Writing a book, article, column or blog can feel overwhelming at times. Writing takes you away from other activities that might be more urgent, entertaining, or easier to complete. It demands your attention, energy and commitment. Yet even when you are pressed for time, face doubts about your work, or suffer from writer’s block, you can still write no matter what. Here are some ways to do just that:
1) Celebrate small wins. Internal distractions and external interruptions make it hard to write for sustained periods. To keep your momentum going, try breaking down your project into small, manageable tasks, as you would with any other worthwhile pursuit. If your intent is to write a book, divide it into tiny pieces that you can easily tackle and get done. Focus on a chapter, a page, a paragraph or even a sentence. Or write for just 10 minutes. Either you will or you won’t find yourself writing beyond the allotted time. In the end, you will still have at least 10 minutes worth of writing done. And you will have work product to revise, expand, and improve. The easiest way to complete a writing project is to invest in it bit by bit. Start with small steps. Celebrate the tiny victories.
2) Open up to your doubts and fears. Negative thoughts and challenging emotions often arise in the writing process. Doubts can crop up while you are stringing words together into a sentence. Fears can show up when you are done writing and getting ready to move on to the next thing. How do you stay true to the writing process when it brings tremendous doubt and fear? Begin by experiencing your emotions as physical sensations. Make space for them. Befriend them. Don’t try to push them aside or hide from them. Listen to what they have to tell you. Breathe into the areas of your body where you hold the most tension. Opening up allows you become less tight, restricted, and edgy. Embrace your doubts and fears without letting them take a paralyzing hold over you.
3) Do something else. Take a break from writing when it becomes mundane and overbearing. Draw, sing, play, dance, put away from your to-do lists. Turn off your television. Mute your radio. Unplug from the Internet. Activate your imagination and visualize your finished product. What do you see, hear, feel, touch and taste when you imagine your project as complete? Use all parts of your mind-body system to tap into your deepest level of creativity.
4) Declare your intentions. Tell your trusted friends, colleagues and support networks about your writing project. Have them hold you accountable to it. Choose individuals who will support you in a kind, non-judgmental way, instead of spew negativity about your delays and setbacks.
5) Take action without attachment to the outcome. You can research your genre and investigate the market to predict how others will respond to your work. You can make educated guesses about how many books you will sell or how many readers you will draw to your blog. But ultimately, there are no guarantees on the outcome. You will never know the results until you actually write and release your work. The act of writing itself is also your greatest reward. It allows you to share your best ideas, express your creativity, and discover your authentic voice. Pour yourself into the writing process without obsessing over the response you will receive. This will allow you to find your flow and complete your work with less strain and more ease.
Dyan Williams is a life coach, career consultant and attorney. She writes and speaks on stress mastery, time management, authentic leadership, personal effectiveness, productivity, and finding focus. She coaches individuals and groups on how to unleash their full potential and create a purposeful life through attention, acceptance, and authenticity. You can visit her website at www.dyanwilliams.com.
Published on August 20, 2012 04:55
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