Writing doesn't have to be hard. Here's how I reprogrammed my mind to produce great work

I stumbled into writing at a super young age.

People picked up on the fact that it came naturally to me, and gave me opportunities. I’ve ghostwritten for executives, won national awards, studied with the UK’s best universities and showcased my work in the UK's best cities, and I feel like I’ve already had a better writing career than most people in their thirties and forties (which I'm so so grateful for). I was simply set on a path by The Universe, and I didn’t resist or argue - which is why I believe that writing is a destiny.

If it's yours, I'm sure there'll be a point for you too where you’ll realise:

This is it. This is what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life."

When it hit me that I might have to deal with that, though - being a writer (and having all the associated pains that come with it) for the rest of my life - I started to worry. 

It’s not just the writing we commit to, is it? I thought. It's also the fear. The overwhelming, 24/7, around the clock fear. Fear of judgement from others. Fear of not being good enough. Fear that there's no specific roadmap to follow to keep it profitable and sustainable.

People search their entire lives for their purpose. It's supposed to be an incredible thing once you find it. And yet, when it happened to me, all I could think was: what the hell am I going to do now?

I'd fallen into over-hyped, generalised, stereotypical thinking.

Let's get this straight right now: writing is a beautiful, spiritual thing. It's not something that should cause you emotional pain.

It is NOT natural to spend every day wracked with fear, and if you are, something is wrong.

@@Your life as a writer might be mandatory, but pain is optional.@@

You need to decide what you're going to do to make your life and your destiny work for you, and stop letting mass opinion dictate how you should feel about it. You need to ask yourself:

  1. What can I do to end the cycle of fear that happens every time I start a new piece of work?
  2. What can I use to help me move towards my dreams, and encourage me to become the best I can be?

When I asked myself these questions, they led me to create The Authorship Program®. It serves as my compass and guide to a better writing life every day. It's there for me whenever fear tries to take over and make me forget who I am.

Writing The Authorship Program® was the best decision I've ever made. And guess what? You’re lucky. Because if you're interested in getting a personal writing companion for yourself, you don’t have to wait five and a half years to get it like I did. It happens to be available right now.

So, in conclusion...

Change your beliefs, like I did with mine. 

I wasn't prepared to sit down and feel sorry for myself for the rest of my life. I wasn't prepared to think of my vocation, my life path, my future, my destiny as a curse. Are you?

Do you want to write a book this year? Here are the three things it'll actually take to do it...

Have you ever wondered what it actually takes to write a book? What you actually need to take that dream out of your mind and set it into motion?

There are three things I wouldn't have survived without. And you might be surprised because they're actually not that outrageous or expensive or out of reach - so if you want this year to be the one, this is for you.

Get some support: accountability is the key.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it make a sound?
If someone strives for a goal and no one cares, does it matter if they fail?

It’s too easy to default back to procrastination when no one is supporting you or your goals...waaay too easy. Most of us don't have the strength to be accountable for ourselves even if we want it more than anything. No one is watching, so we start slacking, then we realise that no one cares, which hurts.

There's nothing like a community of people either learning together or going for the same goals to make big things happen. Nothing like a reality-check from your personal board of directors to help you make the one snap decision that changes your life. 

You need accountability in your creative life, and help finding it...which is where I come in (because I can help you get the RIGHT type of accountability).

Get some clarity: acquire the right kind of knowledge to move forward with your goals.

It's my life’s work to help you get creative and paid, and not by a fluke. It’s a passion and a craft that I've practiced and preached and earned from for years...so that you don’t have to.

You can now come right to the source, and get the results you’ve been yearning for your entire life. 

Imagine if there was a step-by-step framework that could help you navigate the hard parts. Imagine if you could use 15 principles as a roadmap to your success, always knew how to move forward with your creative projects, and were never hindered by your anxieties, insecurities or fears ever again. How's that for clarity?

Get some empowerment: so you can do the exciting (but hard) work

Listen to me closely, now, and answer honesty. Do you want it? Do you really want this? 

Then you should value a longer term strategies that will serve your writing career for a lifetime, over the fleeting joy of a quick scam weekend. If 12 weeks sounds too long to you, you're not in it to win it.

Work, actual work must happen for you to achieve the success you want. That doesn't change no matter how much you try to wriggle out of it and procrastinate and complain. But when you're empowered it can be fun. You can be unstoppable. 

