Sent by Michele Fogal
I believe the largest problem authors face today is not the changing publishing industry or how to use social media to market ourselves. It’s the same problem that it’s always been. Discouragement.
The fact is, when I’m discouraged about my writing, all progress grinds to a halt. It’s an age old problem for artists of all kinds, and the root of advice in every ‘Learn How To Write’ book. In my mind, it comes down to this:
The core of creative process that gets words on a page is learning how to empower yourself.
Every writing teacher has different solutions to this issue. Some talk about routine and schedule. For them, they can push through times of discouragement by holding themselves accountable to dates and times. For others, it’s finding an ideal reader or muse, or building a community that can be your accountabilibuddies.
Some writers believe in meditation. Others in self-talk. Others in journalling… Changing locations… Special pens… Finding ways to trick the mind… Bribes.
Some writers are competitive and can use that to motivate themselves through the rough patches.
What I feel was missing in my own writer’s education was mention of the root of discouragement itself. We all need to find ways to encourage and empower ourselves. For me, that means recognizing all writing books as possible tools, but most importantly, recognizing myself as the artist in charge.
Most solutions are offered up as the Holy Grail of writing tips. That’s because it was the author’s own key into empowerment. That doesn’t mean these keys will unlock your doors.
When I first got stuck as a writer, I tried all kinds of expert advice. Each time I would read a new Golden Rule, and not be able to make it work for me, I felt like a failure. It went something like this, “I’ll never be a real writer if I can’t XYZ the way Bestselling Author does it.”
It took me a long time to realize that I was in charge of my own creativity. A system of trial and error allows me to beta test the ideas of other artists. Some work for me, some don’t. Wasting energy on taking this to heart or using this to create more discouragement is simply unnecessary and counterproductive.
Now, I collage together a process that works for me. This continues to evolve over time and as my situation and needs change. That’s okay! There’s always more to learn and that can be a source of pleasure instead of recrimination.
When I let go of trying to use someone else’s keys to open up my own doors, I not only have a lot more success, I have a lot more fun.