How can you manage to get off the ground as a writer when you are saddled with a full-time job? I struggled with this very dilemma for many years. Yes, I’d love to dive headfirst into writing each and every day. But I have this funny habit…I like to eat. So how do we keep food on the table and a roof over our heads, yet still fulfill our passions as writers? The secret to fitting writing around your work lies in shifting some priorities and also shutting down diversions.
Sometimes I’m afraid to write the next new chapter. It’s like a seed of doubt growing inside my head. As an avoidance, I switch to revising. Like that will somehow dodge this fear. Yet this slows down my writing as a whole. Coping with anxiety in writing can be daunting.
In this whirlwind of a world, finding inner peace might seem like an adventure of its own. But fear not, the ancient wisdom of Stoicism can help. And you know what the secret sauce is? Question every thought!
Us writers yearn for comfort. Yet true growth lies beyond the well-trodden path. Stepping out of your comfort zone to embrace discomfort is an essential aspect of a writer’s journey. Writers can harness the power of being uncomfortable to propel their creativity and achieve their writing goals.
No matter how long you’ve written and polished your writing, you’ll eventually need to show it off to other people. Professional publishers and agents reject hundreds more manuscripts than they accept. The sting of this failure can be hard to cope with. The best solution is to handle it the same way trees do: Broken branches are transformed into knots, which make the tree stronger. Writer rejection can seem like a death knell, but treated properly, it can allow us to thrive.
In this hyperconnected, hyperproductive world, we often find ourselves caught in the clutches of endless to-do lists. But fear not, dear creatives, for Niksen offers a momentary escape. Niksen is a Dutch concept translating to “doing nothing”. We need to embrace the art of idleness! Take a break from the warp-speed of life and allow your mind to wander freely. Sit back, relax, and let the celestial winds of inspiration gently caress your weary soul.
Once you get rolling on a good bit of writing, you don’t want to stop. After all, the more you create, the better your end product will be, right? However, you might just be what the Japanese call a manuke, or fool. This is a person without the awareness of ma — a philosophy that cherishes the space between things. In order to writer better, writers must harness the power of ma.
As writers, we’re constantly pushing ourselves to get those words on the page. To finish the job. We work ceaselessly for months on end, pursuing the elusive goal of a completed novel. This is target fixation and it’s a phenomenon associated with bike racing and driving that can lead to disaster. Chasing after word counts and pages may accomplish the goal of having a completed manuscript, but is it any good? As it turns out, target fixation is a trap many writers fall victim to.
Writer and comic book creator, Alan Moore, has a unique view on writing. He thinks writers should equip themselves with four weapons before trekking into literary battle. Previous posts covered the first two weapons, the sword of discernment and the pentacle of earthly knowledge. His third weapon related to the Tarot suit of cups and the core element of water. He encourages everyone to take up these weapons for writers and fully immerse themselves in the mindset and emotions of their characters, even if those characters are vile and depraved.
Can you weaponize your writing? Perhaps sharpen your skills as a painter or musician? And what exactly are we combating in this metaphorical artistic battle? Writer and comic genius, Alan Moore, relates his creative process to making magic. And the same advice given to magicians can work equally well for writers and artists. He calls these the four weapons of art and relates them to the four suits of the Tarot deck. We’ll focus on the first weapon, Earth, and how it helps the artist understand the physical world.