The sooner you empower yourself with the right practices, principles and tools, the better.

So, are you prepared to do the three things it takes to write a book this year?

 

You're not struggling, I promise (and stop using that word...)

Are you struggling to finish, edit, promote or sell your creative project?

Trick question - the answer is no. You are NOT struggling.

"Struggle" is a hideous word that teaches you to feel helpless about yourself, and it stems from an inaccurate, limiting belief that blocks gratitude from your life. Nothing good ever comes from the word "struggle".

@@The word struggle is the arch-nemesis of abundance.@@ 

I can guarantee that 90% of the times you've used the word, it wasn't necessary. It's just a negative condition for your mind to attach itself to in times of stress, and doesn't better the situation in any way. What it does is just teaches your mind to despair, and surrender. 

There are so many other ways to describe your situation which won't create negative conditions in your mind, and won't bring you down. Sure, you might not be achieving the results you want right now, but you're not struggling - you're manifesting, preparing, creating, strategising, recalibrating, pivoting, transforming, transitioning, working.

Instead of: “I’m struggling to make ends meet” try, "There's no limit to the amount I can earn today."

Instead of: “I’m struggling to find a character name” try, "I have all the time I need to discover the perfect character name."

Instead of: “I’m struggling to find an agent for my book.” try, "I get closer to finding an incredible agent every single day."

Instead of: "I'm struggling to..." try, "I EXPECT to..."

Stop struggling, start manifesting.

@@I expect to change. I expect to receive. I expect to manifest.@@

Change your word from "struggling" to literally anything else, and I promise you'll feel better about yourself and the situation.

You might even unlock your brain and figure out a solution, simply because you're giving your brain the option to think in a completely different way. Radical. If you raise your expectations, your enthusiasm, your commitment and your intentions around the thing you want most from your creative career, The Universe has no other choice but to rise up and match the energy you're bringing to the situation.

Then, once you've generated the energy, you need to take action.

You manifest abundance by expecting good things from yourself and the universe, then stepping up to meet them.

Action is what closes the deal. Do what you think it would take to achieve the goal or dream that you want. Give yourself to something, in the true spirit of abundance. Believe that whatever you do will come back to you in tenfold...

And then, be ready.


Tweetables:

@@I'm not struggling (and I have to stop using that word!) I'm thriving.@@

What eight years of creativity, spirituality and making hella mistakes has taught me

I don't get everything right the first time.

I miss deadlines and let people down (which is just part of being a flaky, transgressive artist).

I wish I could do more for people than I do, even though I know I do more than others. I judge and compare and compete sometimes, (although I like to think less than most). 

Yet, despite all this - I've managed to create the life I've always wanted for myself. I wake up every morning excited to do what I'm doing, which I know would make Simon Sinek pretty proud. And so I thought I'd share some of the things I've learnt along the way.

Whatever you do, the universe will make it work for you.

There is no singular way toward your destiny, and even if you feel you've messed up somewhere along the line, you can't mess up your destiny. You haven't missed your shot at a creative life by being too young, or too old. You didn't miss the opportune moment, because another already arrived, just now. 

Nothing is wasted.

People usually say: "everything happens for a reason", but I don't think that's quite accurate enough, so instead I prefer to say nothing is wasted.

There may have been some events in your life that may not have been enjoyable, but their effect in your life was used to change or strengthen or educate you in a way that you would not have experienced otherwise. We'e all experienced THAT before, haven't we? That feeling of:

"Wow, thank God that thing happened or I wouldn't have gotten to this other thing!"

Trust that the events in your life are always working towards your greater good, even if you aren’t able to see that right now. You never know what you might really appreciate about the "bad" event in future, because it either taught you something important, or led you to better things.

You have a purpose and are here for a reason.

Your overall purpose as a human being in general is to do what you can to expand upon and improve the human race. Then there is your individual purpose to fulfil, as well. 

This can be hard to remember when the bills are pouring in, you're stuck in a dead end job where you think you have no voice or you have absolutely no idea what to do next, or how it would make a difference.

Just know that if you stay open, the answers will be revealed in time. Even if it is in hindsight. As long as you remember point #1 and now #4 below...

Your inner guidance system always, always, always knows best.

Your intuition is yours for a reason: to keep you on your path. Follow what feels right, and what comes easy and naturally. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else but you. You don't have to explain yourself. This is the best way to respect the larger forces in your life, and it will allow whatever is destined for you to easily find its way.

