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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.
Productivity Tips, Tools & Techniques
The amount of time it takes to travel the distance between a book idea and a completed manuscript depends upon your level of productivity during whatever hours you have available to write. Getting started, staying focused, and completing your book all have their particular challenges that will be addressed here, including:
- Time management
Upcoming Interview on Productivity:
1/5/10 "Passing the Torch" New Year's Goal Setting Event
How to Write Fast, Right Now! with Julie Isaac, the Founder of WritingSpirit|
How to Write Fast, Right Now! addresses how to clarify and organize your book idea, how to write faster using specific writing and productivity techniques, how recording audio and video can speed up your writing while promoting it at the same time, and how you can repurpose previously written material for your book, as well as repurpose your book into information products and promotional material.
. . . keep reading
How Serious Are You? The 100 Day Writing Challenge|
Have you achieved all of the writing goals you set for yourself on January 1st? Are you happy with the progress you've made so far this year? Is there more you'd like to achieve before the year is through? September 23rd is day #1 of the last 100 days of 2009. What daily writing goal are you willing to commit to starting on September 23rd (or on any day you chosse to begin) for the next 100 days? . . . keep reading
Turn Your TO DO List Into a Treasure Map|
While To Do lists can be a useful productivity tool and extremely helpful, most of the time, they can also--far too easily--become a source of stress and self-condemnation. If you've turned your To Do list into a taskmaster, a list of things you "have to do" or "should do," the quickest and easiest way to turn it back into a fun and useful productivity tool is to transform it into a Treasure Map!
. . . keep reading
The Organized Writer--Part 1|
In order for your writing to flow smoothly, it's important to get organized, both inside and out, before you begin writing. Inner organization consists of setting goals and priorities. While outer organization consists of mapping out your project, managing your time, and clearing away any clutter, or half finished projects, that are tugging at your attention. . . . keep reading
The Organized Writer--Part 2|
When things pile up, becoming messy and disorganized, or are left unfinished--it weighs heavily on your mind. It pulls you away from the present moment, away from your writing. You don't realize, until you finally get organized and the weight is lifted, the effect it's had on you and your writing. . . . keep reading
A Writer's Arithmetic™: Doing the Basic Math|
A Writer's Arithmetic™ is one of WritingSpirit.com's exclusive productivity tools, created to help you achieve your writing goals, whether you want to write a blog post or a book, a special report or a screenplay. It takes the overwhelm out of writing, by turning your focus towards the next step, and then the next step, and then the next step. As sure as 1 + 1 = 2, if you start focusing on and following some basic productivity principles you'll move forward with your writing project more quickly and easily. . . . keep reading
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.