The Best Darned Writing Advice
You’ve Never Heard
Throw Out What You’ve Heard Before
As a creativity coach, I’m learning more and more each day about the inner workings of the creative artist, and most of it I’ve never heard before. That’s because the writing career advice we normally receive from conferences, workshops, editors and agents deals with the writing world in a business capacity. That’s where a creativity coach comes in and fills in the gaps for the artist.
Yes, you heard me right. You’re an artist. While we’re all negotiating the author career in a different way, and we’ve all come from different backgrounds, there are some sure-fire things we need in our plan to survive a long term writing career.
Artists tend to want things to be different than they are. We want to write those stories and have everyone like them. We want all critiques to tell us how wonderful we are, and agents and editors not to tell us to change anything in our manuscripts because we’re brilliant. Reality tells us that writing a novel is rarely easy and selling our novels isn’t easy. Faced with hard core facts, we can get into a rut and decide we aren’t creative anymore, we don’t have the time to write, we don’t feel like writing, the rest of our life is taking over, we aren’t making enough money at this gig, we are just tired….we wanna quit!
Then we get real and discover we don’t want to deep six a creative career that’s provided us such joy in the past. So with that in mind, there has to be something else we can do to resurrect our faith in writing.
Giving Fear The Finger
If we want the rush that comes with creating, with telling the unique story only we can tell, we face fear and roll with the punches when things don’t go our way. It means not whining (unless it’s to a good friend who gets it). It means making changes when the career we thought we wanted goes in a direction we hadn’t expected. It means telling the Fear Monster that we’re aren’t rolling over and taking it. We have to face the fear, look it in the eye, and give it the finger.
Take Your Own Side/Get Rid Of The Shoulds
A writing career is a marathon race. Most of the time, to survive those proverbial slings and arrows, you have to be your own best friend. That means realizing that you must make your own meaning. What does that mean? It means you have to understand why you’re doing this whole writing thing. Why is writing important to you, and what are your real goals? Yeah, I said your real goals. Not the ones the writing community suggests to you right up front should be your goals such as becoming a New York Times Best Selling author. Do you really want that? What sort of sacrifices would you have to make to get there? Think long and hard if that “should” is one that will make you happy in the long run. If you analyze what New York Times Best Selling authors have to do/follow to reach that goal, you may decide those steps aren’t in line with what makes you truly happy and content. Most of the clients I’ve worked with who are suffering through writer’s blocks have discovered their “goals” weren’t theirs or perhaps not the goals they value now. Once they’ve defined what they really want, they rediscover their love for writing again. Explore Anxiety Management Techniques
Being a novelist is sometimes rife with anxieties. At least anxieties that the creative mind generates on its own. It is vital that you understand the role that anxiety plays in your life, where and how it manifests, and what you need to do to banish or lessen them. Many of these anxieties can be reduced or eliminated by exploring coping techniques such as daily meditation before a writing session. Mindfulness meditation has been around for quite some time, and there is a significant amount of information out there about the effectiveness it has had on people of all walks of life who need help with anxiety, PTSD and other issues. But it is certainly not the only meditation technique out there. Other helpful things to consider when trying to rid yourself of anxiety include Tai Chi, yoga, massage and Reiki.
Have A Life Outside The Page
Creating well in your chosen artistic career isn’t always enough. You also need a life that includes relationships, perhaps a second career, a disciplined practice (such as those things we mentioned above like exercise, yoga, meditation, vacations, relaxation, and enjoyment).
Tip of The Iceberg
The few things I’ve mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg, and I haven’t gone into detail on each one. Each of these ideas can be expounded upon, and as a creativity coach I can also go in depth on each subject with clients as it fits their current situation. So if you’re having any issues with your creativity, no matter what they are, I hope you’ll contact me and we’ll chat.
Copyright Denise A. Agnew
Creative Pen Coaching