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Put first things first. We often put our writing off until after everything “important” or “immediate” gets done. Our dreams, our happiness—OUR WRITING—are BOTH important and immediate. They need and deserve to come first, not last.
Beginning has “genius, power and magic in it.” Start writing. First one word, then another, and another. Before you know it, the words will be flowing.
Be fearless in your first draft. Bury all your “shoulds” in the backyard. Send your inner critic out for ice cream. Relax. Have fun. Let ‘er rip!
Without commitment, discipline is impossible. With commitment, discipline is inevitable. So let go of trying to force yourself to be disciplined. Instead, focus on deepening your commitment to yourself, your dreams and goals, and your writing.
Writer’s Block is not “the problem.” It’s merely pointing you towards whatever’s really getting in your way: fear; lack of commitment, clarity or organization; being tired, stressed or not feeling well. With “writer’s block” don’t get frustrated, get curious. Once you discover the real problem, the solution becomes obvious. To move forward you’ll need to: brainstorm, make a choice, be specific, get a good night’s sleep.
Find a brainstorming partner, or join a mastermind group. Besides the wonderful ideas that others will come up with just for you, brainstorming with others sparks ideas in you that you wouldn’t have come up with on your own. It creates a powerful synergy.
Fear is a liar. It says, “You can’t do this,” when you can. It says, “You’re not inspired. Why bother writing,” when writing is the very thing that will open up your connection to inspiration. It says, “You’re too tired to write,” when writing is what gives you energy. It says, “You’ll never be as good as them,” when it’s your unique voice that is your greatest asset. It says, “You’re a dreamer. Get real,” when everything of value that sas ever been created, started as a dreamer’s vision. Fear is a liar. Start writing and turn the volume down on fear.
Whenever you're stuck remember—where focus goes, inspiration flows. So stop, take a deep breath, relax and focus.
Always remember to “Divide and Conquer!” Or, to be more specific, “Divide and Complete!” There isn’t any writing project, no matter how large and overwhelming, that can’t be divided into smaller, more easily completed pieces. As you complete more and more of the “pieces,” your large project will feel more doable and less overwhelming. One day, one piece, one page, one paragraph at a time.
When facing the blank page makes you go blank—treat it like a Jackson Pollock canvas. Throw words at it without worrying how they’ll land, or what picture they’ll paint. The more words and the less white you have, the easier it is to write, and the more confidence and creativity you bring to the page.
Celebrate! every page, every piece, every publication. Celebrate! every risk taken, every goal met, every milestone achieved. Celebrate! every fear faced, every excuse overcome, every time you thought you couldn’t do it, and then did. Focus less on “when?” and “not good enough,” and “so much more to do,” and focus more on acknowledging how far you’ve come, appreciating who you are and what you’ve done, and celebrating every step along the way.
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The 15 Minute Writing Miracle!
The 15 Minute Writing Miracle!
Writing Tip: Whatever your reason for not wanting to write when you've promised yourself you would--whether you feel too tired, busy, or blocked--write anyway for 15 minutes. There's magic in putting pen to paper (or fingers on keyboard).
The 15 Minute Writing Rule
When you've promised yourself that you're going to write, then write--no matter what--for 15 minutes.
- If you're scheduled to write for an hour, it doesn't matter. Write for 15 minutes.
- If you're exhausted and about to collapse, it doesn't matter. Write for 15 minutes.
- If there's not one single thought in your head, it doesn't matter. Write for 15 minutes, even if all you can write about is being stuck.
Sometimes the desire to write sparks some inner resistance. That's why excuses are so easy to come by. The antidote is to grab hold of the idea of writing for ONLY 15 minutes.
That small amount of time isn't intimidating. And because it feels doable, it gets you to start writing, which is the key that unlocks writing's magic power.
You see, the act of writing frequently…
- energizes you when you're tired
- reconnects you with your material, or writing practice, when you're feeling disconnected
- opens pathways for inspiration to flow through when you're blocked
- clarifies your ideas and vision when you're confused
And often, once you start writing, you catch fire and simply write and write and write.
All of these good things happen because the things you think you need before you write, in order to write (inspiration, feeling connected to your project, energy, clarity, enthusiasm), all the things you're not willing to write without--are what you get FROM writing.
Even when writing doesn't give you all, or any, of these benefits, and you actually do end up writing for only 15 minutes, you feel good that you at least wrote something on a day you promised yourself you would, and rest easier knowing that you really were too (tired/busy/blocked/etc.) to write, and weren't just procrastinating.
The idea of writing for only 15 minutes may be what lessens your resistance, draws you in, and gets you to start writing, but it's the act of writing, itself, that is the miracle.
Try it and see for yourself.
Here's what they're saying about Julie Isaac and WritingSpirit.com...
"You’ve done a superb job with this. All very clear, very easy to follow, very well organized. I would say it definitely delivers on its promise."
Hal Zina Bennett
Author of over 30 books, including:
Write From the Heart
Writing Spiritual Books
"Julie, I am looking forward to writing in a way that I haven't in many years. I completed a long short story, got published, did a bunch of readings, am applying to an artist colony, in other words, something has broken open."
"Your suggestions about how to gain clarity and focus while researching my market were incredibly helpful, and your energy amplified mine. I had no idea I would gain so much immediately from your guidance. Thank you!"
"Thank you, Julie, for helping me to see a blank page as not something to fear but to embrace for all the creative potential it holds. Our coaching session opened my eyes to the realm of possibilities for my project that I wasn't seeing. I can't wait to apply the suggestions you've given me, and am excited about the writing process again."
"I never considered concepts like courage, curiosity, intention as journaling tools. I can begin to see how they are just as important as a working pen and sheet of paper."
"Somehow 'starting', putting those first words on paper, is daunting. These exercises give me focus and purpose."
Julie’s writing and creativity tips have saved me from the clutches of self-pity and procrastination. I now have no excuse but to do what I love, and stay focused. They have pushed me further in my goals. With each tip, I find myself smiling and printing them out to be pasted around my monitor.
"It got me motivated to write again which has been great."
St. Louis, MO
"A lot of excellent advice presented in a nuturing way."
"Thank you for your inspiration.