You gotta have rhythm

“Millionaires don’t use astrologers but billionaires do”

Full MoonOne of the worst things we can do as a writer is write when we’re not in the groove.

If you feel you have to write or you have an unnatural deadline, you can all to easily easily end up generating sub-standard material.

Writing this blog for example is something I have been meaning to do since the beginning of the year. I got up this morning and it popped into my mind to write it and within less than 15 minutes, it popped out fully formed. Note that it no accident it is a Full Moon at the time of writing.

I’ve written on this subject many times too and we could be lazy and take old material and edit it in order to save time. This is all fresh and ‘off the top of my head’. It just felt right.

When I look back over the last six or so years – and I have six books published now – apart from one, I wrote them all in Spring. It just felt like the right time – or is that the Write Time? So for this year, I am thinking about this year’s major opus, and have put together a rough chapter outline, but I won’t start writing it in earnest until Spring. Specifically, I will wait for the Spring Equinox to pass until I ‘spring forward’ once again.

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Overcoming Creative Resistance

Happy New Year! It’s the time when people make creative intentions and resolutions. Wouldn’t it be nice if this year you actually saw them through? The key is understanding creative resistance, the unconscious blockers that stop us from creating what we most want.
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You will never solve the problem of resistance by adding more thoughts to it, of any kind. Mo

re thought = more confusion, more distress, more exhaustion and futility. So while we are about to do an exercise that will locate the deeper thoughts, or feelings, that make up your resistance, this is not in order to have a thought about it.  It is enough to fully see it.

While it is unconsciously held, resistance is very powerful and runs our thoughts and feelings and behaviour. Once we make it conscious — once we clearly observe the inner opinion or emotion that is makes up our inner “no” — it loses its power. It crumbles when faced with the truth. Here is an exercise in deeply observing your resistance. It will bring thoughts of past and future into now and  feelings of shame and blame into the
open.

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Lacking Time? Learn to Get into the Creative Zone

“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” Golda Meir

Quality writing time is one of the most precious commodities for an author.

All too often authors struggle to cram creative hours into already busy days.

Sometimes they are up early, sometimes late. Heaven forbid anyone who interrupts a writer when they are in their groove. All Hell will get loose!

When you are in that state when things are just flowing, two strange phenomena seem to occur.

Firstly, it’s almost like your book is being dictated to you. You just know that the first draft is near perfect and will see itself through to the final edit. Secondly, time seems to take on a mysterious and even ethereal quality.

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Preceived Lack of Talent Runs Deeper than our Ability to Write. By Tom Evans.

“The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Golfer Gary Player

man juggling booksIf you think about it, the first four sources of writer’s block in this series are somewhat intangible.

The fears of ridicule, failure, the unknown and success don’t really exist apart from in the so-afflicted writer’s head – and, more specifically, their heart and gut minds. They become ’real’ enough however when they block a writer’s creative flow.

On first sight, the next common cause of writer’s block, namely lack of talent, could be thought of as being more tangible. If you are no good at writing, people won’t read what you write, so there’s no point writing, right?

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Strategies to Deal with the Fear of Success

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Marianne Williamson

Spotlight on empty stageThis fear is the one that can be the most debilitating. It’s not only one that afflicts authors during the writing process but is also affects us once our book is published.

In this instance, you could call it “Author’s Block” In essence, it’s a fear of promoting yourself and your work in case you jump out of obscurity into the spotlight.

This is a fear that I have experienced first hand. One of the reasons I discovered about why it affected me so much was that when I was the most financially successful in my life with two businesses, this was when I was also the most stressed.  As a result, I directly equated success with stress and used my very creative mind to avoid success at all costs.

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Fear of the Unknown

There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don’t know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.”

— United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

Confused business man

It’s natural for us to fear the unknown. Like all fears, this can start at an early age and remain with us for most of our lives.

When it comes to embarking on a creative project – or specifically not-embarking on a creative project – it can be somewhat debilitating.

The signs that this is happening in your life are:

  • You are a bit of a control freak and won’t start working until you know exactly each step of the way
  • You spend more time planning than doing
  • When you start creating, doubts about your ability start to sneak in which you use as excuses to stop.

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Fear of Failure

One of the major blocks to our creativity is the avoidance of failure. If you don’t actually do anything then you can’t possibly fail.

Job done! Fear of Ridicule neatly avoided quickly and easily!

Somewhat ironically though, writers, artists and musicians can be really creative on how they go about this avoidance strategy. As for the other types of fears, in nearly all cases, other behaviour masks what is actually occurring.

Typical signs that this fear is in operation include being a ’busy fool’ and finding you are always serving other first before generating our own output.

Expert at Creative Procrastination

Low self-esteem and pessimistic tendencies can also come to play. You may also find you give up at the first hurdle and any sign of adversity. You become an expert at creative procrastination.

These are all the tell-tale signs you are avoiding failure.

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Fear of Ridicule

Drama and comedyI am sure you can imagine that the fear of being ridiculed is something we can pick up at school.

For example, there was once a seven year old boy who was given the part of Jesus in the school nativity play, just because he was top of the class academically.

When it was clear his acting abilities weren’t up to it, he was demoted to the role of an innkeeper. He was not even able to get his one line right of, “There’s no room at the inn”.

As a result, he ended up on the back row of the chorus, as an angel without any wings.

Fear of Public Speaking

This type of experience might sound comical but it can lead later in life to a fear of public speaking. Nobody wants to be made a fool or, or receive a bad review, so we avoid sticking our head above the parapet. The best and simplest way by far to avoid being ridiculed is not to perform in the first place.

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Seven Causes of Writer’s Block – And A Cure

Writer's BlockWRITER WEDNESDAY.

Block is painful, as anyone who has suffered it knows. Our resident wizard of lightbulb moments, Tom Evans, kicks off a series about seven possible causes of writers’ resistance or block — and offers a cure.

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The concept of writer’s block has almost entered urban myth as something that all writer’s are obliged to suffer from at some point other in their career.

It’s like sport’s people suffering a hamstring injury or being afflicted by tennis elbow.

For a writer, it can either manifest as their Muse leaving them completely, so they don’t even feel like writing, or perhaps their current output just not quite flowing like the last.

Over the years, I have lost count of the number of cases of writer’s block I have dealt with. I have also been afflicted with it myself so have been there and got the t-shirt.

In every single case that I have encountered, the writer’s block is a symptom of a deeper malaise. What is playing out is a life block posing as a disruption to the creative flow. When we deal with the underlying issue, both our lives and our writing take on a whole new magical quality and we become unstoppable.

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Evolution: A Poem

You were born with a mouth,

a tongue,

and two sets of teeth were given,

the first by year two,

then at seven. All thought through, 

to feed as you need

and tell of it too. Now

please do.

 

by Orna Ross