TSLS 0004 - The secret to writing well is feeling well.
Do you know one of the most common ways writers mess up their creative mojo?
We spend way too much time daydreaming about how good we’ll feel after we finish writing our book.
You will feel amazing once you finish your book or your latest project, for sure, but being laser-focused on the future just drains your happiness away from the present. The more you think about how much you want to become a best-selling author, the further and further away it feels when you’re trying to get all the smaller tasks done each day.
That’s when most writers get frustrated and overwhelmed. When our worth and our idea of success become so connected that the stress of trying to achieve what you want for yourself causes more harm to our wellbeing than good.
This creates the biggest problem you’ll face in your writing life, no matter what form it manifests in, and that is not feeling good about the work anymore. And so, if there was ever a secret that more writers needed to know, it would be this:
Feeling well is the secret to writing well.
And by “feel well”, what I mean is being in a healthy relationship with yourself.
Do you remember when you loved to write before you started seeking outside validation? Back when it was for the fun of it and not because you needed to impress other people? There’s a person inside of you who still loves to do that (your #wholewriter). And conversely, by not worrying about what the outcome of your work might be and by simply enjoying what you create gives your work the best chance of being authentic and successful. If you can transform this mindset, you will transform everything else in your life.
Just in case you’re still not convinced, I’ve got a couple of other reasons why this is the only secret you need to succeed:
1) Writing is a long, long game.
It’s a game that requires energy, strength and stamina. You will experience your fair share (and sometimes MORE than your fair share) of rejection along your journey, from editors, to agents, to publishers. You will also experience a bunch of people known as “haters” in your writing career, and these range from strangers to ex-friends, to *gasp!* family members. The last thing you need on top of all that is YOU telling yourself that your work is terrible.
2) “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” - Famous African Proverb
When you have inner strength, high self esteem and that super strong belief in your own worth, it’s harder for people and events to take your off your path. When you love yourself, you’ll know that you can only control the future by controlling your daily actions and honouring yourself enough to set yourself up for success by doing the work and not worrying about what others think.
3) When you feel good, you stop needing external validation.
I know as a writer you do a ridiculous amount of work when putting something creative together and trying to make your dreams happen, but because it is a solitary profession, there will be times where no one else will be around to see it.
There might not be anyone to acknowledge you in your proudest moments, so not only do you have to learn how to work without that kind of praise from other people, but you have to learn how to cheer yourself on in those proud moments. I hope you’ll find that making yourself proud can be just as fulfilling as when you finally put that work out into the world.
4) You will see a lot of people around you succeed, but you can’t let that phase you.
We all know a Mina Schwartz who has unintentionally makes us feel bad about our own lives and accomplishments at one point or other in our lives. But when you feel good about what you’re doing, you won’t have the time or energy to worry about her, or to compare yourself, or to put your own work down no matter how slow or hard the journey may be. It’s yours and only yours.
5) You will see a lot of people around you fail, but you can’t let that phase you.
Oh, boy. This one hits me hard. It’s a terrifying phenomenon that happens if you’ve been a writer for long enough: some of the people around you will give up. Quit. Change direction. All leaving you feeling disorientated because the ones you once looked up to and went to for support and advice are dropping like flies, talking about how they find Instagram modelling much better. Keep that faith in yourself and your projects and stay on the path if it feels good - don’t fold due to other people’s fears.
6) When you feel well, you’ll stay true to your purpose.
There are a million things that you could do that are easier than writing. Writing takes work. And so there will be a parade of tempting opportunities that will come your way that seem like the quicker, easier roads to success, but ultimately pull you away from your destiny. Only your values and inner strength will be able to save you from the barrage of lesser activities designed to steal away time from your ultimate purpose.
7) You deserve to feel good about the work you do.
How many people, instead of focusing on how glorious it is to create in this world, and what an incredible responsibility it is to be a messenger and story crafter on this earth today, are bogged down by stresses and insecurities - that not only are they imposing on themselves, but that society is imposing on them, too?
If you ever feel you’re doing this to yourself, take a step back and remember why you started in the first place - because you didn’t start writing to make yourself unhappy. You started writing to make something happen for yourself and for the world.
If you can hold on to that, no matter how long it takes, you will.
Over to you:
Do you know that feeling well is the secret to writing well? Let me know in the comments section below!