Rejuvenation for Writers Podcast 017
Are you an aspiring or published author in need of rejuvenation?
If so, I’m creating this podcast for you.
Let’s say you’re a writer who has never been published because you never finish you manuscripts. You have one or even several stuck in a drawer or under your bed, but you can never seem to complete them.
A new idea comes (we often call these plot bunnies due to our need to chase them), and you write ferociously for a while to get it all down. But then everything just kinda fizzles out. You don’t know what your characters should do or how to get your plot moving forward again.
So you pile it up with your others, wondering how you’ll ever be able to reach your dream of publication.
Or let’s say you’re a traditionally published author through a publishing company. You’ve never had trouble writing before, but now that your elderly in-laws have moved in, you find you can’t settle in to write like usual.
You try and try to focus, but taking care of their needs drains you more than you expected. Every time you go to your computer, one of your in-laws interrupts you.
In frustration you go to your spouse, but this leads to an argument and now you feel guilty. What are you going to do?
Or let’s say you’re self-published.
You’ve successfully published several books, but halfway through this work-in-progress you find yourself empty of energy and inspiration.
You know you need to get back to it, but every time you go to your laptop, you find yourself going to Facebook or online instead of to your word document.
Before you know it, hours have passed and you haven’t made any progress at all. Several days pass and you continue to avoid your writing. Weeks then months pass.
Now, you’re panicked.
Even though you’ve successfully completed many novels before, you’re utterly uninspired. Your muse has abandoned you. What should you do?
If you’re a writer and any of these scenarios sound familiar, let’s get you some rejuvenation! The best thing you can do is be aware of where your problem is stemming from.
Do deadlines stimulate your motivation or do they stifle your creativity?
Are you avoiding writing because you feel blocked?
Or do you never finish what you start even though you have tons of great ideas?
No matter the situation, ask yourself why.
Why are you having trouble? Are you tired? Stressed? Unmotivated?
Are you feeling too much pressure? Why does it feel like too much?
Why are you getting distracted and what can you do about it?
Let’s look at our aspiring author from the first example.
She is great at coming up with new ideas, but not so great with following through.
Let’s plug her issue into Brooke Castillo’s coaching model.
Circumstances: The aspiring author begins lots of stories but doesn’t finish them. (The fact of the situation at the moment.)
Thought: I don’t know how to finish my stories.
Feeling this thought creates: Frustration.
Action she takes: She gives up on her current WIP (work-in-progress) and starts another story.
Result: Incomplete manuscripts unsuitable for publication.
Let’s look at her thought again. “I don’t know how to finish my stories.”
Often when someone says they don’t know or are confused by something, it is to cover up their true beliefs about the situation.
Since we are all spiritual beings in human bodies, we are all wise and intelligent creatures. Even if we don’t immediately know how to do something, we know we can figure it out or how to seek help from someone who can show us. So “I don’t know” isn’t really true. It’s a bit of a cop out.
So what is her real thought?
I want to be published, but if I finish my stories, they may be criticized and rejected.
Fear. She fears criticism and rejection. She never finishes so she won’t ever have to face those fears.
Now that we’ve gotten to the heart of the matter, we can change this. By the way, becoming aware of our thought process and the feelings it creates makes a huge difference in and of itself. Knowledge is power.
Her new thought needs to be positive and believable. Here are some possibilities:
- I can handle criticism and rejection because it’ll teach me what I need to get better.
- I am smart enough to figure out how to write good endings.
Or you could even go as simple as:
- I can face my fears.
Whichever feels the most true and good is the one she’ll want to adopt.
Let’s look at our second example, our traditionally published author with the in-laws.
Circumstances: Her elderly in-laws have moved in and require extra care.
Her thought about this: They keep distracting me from my writing.
Her feeling: Annoyance or possibly resentment.
Action: She goes to her husband to complain about the situation.
Result: An argument and no (or at least less) writing getting done.
Remember that circumstances are facts that we’re not looking to change necessarily.
You can’t change other people – though many try. She can’t heal her in-laws. Maybe they could hire a nurse, but maybe that’s not affordable or the in-laws have rejected that idea.
So let’s work within the framework we’ve been given.
Her original thought was: “They keep distracting me from my writing.”
What thought can she change this to that’ll help her to write?
This thought needs to make her feel good rather than annoyed and resentful.
- I can write when they’re asleep.
- I’m great at refocusing after distractions.
- I can easily take care of them AND finish my writing projects.
Whatever she changes her thought to is all about perspective. If she can stop seeing the care of her in-laws as a burden, then her emotions around this situation will become more positive.
Yes, this may be a challenge. But we get to choose our thoughts, and we get to choose how we feel.
Sure, she can talk to her husband again. Maybe they can work out a schedule where he’ll watch them for a certain amount of time while she writes. But if she can alter what she is thinking about the situation on her end, she can still reach the result she wants – a completed writing project.
Let’s look at our multi-published author who suddenly can’t finish her current WIP. She’s been going to Facebook or playing around online instead of writing.
Circumstances: She has not written anything in months.
What does she think about this? She thinks she is no longer a writer.
How is she feeling?
Anxious, scared, even panicked.
What actions has she taken due to feeling this way? These emotions have led her to avoid writing altogether. Instead, she finds herself going to social media both escape and to commiserate with her other writer friends.
Result: While she may receive some sympathy from her online friends, her avoidance of writing leaves her novel unfinished.
First, as always, change that meddlesome thought.
Here are a few possibilities:
- I am a multi-published author, and I know I can do this.
- My mind is full of new writing ideas. (If the problem is inspiration, this will bring those ideas to the fore).
- Writing makes me feel good.
Again, remember she can always choose a different thought to see if it feels true. Maybe something as simple as “I AM a writer,” can be a good starting place.
So once she changes her thought, she’ll then need to focus on all the feelings and thoughts that come up when she thinks about sitting down to write again.
I would advise her to go to someplace other than her typical writing spot and write these thoughts and feelings down on a regular piece of paper.
She won’t limit what she writes down in any way – she’s just going to write down every thought and feeling that comes to her no matter how negative.
When done, she’ll need to read over what she’s written. Many times people are surprised by what they’ve written. They’re often not consciously aware of what’s been going on in their head.
Now that she’s aware of her thoughts and feelings, she’ll gradually start to change them to become more and more positive.
She may start out with “I am a writer” but end up with “I can finish this novel within a month.” Or maybe she’ll be more generic and say, “I can do anything!” Or, “I’m freaking awesome!”
This model can be used with any problem. Figure out what they actual circumstances or facts are. Separate out your thoughts and feelings. Look for the actions you’ve been taking (if any) and determine what your current result is.
If you’re result is not what you want it to be, change your thought to something positive and believable.
Then sit back and watch your life improve.
Or, get some individualized help from me.
I am offering a special holiday discount to anyone who signs up for my 6 week Rejuvenation for Writers Coaching Program before November 24, 2017 (Thanksgiving Day in the US).
The Rejuvenation for Writers Program, normally priced at $450, will be reduced to only $349.99. That’s 6 full weeks of one hour coaching per week, constant email access to me, and lots of exercises to help get you back on your writing track.
Curious? Ready to receive some rejuvenation? 🙂 Click here to schedule your FREE mini-session with me now!
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