Writers, no matter what your genre, you will face obstacles to writing. Use these tips to keep falling forward.
In fact — say it out loud right now: “Writing obstacles, be gone!”
And check out one of my all-time favorite quips:
“It’s a sad day when you find out that it’s not accident or time or fortune, but just yourself that kept things from you.” ~ Lillian Hellman.
How does that make you feel — knowing that you are the only obstacle to your dreams coming true? Achieving your writing goals? Writing for 30 minutes today? Getting published?
The first step to breaking free from the ties that bind is changing how you think. If you need a shove in the right direction, read books on living your life on purpose – with purpose – such as 5: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today? by Don Zadra.
And, here are three tips for falling forward in the direction of your dreams…
Writing Obstacles, Be Gone!
“We all have goals we’d like to reach,” says Renee Fisher, co-author of Invisible No More: The Secret Lives of Women Over 50. “But often, we never reach our goals because of obstacles we believe stop us. We see these obstacles as insurmountable.”
It’s not even that our obstacles actually stop us from getting our books and articles published – or even just writing a couple hundred words a day – it’s that we believe those obstacles will stop us. And our beliefs become reality, our thoughts become things.
The simple truth is that there is no obstacle that can stop us from getting what we want out of our writing lives – our writing careers. But first, we must be willing to see ourselves and others in a completely new way.
These tips are inspired by Fisher…
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Stay focused on your vision, not your circumstances
What is your vision for yourself as a writer? Who do you want to be, what do you want to achieve. If you haven’t written it down yet, do it now.
Creating a vision can be difficult. But, once you know what you want for your life, you can align everything you say and do to make your vision a reality.
To overcome writing obstacles and find the courage to write, do not be distracted by your circumstances (not enough time to write, too many cool writing blogs on the internet, no ideas). Only your vision can guide you to your dream. For instance, if your goal is to get an assignment from a national magazine by the end of the summer, pepper your day with thoughts like, “In September, I’ll be interviewing sources and writing that article for New Yorker.”
Be 100% responsible for yourself
That means no excuses. Ever. At first you’ll hate this, because life is so much easier when we are the victims of our fate (“I didn’t get published because the editor is a jerk/I’d go back to school but I have no money/The only writing jobs left are those that pay $15 per article!”).
Instead of blaming magazine editors, literary agents, book publishers, and the kid next door for your writing obstacles, start looking at yourself. This can seem overwhelming, but when you accept responsibility for achieving your writing goals, you’ll experience an incredible sense of empowerment.
If you truly believe that everything in your life is your creation (the good, the bad, the ugly), then how could anything stop you from reaching your writing goals?
Hold people, including yourself, in the highest possibility
If you react to someone – an editor, fellow blogger, literary agent – as though they are incompetent or negative or unloving, they will be so. “Instead, if you see them as capable, kind, and willing to help you, they will often live into your belief of who they are,” says Fisher. “Hold them (and yourself) there and accept no less.”
To keep falling forward, make yourself the example. Ask yourself “What is my highest possibility in this situation?” and rise to the challenge.
If rejections and disappointments are dragging you down, read 75 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse.
Fellow scribes, what are your obstacles to writing? How are you “falling forward”?