Does this sound familiar…?
You carve out some precious minutes of your day to write a blog post. You make a cup of delicious coffee to sip while you’re writing it. Then you open your laptop and get ready to write a brilliant blog post.
You’re ready. You’re going to do this. Really.
Everything you try to write comes out sounding just…lame.
You start a post, only to stop in the middle. Then you start another one. That one sucks, too. (At least, in your mind.)
Your cynical friend’s voice sounds in your head, You seriously want to be a blogger? Is that still a thing?
Then you hear your writing teacher from 7th grade pipe up, Your writing is…inventive. (Code for If you would just stick to the rubric, your essays would be so much better.)
Geez. How are you ever going to get anything written?
Often, what keeps us from writing consistently isn’t a lack of time. It isn’t because we don’t have anything to say, or because we’re just not disciplined. It’s because we get in our own way. (I am writing “we” because I do this, too.)What keeps us from writing is usually our own doubts and fears. Here’s how to kick them in the butt.Click To Tweet
1. Get up close and personal with your “inner sweetheart.”
Natalie Goldberg’s book Wild Mind (affiliate link) is one of my favorites.
She provides a short story about her life in each chapter, along with a writing prompt.
One of the prompts is to write a letter to your inner sweetheart.
So often, we give the microphone to our inner critic while our inner sweetheart, the part of us who is nurturing, and loving, and believes in us, is consigned to sit in the back row.
If you were to imagine your inner sweetheart, what would she look like? Smell like? Sound like? What would she say to you, while you’re struggling to complete the first sentence of your blog post?
Mine says, Daniela, you’ve been writing since you were 4 years old. It’s as natural to you as breathing. It’s your birthright. You don’t have to write anything amazing. Just write something true.
She looks like my creative writing teacher from high school, Jana. Jana has long, brown hair. She always has a smile on her face. And just by being near her, you know that your words matter.
2. Try some unbridled writing.
Unbridled writing is writing without boundaries, writing whose only purpose is to get to the core of your truth.
You might be thinking, Geez. That sounds hard.
It isn’t. Are you ready to learn how to write your truth?
Step 1: Get out something to write on. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It can be a lined notebook from Walgreens, an Evernote folder, or even a piece of printer paper. (I use Evernote and Scrivener, because I literally can’t write by hand anymore. It hurts too much.)
Step 2: Set a timer for 5 minutes. (Or 10, if you’re really brave.)
Step 3: Start with one of these phrases:
What I really want to write is…
Today, I am thinking about…
If no one were to read this, I would want to write…
Step 4: Write without stopping until the timer goes off.
This is very important. Do. Not. Stop. Writing. Until it’s time.
Your brain will try to interrupt. Your brain will say, That’s stupid. Don’t write that. Eeek. Don’t go there.
But if you keep writing, if you keep your pen or your keyboard going, you will cut through all of the bullshit that your mind tries to spew at you.
No matter what you do, don’t delete. Don’t cross out. Don’t correct.
Do trust yourself. Do write the things you’re afraid to write about. It’s okay. You are safe.
Let yourself write whatever you need to write. No one needs to see it.
Step 5: When you’re done, read it out loud.
Read it to yourself, or call a close friend and read it to her. Give your words a voice.
Read it loudly, proudly, and unapologetically.
Step 6: Repeat steps 1–5 tomorrow.
Jana called this type of writing Finger Exercises because it was writing without pause. Natalie Goldberg calls it writing practice. I call it Unbridled Writing. And it’s the best way to access your voice and your truth. So do it often and do it lovingly.
3. Write a list of your fears about writing and ritually destroy it.
What thoughts keep you from writing? Write them down to destroy their power over you.
My negative, writing-destroying thoughts:
Don’t write that, your audience isn’t interested in it.
What if they lose trust in you when they see that you struggle, too?
Shouldn’t you be more…I don’t know…perky?
Wow. If you publish that, people will think you’re full of yourself. Hold back on the self-celebration.
People don’t care about your life. Really. They just want how-to’s.
I could go on…but I think you get the picture.
Write your fears down and then get rid of them. Write them on a piece of notebook paper and tear it up or burn it.
Make a document with your fears and then drag it into the virtual trash.
My friend Brenda writes her negative thoughts on slips of paper and then puts them into a box. She figures she can look at them later if she needs to – but by getting them out of her head and into the box, she forces them to relinquish their power over her.
Create your own ritual. Do what you need to do to destroy those negative thoughts.
4. Write from your core.
I believe that each of us (yes, that includes you) has a powerful well inside where true writing emerges.
Part of Unbridled Writing is writing from your core. Writing from that deep, deep place of wisdom and experience. When you read a blog post that speaks to your heart, know it’s written from that place.
So, before you write, connect to that core.
Stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Feel the strength in your legs. Feel your own power. And then write from there.
Write from a place of genuine self-acceptance.
Even if you need to lose weight, even if your house is messy, even if you haven’t paid your taxes, you still have that inner well. And that’s what really matters when you write. So close your eyes, put your hand on your belly, breathe, and tap into your strength.
5. Love the writing unconditionally.
When you write a blog post, don’t think, It’s good if it gets lots of social shares. It’s worthy if it gets lots of traffic. It’s worthwhile if people comment on it.
Your writing matters if it’s true.
It matters if it’s written from a place of wanting to connect.
Even if no one notices it, it’s still important. It still means something. Because you took the time and you had the courage to sit down and create.
Social shares, traffic, comments, and whatever other stats you’re tracking have less to do with your writing and more to do with your promotional strategy, your online reach, etc.
A better gauge of your writing’s worth? Your intuition.
The next time you sit down to write and nothing will come out, do this:
- Give voice to your inner sweetheart
- Try some Unbridled Writing
- Ritually throw away your negative self talk
- Tap into your powerful core
- Love the writing unconditionally
It’s incredibly important that you do these things. Because the world needs to hear your voice.