If you are writing good stories, the stories you want to be writing, in a timely manner, without fear or hesitation or resistance, then this is not for you. You may move on.
If you want to improve your writing, write the stories that you want to read, write more and more often, eliminate your fears and doubts, and command the muse to come on your time, then read onward.
You see, let me back up a little bit.
Once upon a time a long long time ago, I wrote freely. As a child, the words flowed. I’d written short stories, novellas, and my first novel emerged in sixth grade. I wrote what I wanted to write. My words were my weapon of mass creation and my stories spilled magic onto the page.
Then I grew up. I started studying writing (and LOVED it). But I fell into this sort of block where I felt like I had to write a certain way. There were certain types of stories to be written, and certain ones to veer away from. And my writing suffered. I wrote a lot of junk. At times, I even stopped writing completely. My stories lost their magical charm, and became quite false.
But then I went to the magical country of Greece and studied under the magical author Natalie Bakopolous. Besides Writing Workshops in Greece being the greatest experience of my life (shameless plug!), Natalie urged us to consider something that really stuck with me and completely freed up my writing. With a whisk of her magical wand of words, my writing received it’s magic back and my stories began to shine (I’m not kidding, this is really what it felt like).
She asked: What is your writer DNA?
She wanted us to consider what made us a writer? What made us tick? What stories did we always find ourselves returning to? What themes and tropes and settings did they have? What point of view did we feel most comfortable writing from? If we could write completely uncensored, free of judgement, what on earth would we write?
This also included why were we writing? What initially ignited the sparks in our hearts to make us write in the first place? Why did we keep writing now? What were we hoping to achieve in writing? What made my “writer-self” different from all the other “writer-selves” out there? What stories are inside of us individually that need to get out?
And answering these questions, honestly, changed my life. My writing improved. I wrote more frequently. And I liked it.
The self is a tricky topic to discuss, even if you’re only doing it in the private space of your own head. You want to idealize yourself. You want to believe that you’re doing everything you’re supposed to and that you’re exactly as you should be. But if that were true, no one would strive for improvement (and self-help guides, gym memberships, and healthy eating cookbooks would cease to exist).
Still, you don’t want to admit, even to yourself, that you’re not doing it right.
It’s fucking hard to confront the self and figure out what makes you tick, what your flaws are, where you want to be and what’s holding you back from getting there.
And yet it’s what you have to do if you want your brain to quit belittling you and stressing you out for not achieving xxxx number of words of the day.
Diving into these questions and truly getting to know myself did the trick for me. I’m not perfect – I still don’t always accomplish what I intend to accomplish. I still stress myself out. But it’s a good jumping off point. And a good reminder to get yourself back into the groove.
And it never hurts to know yourself a little better.
This is only the tip of the iceberg for me. This topic has meant so much to me and made such a positive impact, I’ve expanded it into something even bigger for you:
discover your REAL+GOOD WRITER'S DNA
A free 12-day course to know yourself + free your writing
The Real+Good Writer's DNA digs into the core of your writer self. What makes you a writer unlike any other? This 12-day course digs into the stuff that makes you who you are so you can be free to write what you want.
If you want to make a Real+Good writing life for yourself, get back to the basics and figure out who you are first.
This is the heart, the foundation to all your writing dreams.