When it comes to your writing, has your inner critic got the driving seat?
Are you holding yourself back from saying what you want to say? Are you over-editing, wanting your work to be perfect before you’d consider releasing it to the world. Or are you simply stuck for ideas, wondering if you’ll ever have anything original to say?
Writing can be hard.
We all have days when we struggle to come up with fresh ideas. You wonder whether anyone is ever going to read this paragraph you’re agonising over. You wonder why you’re bothering to blog when there are so many other important things on your ‘to do’ list.
The good news is that you’re in great company. Even the world’s most famous writers struggle with writer’s block and motivation. With believing that they have anything to say that’s actually worth reading. With the second album, fourth album, fifth album.
The key is to write anyway.
Writing is not indulgent, or frivolous, or a waste of your time. It’s valuable work.
Ideas need oxygen if they are going to expand and flourish. You have to create opportunities for your thoughts to percolate and evolve. That means consistently showing up at the pen or the keyboard, day after day after day, allowing your ideas to unfold and become part of a greater body of work.
Every time you pick up your pen and your journal, or write a Facebook post, or a blog, or a newsletter, or a presentation, you are bringing ideas into the light. So grant yourself permission to write and get to work.
Your writing won’t always be pretty and you won’t always see where a particular idea is taking you – or at least not right away.
Practice self-compassion for actually being there, for showing up on the page, and being willing to offer up your ideas.
Here’s a few ideas for treating yourself with kindness, shutting down that inner critic and getting those words onto the page:
• Get mindful – Take a few deep breaths, let go of all distractions and concentrate on the feel of the keys beneath your fingers. Being fully present brings new energy to your work so focus on the fingers tapping and allow the words to flow without that inner critic.
• Acknowledge your fear – In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert reminds us that our fear is actually there to protect us. She recommends acknowledging that fear is trying to keep us safe and allowing it to come along for the ride, but not to take the driver’s seat. Then get back to work.
• Flip the feedback switch – We often focus on what we didn’t get right. What if you focused on all the love you receive instead? Create a file where you collate all the positive comments and feedback you receive. Read over those comments before you write and remind yourself that your work is having a positive impact, that you are touching people’s lives and hearts and there are people out there that need to hear what you’ve got to say.
• Remember done is better than perfect. You can keep on tweaking and tweaking and tweaking, and there’ll always be something that you might write differently, in a different time, space, or day. Getting your message out there to be heard and read and to touch someone’s life is more important than perfection. There comes a point at which you just have to say ‘it’s good enough’ and release it to the world.
• Just like the Velveteen Rabbit, our imperfections make us real. If there’s a flaw in your blog, so what? I’d much rather see you be real and active, than hold yourself back because of some crazy standard of polished perfection.
Keep it real. Write from the heart. Create space for your ideas to evolve. Concentrate on what your clients need to hear from you. Treat yourself with kindness and write every day. You got this.
We’ll be working on these practices in my upcoming Find Your Voice 5 day challenge.
Five days of guided journaling and daily tasks to help you access your inner truth, let go of the rules and share from the heart – so you can show up boldly online and grow your tribe (and your business). Book your spot here – it’s free.