Write from the Depths of Your Soul

I just read an amazing inspirational piece about writing something that is uniquely yours and as far from cliché as possible. The only way I can summarize it is to say this:

Write from the depths of your soul. Dig deeper and forget about everything else you have ever read or written before. Search within yourself for something that no one else can unleash. Let it be raw and unexpected. Don’t do what has already been done.

“Write what’s real and true to you. That’s what stories are made of.”

“The Write Stuff” by Charlene Teglia is highly worthy of link love.

Life as your Writing Muse

There is writing material in everyday if you look for it. Sometimes writing ideas can come to you when you are not looking for them. We should embrace the muse that life is, and write in whatever genre suits our personal expression.

If you are struggling with writers block or have trouble coming up with story ideas or topics to write about, examine your life. What is happening to you mentally, emotionally or physically? What is going on in your friends or family’s lives?

Writers who don’t find these sources inspirational, which is probably rare, can take to observation. Go out to a park, the mall, a parking lot, a restaurant, club, school campus, or anywhere there are people. There is nothing easier than making instant judgment calls about someone’s personality based on how they look or sound. Pay really close attention to the things that people are talking about, wearing, buying, carrying, or where they are going. Use all of this information to springboard ideas from. Feel free to make incredible assumptions about them since they have no idea that you are writing about them.

Animal lovers can gain inspiration from observation as well. The most basic of animal behavior can translate into human behavior. Run with the ideas.

Fear of Failure

Sometimes a freelance writer’s lack of productivity, procrastination or writer’s block can be attributed to fear. One common type of fear that plagues some writers is the fear of failure. I have had to wrestle with this fear personally. In the beginning of my writing career I had one foot in the traditional working world, which I did not enjoy very much, and the other foot in the freelance writing world. I did this because in case one or the other failed, I would still have something.

It actually wasn’t until I started to truly believe in myself that I was able to let go of traditional jobs and give myself fully to my writing career. How did I overcome my fear of failure? I told myself that I was a talented writer, and I meditated on the positive feedback that I was given. I knew that I would have to work harder and make some changes, but ultimately, if I planned things out well and stuck to my plan I could make success happen. It took time and I had to make myself write to the best of my ability. I had to focus on the fact that I do have some skills and people do like my work enough to pay for it.

I read a great post on the fear of failure on Procrastinating Writers (excellent blog to read by the way). This post explains that you need to accept your fear and overcome it with action and perseverance. If you struggle with fears related to your writing career, I do recommend this blog.

Breaking Writer’s Block

Oh, the dreaded writer’s block. I have often encountered the phenomenon of the writer’s block, but I want to challenge its power. I think the very fact that there is an official name for times when writers find it difficult to get words on a page makes it even more difficult to overcome. Perhaps we shouldn’t believe in “writer’s block” anymore.

What is writer’s block anyway? It isn’t like we sit down to write and suddenly cement hardens over the keyboard and we are literally blocked from writing. It is not that our office has yellow caution tape all over the doorway, and we just can’t get in. Writer’s block is a blanket term for the many reasons why we don’t feel like we can get any writing done.

Why do we get writer’s block? There are many different reasons. Sometimes it is a lack of ideas. Other times it is simply laziness. Writer’s block can also be caused by the pressure or a really tight deadline (or last minute frustration from procrastination). Whatever the cause, we have to get rid of it, because our business depends on our ability to just sit down and get to it.

Here are some tips on getting rid of the wretched writer’s block:

-Figure out the cause. Knowing why is the first step to knowing how to get rid of writer’s block.

-Do something else. If you just don’t feel like writing, use another part of your brain for a while. Exercise, paint, call a friend, play sudoku, or go window shopping. Get away from the computer, whatever you do. You might feel ready to get back to it after a while.

-If financial pressure is a factor, your creative juices might be backed up due to the need to get writing done just to cover major bills. Avoid that by setting emergency savings aside, create multiple streams of income (three or more paying clients), and try not to think about it when it is time to write.

-Avoid procrastination. Staying ahead of deadlines rather than missing them or barely meeting them can make it easier to concentrate.

-Relax. Yoga, messages, meditation, solitude, and bubble baths can do real wonders for your creativity. It is easier to tap into your imagination when you are relaxed and refreshed.

-Read, read, and read. Writers need to read anyway, and it is an unlimited resource for ideas.

-Tell yourself there is no such thing as writer’s block. You can write anytime you want to. Maybe you need to refocus your mind, take a break, or go through a little writer’s ritual first, but you don’t have to be blocked if you don’t want to be.

Writer’s block is all in your mind. Take good care of your mind, and your writing will be just fine.

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