Is This You?
Maybe it doesn't say "Writer" on your business card. But you do write.
And you want more.
Not more grammar. Not more technique.
More love. More depth.
You long to bring your magical words out of the recesses of your mind and onto the page, but you don’t know how to capture them.
You want to write more, but...
...where does the time go?
You used to somehow find the time to write more when you were younger, before all the adulting took over. Maybe you spent your teen years writing angst-filled, lovestruck poetry. Or maybe fiction. Maybe you dreamed of being a novelist. Or maybe you wrote for your student newspaper in college. All that sort of dried up, though, when you got a job and had to pay for a place to live, and so on.
You have so many responsibilities you can only spare a half-hour at a time.
That doesn’t seem like enough time to get warmed up, let alone start writing anything meaningful. So you don’t get around to it very much.
Your time is so flexible you can’t get anything done.
Your external schedule is a thing of the past, and now you’re having a hard time reorganizing your time to have enough structure to get necessary things done, let alone writing, which is optional. So the days fill up with this and that, and next thing you know, another day has slipped by, word count, zero.
You long to write more, but...
...you spend a lot of time staring at a blinking cursor trying to figure out what to write. Or what to say next.
You have no idea what to write.
You know how to keep a journal, no problem, but anything else eludes you.
You have lots of ideas but as soon as you sit down to try to bring them to the page, you get stuck.
You’ve tried free writing, maybe the “morning pages” practice you found in Julia Cameron’s landmark book, The Artist’s Way. You actually do find this incredibly helpful, but wow, it sure does take a time commitment — the practice is to fill three full-sized notebook pages. Before you do anything else. Yikes! This takes nearly half an hour every morning. Well, you don’t always have half an hour in the morning before you do anything else. So you find it’s a difficult practice to maintain, and when you skip a day, you feel like you’ve “failed.” Ugh. It takes a lot of effort to turn back to the page feeling like a failure.
You've tried to write more, but...
... it's just soooo painful.
You “hate writing, love having written.”
Dorothy Parker’s got nothing on you in that department! Drafting something, even an email, is soooo painful. You keep going over it and over it, massaging your text half to death, until it’s perfect, and you’re sure you’re not exposing yourself or your company to any liability or other blowback (No wonder you hate writing! Ouch!)
You’ve taken a writing class or two. It was terrifying.
Sure, you learned a lot from writing things and bringing them to class for workshopping. Sure, there was some Very Useful Feedback. But there was also feedback that felt uncomfortable, even prickly. Some of it felt more like criticism than critique, and some of it got micro-focused on your grammar, which seemed premature. In the end, you learned a lot about how to "fix" the writing you submitted, but not how to transfer the skills to other writing. Also, you didn’t feel heard.
Deep in your heart, there's something you need to say, but you can't find your way to it.
You've tried. Oh, how you've tried.
Does any of that sound like you?
If so, why not try a different approach? The gentle practice of contemplative writing has been startlingly effective in helping me navigate these very obstacles.
I can’t guarantee an experience as deeply transformative as my own, but I have no doubt that if you practise meeting yourself on the page with honesty and consistency, your writing will begin to show up for you.
You could start by downloading my 5-step guide to writing with more joy, which gives you a bit more detail about these three simple steps:
Start a timer.
Write without stopping.
It's only a page and a half, and it's free to download.
(Not quite ready to try it out? Maybe you want to know more about this approach to changing your relationship to writing? Click here to read more.)