There’s No Such Thing As Writer’s Block

I used to be the Queen Procrastinating Writer. I claimed writer’s block for years. I used it as an excuse not to do the writing I knew I wanted to be doing.

But once I finally dug deeper into what was really going on, I was able to make a discovery: there’s no such thing as writers block.

Writers Block is actually a surface problem. The roots go much deeper.

NY Times Bestselling Author, Jerry Jenkins, has narrowed down exactly where “Writer’s Block” comes from:

  1. Fear
  2. Procrastination
  3. Perfectionism
  4. Distractions

In his article, How To Overcome Writer’s Block Once and For All, he shares his solutions for dealing with these four underlying issues that bring about “Writer’s Block.”

>> Read the article here

Jerry has written and published 190 books!! Twenty-one of which have been NY Times Bestsellers. If there’s anyone who can help you overcome your struggle with the underlying issues that cause “Writer’s Block,” it’s him.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block? Share in the comments. 

Haters Gonna Hate. And Haters Have a Place.

It was the Fall of 2009. I was a year into my story planning journey at that point and I still hadn’t published anything. But I was blogging about overcoming procrastination and sharing how things were going as I continued on my writing journey.

And one day I got a hater.

A woman commented on my blog, making fun of the way I pronounced NaNoWriMo (I was saying it NaNo-RyeMo and she said it was NaNo-ReeMo). After I commented back (rule #1: never comment back unless absolutely necessary) she started to say that I didn’t have a right to be blogging about writing if I’d never published anything. I then went back and said that I was blogging about my journey and what I’d learned and helping people overcome procrastination, which was something that stopped me for a very long time.

It went on and on. Eventually, I deleted the entire conversation from my blog.

But the comment stuck with me.

She had raised a good point… why hadn’t I published anything yet?

I might not’ve been ready to publish my novel (I still had a lot to learn about craft and story structure), but there was no reason I shouldn’t publish something non-fiction.

At that point, I had more than 100 blog posts written. It seemed like a waste to not do something else with them. So I pulled out 50-60 of the posts and organized them. Then I added some new content, connected all of the sections together so they flowed, and there I had my first eBook–Butt-In-Chair: A No-Excuses Guide for Writers Who Struggle to Get Started.

Dealing with haters can be annoying and scary and it can make you run and hide. Or you can use it as fuel to push yourself to the next level.

Since that situation on my blog back in 2009, I’ve dealt with haters several times. It used to bother me. And sometimes it still does. But for the most part, I’ve gotten to a place where my dreams are bigger than the bullshit that used to hold me back.

Haters gonna hate. And they have a place. It was a hater that made me finally write my damn book and put it out there.

Who knows how long I’d have waited if that woman hadn’t called me out on not having published yet. Even if it was totally unnecessary and really she should’ve been keeping her eyes on her own lane.

But I’m grateful to her, and all the haters that came after. They’ve all pushed me to a new level in my life and business. Because I know I’m stronger than they will ever be. And I know that haters only hate because they’re people who are not living their purpose or doing anything meaningful with their lives.

And that in and of itself is just so sad it makes my heart break for them.

It’s rare for a hater to shake me these days. But I’ve also gotten less and less of them as I’ve focused more on just doing my thing and calling in the right community and being around like-minded people.

Confidence keeps the haters at bay.

But the biggest thing to remember is, it’s not your fault if you trigger someone. It’s not your problem if you’re speaking your truth, sharing your gifts and shining your light and someone has a problem with it.

Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it.

Doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be there.

Doesn’t mean you should hide out and play small.

Just the opposite, actually. It means you need to shine brighter, share more, stand out more.

Over the weekend I heard best selling author, Agapi Stassinopoulos speak at Infinite Receiving Live, and she said something I’ll never, ever forget for as long as I live:

You’re not meant to fit in, you’re meant to stand out.

It was such a profound statement, and it rang true at the core of my being. We’re not meant to fit in or be like everyone else. We’re meant to stand out and be us.

So haters be damned!!

Don’t ever let the opinions of someone else stop you from living your dreams, shining your light and sharing your gifts with the world.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year or just need to plan your next story? Be sure to grab my FREE story planning checklist here: www.bit.ly/nanochecklist

Stop Looking Around and Worrying about if it’s Working or Not – The Results Will Show Up if You Just Keep Going

Yesterday my husband and I went to brunch at this badass local diner in Austin that’s open 24 hours and serves gluten-free pancakes and french toast and vegan cheese sauce (which is a dream for a gluten-free, mostly dairy-free person like me). We were sitting outside the restaurant, waiting for our table to be ready. It was a gorgeous Texas fall day–there was a slight breeze and the temperature was 77 degrees.

