
- Create social accountability.
Give yourself public deadlines and set public goals to use the tool of social accountability. When other people know you are promising and intending to do finish your writing project by a certain date and you know they are watching, it’s a LOT harder not to do it.
- Create solid writing habits.
Make yourself a writing schedule, use a timer to write in sprints, start early in the morning or write late at night — what matters is that you write and that you write regularly. And by the way, regularly means as close to daily as you can muster (my preference is 6 to 7 days per week).
Writing regularly, and sticking to it, surprisingly makes writing much, much easier. Back in the days when I used to write my newsletter on a monthly basis, it felt like scraping my fingernails over a dry chalkboard just to get myself going. But now that I’m blogging on a weekly basis and screenwriting on a daily basis, I find that I’m always running article ideas and story lines through my mind, which makes it oh-so-much easier to jump into when the writing clock chimes at 6 a.m. (actually it’s 5:45 a.m. these days, but who’s counting?).
- Have a willing spirit of adventure.
Enjoy the ride — have a willing spirit of adventure. Writing is an up and down journey. I LOVE it, AND, there are days when I feel like being run over by a truck might be a little bit easier. Thank goodness I have my writing communities to cheer me up on those days. Ride the highs and surf the lows, knowing you’ll make it to the other side.
- Be deeply honest with yourself.
You want to write, right? Be honest with yourself about that and what it will cost you if you don’t write. Also be honest with yourself about how scared you are to do it and about how you are creating obstacles to your writing. Only then can you face and overcome them.
- Make a commitment to write.
Decide, right now, that you are going to write, no matter what. Then do it.
Make a “Life Decision” about this, as Dr. Phil calls it, to follow your dream of writing. Once you’ve made that decision, there’s no turning back. Stop dipping your foot in the pond of your dream and start making it a reality. There’s no way to do it but one step at a time, even if it’s two steps forward and one step back for a while.
- Have the courage to write regularly.
Having the courage to write means doing it without fail, even in the face of fear, self-doubt, and those savage attacks by your inner critic telling you that you won’t succeed.
One day when I came home from dropping off my son at school, I realized that I was terrified to work on the next scene in my script, and I felt like I was frogmarching myself to the guillotine as I approached my computer. I said to myself, “I see you, fear, and you cannot stop me. I can at least write out the scene heading. I can at least chose the characters for the scene. I can at least brainstorm what I’d like to see happen.”
And with a little coaxing and a lot of courage, I was off and writing.
This concludes our series on “How to Find the Courage to Tell the Stories You Are Longing To Tell.” If you enjoyed the series, I’d love to hear from you in the comments on my blog. Thanks for reading!
I inspire writers to find the courage to share the stories they are secretly longing to tell but are afraid won’t be heard or welcomed. If you’d like company on your writer’s journey, I want to invite you to join the next session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle, which starts this coming Monday, February 20th. In the Writer’s Circle, you’ll find all the peer support and accountability you need to have the courage to write regularly.
Registration closes TODAY, February 16th.
Find out more and register here: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.
“I’m now working on a manuscript that has haunted me for 5 years…and there’s nary a chain rattle anymore.”“This Writer’s Circle is such a wonderful experience, and it’s changed the way I look at writing…in a GOOD way! I’m now working on a manuscript that has haunted me for 5 years…and there’s nary a chain rattle anymore. I’m finally putting myself and my writing on the priority list. I’m also excited and inspired by the sense of community with other writers that was wholly lacking from the rest of my life. If you’re looking for help with your writing, join the Writer’s Circle now!”
~ Terri Fedonczak, Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, www.alifeinbalance.com