Writing for Your Life: How You Can Regain Clarity and Confidence
I believe in writing.
I also believe in you.
I have spent a good portion of the last 5 years helping people to unlock the writer inside them. Several of my clients have published books and gone on to bigger and better endeavors provided by their newly-charged writing skills. I can help you too. It’s one of my things, as a writer, to want to help other writers. In giving you support and encouragement, I am building my own momentum. Let’s talk about writing. But not in an exhaustive way, not in a dissipative way. Let’s not let out any of the charge you have for finishing your book, presentation, poem, or project. Let’s stay focused on what’s keeping you stuck. And how can we get you unstuck? That’s my joy. And it can be yours too.
I was talking to a friend, writer, this morning about his unfinished novel. He was very excited for me to read it.
“It’s only 40 pages, but I think it’s really, really good,” he said, with joy and expectation in his voice.
I had some encouraging ideas for him, but first I had to cut to the chase.
“You’re investment in finishing this project has got to come first. I could tell you, ‘I love it,’ and you’re not really going to be motivated by that to start writing on this book again. That’s not how it works. What inside of you is excited about this book? What can we do to jumpstart that energy, and get you moving on this project again?”
He agreed with me. It was not about getting my approval or praise on the book. That temporary “high” would last only as long as a cup of coffee. And soon the cold dead grounds would appear at the bottom of his cup and he would probably not be writing on this project again. He had some soul searching to do on this project.
The first issue, was he wrote the novel when he was 19 years old. (He’s now in his mid-thirties.) The second issue, he wrote these first 40 pages in English, not his native tongue. The third issue, he had other writing projects he was putting his energy into.
My friend was looking for me to champion his first novel. But it was not a priority for his current writing life. It was a fantasy for his writing future. He wanted me to fall in love with his science fiction experiment and tell him, “Wow, you’ve got to finish this fantastic book, I can’t wait to see what happens.”
Often, when we are discussing our own writing, we are looking for some sort of affirmation.
- Am I a good writer?
- Is this particular piece of writing really good?
- Can you give me some energy, some of your energy, to help me get motivated to keep writing?
However, in my experience, what we need is less affirmation and more inner resolve. My friend is not ready to finish his science fiction novel. He wants someone to tell him to finish his science fiction novel. He wants the accolades that come with finishing a book. And he wants the good feelings that come from being recognized as a good writer.
Here’s the hard truth about writing.
- You are the only audience that matters until you finish the book.
- Any discussion of the book is wasted energy. You should be writing the book, not talking about writing it.
- Other writers make good sounding boards, but mostly we just want our own works to be loved.
- Sharing your unfinished work is like masturbation. It feels good for a few minutes, but the refractory period takes longer and longer. And it gets us no closer to giving birth to our project.
- Time at your craft is the only currency for a writer. Your time is valuable. Spend more of it writing. Spend less of it talking about writing.
What you can do right now, for yourself and your writing, is to stop talking about it. Stop telling people your “working on your novel.” Stop discussing the finer points of your plot with other writer friends. Stop basking in the glory of “being a writer” and write. Shut up and write.
When the novel is done, perhaps then you can share some of the joy that comes from finishing. But don’t get too far down that road either. Because the draft is just a draft and you need to revisit the novel after a short period of rest. If you talk about the novel during your rest, you may be short-circuiting the dialogue that needs to take place in your mind and your mind alone. What’s next for your characters? Did the crisis in chapter 5 come off as realistic, or contrived? No one else, at this point in the process, can give you the guidance you need. What you need is to continue writing.
How can I help you get your writing going again? I can help you organize your work and get it ready for editing and submission to a publisher. I can talk with you about your blocks and figure creative ways around them. I can get you writing again. And if you’re writing already, I can get you in a more productive track. The steps to publishing are easy these days. I can help you get there.
Let’s talk. The first 30-minute conversation is free. There’s no obligation and no risk. What you have ahead is the possibility of getting some renewed energy for your project: science fiction, poetry, memoir, novel, self-help, and whatever else you have in mind.
Here’s the link to schedule our first chat about your writing projects and ambitions: https://calendly.com/jmacofearth
I look forward to hearing about your process and how I can help in your progress.
A few credentials:
This blog has over 2 million reads
and I’ve published 5 books so far.
I’ve helped a ton of clients finish and publish their first book. I can get your writing kick-started again. Let’s talk for free and see if there’s a fit. We can work out a program and a price that fits your goals.
This is a no risk, no pressure, introduction. Let’s write.
John McElhenney – let’s connect online
@jmacofearth & Google+ & Facebook & LinkedIn
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