I was people-watching while we waited, and I couldn’t help but notice that most people were wearing jeans. Without even thinking, I said, “I can’t wait ’til I can wear jeans again.”

My hubs looked at me and said, “you are wearing jeans.” I looked down and saw that yes, I, too, was wearing jeans. But they’re the only jeans I ever wear, because they’re the only jeans I own that fit me.

Now, to be clear, I own a lot of jeans and they all do still fit me as in I can put them on and they’re not too small for me. But they don’t fit me how I’d like them to fit (loose on the stomach and waist). So anytime I wear them I end up taking them off soon after and putting on leggings or sweatpants instead because it’s more comfortable.

I’ve had to do battle lately with the fact that I’m not in the shape I once was. And even though I’m still doing better than a lot of people my age and many people would kill to be as small as I am, I’m still not happy with my body or how my clothes fit me right now.

I want more. And I know I can have it. So I refuse to settle or to accept my body as it is currently. I’m actively working on making the changes I need to make to have the body I dream of having.

But when I said that to my hubs, he said something that really put it into perspective. He said, “your jeans will fit if you just keep doing what you’re doing.”

And even though what he said was so freaking obvious, ’cause I mean, DUH! If I just keep doing what I’m doing–eating better, going to the gym–eventually I’ll have the body I desire. Yet it never really occurred to me.

But it’s true. Regardless of the outcome you’re going after, whether it’s a better body or to finish writing your novel, if you keep taking action, you will get there.

The results will show up if you just keep going.

This is something we need to remind ourselves about from time-to-time, because it’s easy to look around at your current reality, at the results you don’t currently have, and worry that it’s never gonna happen.

Even though I know that I’ve been eating better and going to the gym or working out at home 5-6 days a week, I still on occasion look at my jeans drawer or the shirts I don’t feel comfortable wearing right now, and worry that they’ll never again fit me the way I want them to.

But it’s pretty ridiculous to waste time and energy worrying about the results not showing up when you know for a fact you’re actually doing the work.

Now, on the other hand, if you’re not doing the work or if you know that you’re not fully showing up for yourself in the area that you’d like to see improve–your writing, your fitness, whatever–then that’s when you should worry about not getting the results. Although worrying is still kind of a waste because if you’re not doing the work, of course you’re not gonna get the results. That’s pretty obvious, so no sense worrying about it.

But if you know that you’re doing what it takes, then you have nothing to worry about. Ever. Just keep doing what you’re doing. The results you desire will soon be yours.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. If you’re ready to do what it takes during November (aka: NaNoWrimo) to write the first draft of your story, be sure to download my FREE NaNoWriMo story planning checklist: bit.ly/nanochecklist

The Different Types of Editors and What They Do

People are constantly reaching out to me to ask questions about my editing service. And I often find that writers are confused as to what they actually need and which type of editor is a fit for that need. (I get a lot of requests from writers who mistakenly think they need line editing when what they really need is content editing, etc.)

So I thought I’d do a breakdown of how to know what you need and which type of editor you should look for.

ASK QUESTIONS

In order to know what kind of editor you need, you first have to take inventory of where you are right now. The following questions will help you do that:

1. Have you completed you first draft?
2. Have you completed a first round of revisions?
3. How confident do you feel that this story is ready to be seen by someone else?

If you’re not done with your first draft yet, don’t show it to anyone, especially an editor. It’s not time for that yet. At this point, you need to be completely focused on finishing the draft.

If you’ve finished your first round of revisions and worked through your entire first draft and have made changes and reworked things, you’re ready for your first round of editing.

ENTER CONTENT/DEVELOPMENTAL EDITOR

Your first round of editing should be with a content editor. You may have also heard this person called a developmental editor.

Regardless of the name, the job is the same–to read your manuscript and give feedback on the overall story, including plot, structure, scene execution, character arc, theme and more.

This editor won’t be looking at your prose or checking for grammar or punctuation. That stuff doesn’t matter at this point.

The feedback you get from this editor will help you turn the draft you have into a draft that’s more cohesive and engaging.

After you’ve spent time implementing the suggestions from your content/developmental editor and you have a story that’s closer to being finished, now’s a great time to send to Beta Readers for additional feedback on the story. (This step is optional but recommended).

When you’ve implemented all your editor and Beta Reader changes, then you’re ready for your next editor.

