If the answer to one or more of those questions is "yes," congratulations and welcome to normal writer world...lol...
Here's the good news. All of the above happens to all writers all the time. It's part of the process of becoming a writer. But make no mistake, the best way to become a writer is to write. Write badly a lot. Then write for fun a lot. Then write a list of things you love when the story is not coming and give yourself permission to "suck big time."
Because here's the block: You have this idea in your head of what a writer is supposed to look, feel and act like and that's not real. You're a writer because you write.
When you write, you're a writer.
That's it. And the more you write, the better your writing becomes.. The more you write badly, the quicker you'll learn how to write well. It's like going to the gym. If you work out the first time really hard and then don't return for a week because your muscles are sore. Well, that's because the first time out, you took on too much. As a result, the body is overwhelmed and just shuts down. But after that week is over and you return to the gym, it's hell to pay in terms of trying to get back in the swing again and if you don't see it getting easier or fast results, you quit.
You came in like a whirlwind and blew a gasket. Writing is also a muscle that needs training. If you say to your brain, "Ok, look, you better sit down and write 20 pages today." You may do it, but it will take everything out of you because you're not used to hanging out on the page like that, not at first. The next day, you'll skip writing because you figure you did so well, yesterday with the unprecedented 20 pages, that you deserve a break. That break turns into 5 days and when you return with the intention to write another 20 or more, nothing comes.
What if your goal was to write for 10 minutes,
instead of 20 pages?
Minutes, not pages, just minutes. 10 minutes where you don't edit or judge what you wrote? I bet you'd write more because you've removed the pressure.
Okay, so you've figured out how to write more with less stress, less time, less expectations equal easy writing.
Your Ideal WritersRoom
Let's talk about what your ideal WritersRoom would look like. I like to think of the WritersRoom as a psychological space. A place you create in your mind's eye and the result is the same as being at a writers retreat.
It's a place where there's no judgement.
It's a place where it's safe to fail.
It's a place where writing can be fun.
It's a place where there is not just one way to do things.
Where is this place?
Sign me up pronto!
Here's the secret:
It's already inside of you.
You just have to allow yourself to see beyond the closed doors of
"not good enough"
"supposed to be"
that are lurking around your heart and mind.
Those are doors.
And doors are meant to be opened to let in the goodness
and put the crap outside for sanitation to pick up.
Let's Rewrite Your Story
I want you to think back to the time someone told you that you couldn't write or that you weren't good enough to become a writer.
When was that?
Write about it. Take it apart and let's reframe what happened there. The best way is to write a scene. A short one (like you'd write for your Facebook status)
You are the protagonist. The person talking to you is the antagonist. You're the writer. Write down how that conversation really went and then rewrite the conversation with your own new ending. How would you would like that scene to end. Write it. Now.
(This is teaching in real time...lol)
The story you rewrite is the only one that counts.
The way to change that moment in time when someone told you that you were not good enough, is to write it down, but like a writer creating a character.
What is the antagonist's motivation for saying what they said to the protagonist who was simply trying to learn how to write?
When you make yourself the writer, you have to empathize with your characters and understand the deeper motivations behind their actions. It's called reframing in the world of talk therapy, but in the world of writing, it's called being a good writer.
You can depersonalize that moment which is currently recorded in your heart as a moment when you weren't worthy of being a writer, into a moment where you actually are a writer. And you're using someone else's bullshit to give you content for your writing...genius.
Just weave that pain into light by weaving it into a story.
A story you control and determine who the ultimate winner is: you, the writer.
See how much power you have.
By writing that story and treating it like a scene in the screenplay of your life,
instead of something that fell on you: you take back the story and turn it into the moment you learned how to write.
Or the moment, you realized that what other people say about you is much more about them and rarely has anything to do with you.
(Remember one of the "Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally, Good or Bad")
Once you write that story, you can let it go. Once you write that story; writers block, boredom or that lost feeling you get when you're on the page and nothing is coming: all of that goes away because you have stories about yourself that are getting in the way that you need to rewrite. That's what you do when you have a block. Write about something real that you'd like to erase. It's life fuel and it's high grade.
Did you go off and write the story?
Please name the characters and post it on FB or share it with me in the comments below. I'd love to read it. You'll learn just how funny you are because when you're doing what you dream about, it's a joy that takes over and everything you touch becomes easy.
That's the WritersRoom you create in your mind.
That's the place you go to where there's no right or wrong, only you and the stories you want to tell or the notions you want to unwrap and recreate into something beautiful and power: the story of you.
'Til, next time,
Love, Light & Power,
April & the WritersRoom Team