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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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"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."
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"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.
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St. Louis, MO
"A lot of excellent advice presented in a nuturing way."
"Thank you for your inspiration.