ENTER LINE EDITOR

A Line Editor’s job is to read your prose, line-by-line, and help you polish it up and make it shine. They look at word choices, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and more.

What a Line Editor is not concerned with is the content of the story. That’s already been handled by your Content/Developmental Editor and Beta Readers.

This editor’s exclusive focus is helping you make the story sound better through improving how it’s written.

After you’ve implemented the suggested line edits, you’re ready for the final round of editing.

ENTER PROOFREADER

This is optional, but highly recommended if you want to give your draft a final once-over before you hit “publish.” A proofreader will go through your story again, line-by-line, and look for any misspellings, typos or other random things that need to be cleaned up.

BUT–before you hire any editor, you first need to do your own revision, to make sure you’ve gotten the story into the best shape you possibly can on your own.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

The Five Most Common Issues Writers Have with Their Stories

I spend about a hundred hours a year reading writers’ manuscripts and doing content edits on their stories. I’ve seen it all–stories that ramble on for 400+ pages, never really getting to the point; stories that start off pretty good and then about a quarter of the way in change into a totally different story; stories where the voice changes so many times you couldn’t keep up if you wanted to… I could go on.

And this is true for every editor on the planet.

We’ve all seen a wide array of stories from “decent start but still needs work” to “total diaster” to “what the fuck were you thinking?” You name it, it’s out there.

But there are also many stories that have a pretty good start and just need tweaking and revising and editing to mold and shape it into the story it’s really meant to be.

My author and editor friend, Sarah Fox, and I got together the other day to talk about what the most common problems are that we see in writers’ drafts (we’re doing a revision workshop together–see the bottom of this message for more). And we came up with five things that are the most common manuscript problems:

1. Episodic Narrative (AKA: No Structure)

An episodic narrative is when a writer shows you the day to day occurances in a character’s life, yet there’s nothing actually happening. There may be drama and conflict, but there’s no true story going on.

A story is a very specific thing. A story is: a Protagonist who wants something, an Antagonist who opposes what the Protagonist wants and a journey that ensues because of it.

It has a purpose, a goal. There are stakes. And there’s a resolution where an ordinary Protagonist is then turned into a hero.

Most importantly, there’s a true end point. In an episodic narrative the story could keep going forever.

Most drafts that we get hired to edit are missing the key element that turns something from an episodic narrative into an actual story: structure.

Without structure you don’t have a story.

2. Inconsistencies

The next most common problem is inconsistencies, in both the story itself and with elements in the story. For example, in the beginning of the story a character is named Bob and later his name changes to Bill. Or the first part of the story is a mystery and then it turns into a romance and the mystery somehow disappears.

The goal for a completed novel is to have an engaging, cohesive story that’s consistent from beginning to end.

3. Point of View/Voice/Narration

Next up is how writers handle Point of View/Voice/Narration. Sarah and I agreed that we both see so many manuscripts where the Point of View (POV) is all over the place–we’re bouncing from one character’s head to another every few paragraphs and we’re going from First Person to Third Person and back again.

Oftentimes writers think this makes the story more interesting and exciting. But what it really does is make it confusing as fuck for a reader.

4. Info Dumps/Backstory Problems

The next problem is how writers handle backstory. Most drafts I read have “info dumps” happening throughout. What that means is they’ll drop a whole bunch of backstory all at once and it goes on and on for pages.

Backstory should always and only be peppered into the story as you go, when and if it’s needed. The “if” being an important thing here. If it’s needed.

Because it’s not always needed.

Which is why you don’t want to give the reader more backstory than they need to have the current story make sense.

The other backstory problem is when the backstory ends up becoming the current story (which then turns it into an episodic narrative). This is a huge problem!

I see this a lot in flashback (which should be used rarely, if at all). Writers will write a flashback scene that’s merely backstory to show us something that happened to the character. Don’t do that.

We only want to see a flashback with backstory if that somehow adds new information to the current story that’s needed for it to move forward and make sense.

Otherwise leave it out.

5. Unnatural Dialogue

And the fifth problem we came up with that we see across the board in most stories is dialogue that sounds weird or that isn’t written how people really talk.

For example, not using contractions. People talk in contractions–don’t, won’t, ain’t, can’t. They don’t too often say I will not, do not, cannot… because it’s too proper and slow.

Dialogue is a huge part of what makes a story engaging. So you want your dialogue to pop.