You are the result of the love of thousands.

You are the result of four billion years of evolutionary success. There are stars in your DNA. And in Linda Hogan's words, “@@You are the result of the love of thousands.@@”

Stay mindful, stay grateful, stay humble and quietly confident; you won’t get so bogged down by comparison, self-doubt, or insecurities.

Your meaning of the words "success" and "happiness" are completely yours.

They are more than just words, remember that. 

Success and happiness have got to mean something incredibly personal to you.

The Universe can lead you to them, but what is the point if you won't be able to recognise them when you get there? Would you be able to accept the gifts that life presents to you and walk away from envy and comparison of what others have? Do you have an end point so you can stop the constant anxiety and stress of pushing desperately forward?

What the Universe has in store for you (and knows that deep down you need the most) may not be the glitziest, most in-your-face thing. It might not be the thing you most crave in this self-absorbed, crazy, narcissistic world. But it will be what will bring you the most peace.

And it'll be yours.

#AskStephanie: When will I feel qualified enough to write/teach/create?

Have you ever had this thought? "Who am I to teach? I'm not perfect."

"Why would anyone want to listen to me?"

"Doesn't wanting to teach and help others make me a huge hypocrite?"

I used to think admitting struggles or setbacks in my creative life would somehow make me look less credible, but most of the time, I've found that the case is usually the complete opposite.

According to Carl Jung, all this means is that we're all "wounded healers".

And that's not a bad thing.

Jung believed that the main reason people feel compelled to teach is when they've been through an experience themselves and want to help others through it too, because they don't want anyone else to suffer the way they did.

They try to heal others, because they themselves know what it's like to be wounded, and that's a beautiful thing. Wouldn't you agree?

Who wants to learn from someone who acts like they've always been perfect?
Who would even trust a person who is teaching about something they've never been through? 

Using your experiences to help other people shouldn't be something to be ashamed of - it's actually something to be proud of, and to embrace. Because no one can deny your credibility when you're speaking from personal experience, your own journey of overcoming.

So if you're ever worried that you're not ready, or you're thinking: "Who am I to write this?" You're a wounded healer, which makes you the perfect person.

You don't have to be flawless or have completely "defeated" something in order to share your life lessons on the topic. Even if you fall from grace sometimes or don't always practice what you preach, it doesn't make you any less of a teacher. 

Your wounds don't all have to be neatly healed before you can heal others.

So please stop doubting yourself, and think about all the people you will help with your stories.

Then get out there and heal some wounds.

The world needs you to be yourself (and by that I mean, to not hold back.)

A lot of people will tell you throughout your life to "be yourself", which is cliche, and I don't do cliche...

Plus we are being ourselves, at all times, aren't we? Unless we're intentionally lying or deceiving. We are all here, right now, in our bodies, in our shells - we are here, we are present, and the only thing we can be is ourselves. 

People said it to me when I was younger and all it left me thinking was, "Okay, how? What do I specifically need to do?" 

(I was a very results-oriented child.)

"Be yourself" doesn't come with any further guidance on the matter. It has no before and after, and just doesn't mean much to anyone.

So I'd like to propose a better alternative...don't hold back.

That's where your story lies.

We are always ourselves, but we can all remember a time where we've held back out of fear, am I right? "Don't hold back" because when you not holding back can be measured, noticed, expanded upon. Here's how to put this into action:

  • Don't do anything that you don't like, just because you think it'll impress.
  • Don't be ashamed of the things you love.
  • Don't be afraid to say what you really feel, and believe that you truly believe.
  • Forget about wanting people to agree with you.
  • Forget that you might be writing in a way that the experts might not agree with.

There is something powerful in not holding back, for every single one of us.

We all have this sense of knowing when someone isn't being themselves, whether we're aware of it or not. There will be a lack of true connection - a cavern of unease between us and the people overflowing with insecurities, or the person trying to deceive us by acting like something they're not. Don't be that person.

You wouldn't believe how much better it feels, too. The moment you're ready and willing to say to the world, "I am who I am"? That's the moment that things will radically change for you. The moment your brand emerges. The moment your version of success truly becomes possible for you.

The people you meet, the places you go and the opportunities that arise will become more relevant than ever, and will take you closer to your ultimate goals than a lifetime of imitation or dishonesty ever could.

Don't hold back.

The Universe will respond.