These are the top 5 issues Sarah and I see in manuscripts over and over and over again. Hopefully now that you’re aware of these issues you can change them in your own writing.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

You Get to Make the Rules

The other day in my Bestselling Author Mastermind group one of the members posted a thread asking about how to best track the progress she’s been making on her revisions. She mentioned how many people recommend tracking your daily word count, but that with revisions it’s harder to do that because sometimes you’re revising a scene and the word count doesn’t really change much.

I then commented and said that I don’t track word count or page count or anything like that. I used to try to do that, but it was too overwhelming and, honestly, de-motivating for the days when I didn’t hit the word count, even though I was still writing.

Now I just use the DONE app to track whether or not I actually work on my fiction each day. Just having worked on my fiction in some way, shape or form each day is enough for me. I’m over being rigid about my daily habits.

When I mentioned this to my BAM member, she commented back, sounding completely relieved that she could just track whether or not she worked on her revision each day, and not have to worry about tracking the specific word count.

I commented back and said: You get to make the rules.

And I think that’s something we tend to forget about… that we get to make the rules for ourselves. We don’t have to go along with how others do things, even if most other people are doing it that way.

Don’t want to track your daily word count? Don’t track it. Track what feels good to you.

I used to be super rigid about my daily tasks and would give myself a hard time if I didn’t do it perfectly or if I felt like I didn’t get enough done. But all that berating did was make me not feel like doing the things I was trying to build daily habits around.

Because it’s no fun to feel like you’re failing every day, especially at things you’ve tasked yourself with.

So a few months ago I gave myself permission to stop being so rigid. To just have my daily list of the Top 5 things I wanted to get done each day, and as long as I did something related to each of those tasks, I could check it off and count it as having done it.

Progress was still being made, every single day, even when I didn’t do something major in each area.

And that’s the important thing, right? That progress is being made. That you’re 1% further today than you were yesterday.

Success in life isn’t about making giant leaps every day (although that’s one way to do things, and, of course, it does work). It’s about taking baby steps every day in the direction of your dreams.

Baby steps are still steps, and while it might take you a little longer to get where you want to go, you will get there if you just keep on baby-stepping (just like in, What About Bob? –baby steps!!).

That’s what I’ve been doing with my Daily Top 5 for the last few months, baby-stepping. Working on each task a little bit every day. Making progress. Getting shit done.

Success is more about consistency than anything else.

If you can be consistent with taking baby steps, you will arrive exactly where you want to. You will finish and you will make progress.

But if you’re constantly telling yourself that you have to live by someone else’s rules or standards, that’s only gonna make you feel like a failure or like you’re not good enough. Neither of which is very motivating.

And the truth is, you don’t have to. You get to create your own rules, about whatever you want.

Just because most writers track their daily word count or page count, doesn’t mean you need to. Just because most writers use Scrivener or Final Draft, doesn’t mean you need to. Just because most writers take years to write and finish and publish a book, doesn’t mean you need to.

You get to decide.

You get to choose.

You get to make up the rules that you live and operate by.

It’s all up to you.

But this is something I’m constantly having to remind myself about. Because it’s very easy to slip into living someone else’s life or someone else’s rules, sometimes without even realizing it.

And especially if you were raised with said rules or if you grew up watching other people live said rules.

Still, doesn’t mean you have to follow them though. You don’t. You never had to and you never will have to.

This is what life on your own terms is all about.

You make the rules that you get to live by. And fuck everyone and everything else.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Isn’t it time for you to FINISH what you’ve started?! Join myself and Editor Sarah Fox for Revise Your Damn Novel: 5 weeks of focused revision time so you can get your story into a more final state and then either hit “publish” or finally send it off to an editor for feedback. >> Full details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/revise

One of the Best Things I’ve Ever Done for Myself is Spend Time with People who Think Like I Do

I just got off a team call with one of my clients who’s in the middle of a launch right now. Her team is amazing and all of us think very similarly about life and business. Every time I spend an hour on the phone with these women, I’m reminded of something I decided I was gonna do more of this year: spend time with people who think like I do.

You’ve probably heard the quote, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” (Jim Rohn). And it’s true.

Yes, it’s OK to spend time around people who think different than you and who aren’t at the same mindset level that you are. But if that’s the only people you spend time with, you may have a problem.

You need to be around people who think like you do and who’ve achieved more than you have. It pushes you to higher levels of thinking, believing and doing.

It inspires you to BE MORE.

If you’re only spending time with people who don’t think like you do and who aren’t achieving, it won’t motivate you. You may even start to feel self-conscious that you don’t fit in with them, and then you’ll dim down your light even more so you can be like they are.

Which is why you must have the like-minded people to spend time with. This will pull you back up and make it OK for you to shine your light and be who you truly are. And that will inspire you to greater levels of success and achievement.

It will also give you the mindset strength you need for when you’re not around like-minded people.

This is becoming more and more true for me as I make this major pivot in my business, because there will be people who don’t agree with my new direction. (#November7 #ItsComing)

I’m OK with that.

Because I want to create a community of millions of multi-passionate writers, artists and entrepreneurs who all think like I do and who are all taking action and achieving, and yet still aspire to greater levels of success and achievement. And to do something as powerful as that, you will have detractors and people who don’t agree and who think you need to follow the rules and do things like everyone else is doing them.

But I’m a rebel. I don’t like rules and I don’t like being told what to do. I like to do things my way. Always have.

I want to lead a revolution of multi-passionate writers, artists and entrepreneurs who never want to choose just one thing. Because I never, ever wanted to choose just one thing. And really, I couldn’t.

My soul is multi-passionate. That’s just how it is.

So being forced to pick one thing or even trying to pick one thing made me feel like I was dying inside.

If you’re a multi-passionate person, you’re not meant to do one thing. You’re meant to do all of the things, whatever your heart calls you to.

And the truth is, you can’t be successful at the level you dream of if you pick one thing or if you continue forcing yourself to pick one thing. Because that’s not who you really are.

Success comes from just being who you are.

This is why I’m so grateful to have opportunities to spend time with people who think like I do and who inspire and motivate me to want to be, do and have more. My dream life and career and business, exactly as I want it, all on my terms.

If it weren’t for my like-minded and beyond mentors and entrepreneur friends, I wouldn’t be at this place right now. Getting ready to jump into a whole new business and life and ME.

To finally say what I really want to say to the world. To finally allow myself to BE on the outside the me I’ve always been on the inside. To finally once and for all fully stand up for what I believe and what I want to be known for going forward.

For the last decade I’ve been showing one side of myself to the world. And while it’s been a great bunch of years, there’s been so much of myself that has been surpressed and dimmed because I kept telling myself I had to pick one thing.

But I could never pick one thing. Not even when I actually tried.

And now I don’t want to.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. The doors to the Revise Your Damn Novel workshop with myself and Editor Sarah Fox, are opening on Monday, October 9 and we kick things off on Monday, October 16. Save the date and get ready to join us!!!

This is Why You Must do Your Work in the World

Between the senseless tragedy in Vegas, the unexpected death of the wife of my husband’s friend, and the loss of a musical icon, October 2 really gave us a lot to think about. My thoughts, as usual in situations like this, traveled to purpose and soulwork and legacy.

Losing Tom Petty was hard. His music has been a part of my life since I first heard Free Falling back in the mid-90s, when I was trying to learn how to play the keyboard (I have long-since given that up, ha!)

Tom was most definitely doing his soulwork–that’s undeniable.

The man was one of the best singer-songwriters of our time and his catalog of work is a legacy that will live on for the rest of time. He was a true artist.

And he was a writer who acted on inspired ideas.

In his documentary (available on Netflix right now) he says that he had no idea where the songs came from. He just heard a riff and the lyrics came to him. He described it as going up into the stratosphere, pulling down the words and bringing them to life in the song.

He never questioned where this inspiration came from, for fear that it would go away.

By acting on these inspired ideas (aka: Divine Downloads), he was able to build a beyond-incredible dream life and career. One that most musicians aspire to, but many never reach.

He was an artist who was willing to do the work.

And all the years of his life he continued writing and performing and creating and putting stuff out in the world, both through his own music and by producing the music of other musicians he believed in.

But there was another side of Tom that not everyone remembers, and that was the side of him that had strong convictions and was willing to fight for what he believed in. He fought the industry to keep record prices from going up. He organized an independent tour with his band, The Heartbreakers, to pay for the legal bills he endured from standing for what he believed.

And he won.

The legacy of Tom Petty will for sure live on forever. Both his music and his legacy as an artist willing to stand up against an industry that tried to take advantage of him and of so many other artists.

Tom’s legacy is undeniable.

But what about everyone else? All the other people in the world–those who are gone and especially those who remain…

Are they living their dream lives? Are they doing their soulwork in the world? Are they standing for what they believe in? Are they spending their time doing what really matters?

I have no idea the answers to those questions, as I don’t personally know every person in the world. But what I do know is all we ever really have is right now.

Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year aren’t guaranteed. We have no idea what the future holds for us. Any of us.

And so that’s why we must wake up every morning, grateful to be alive, and we must live our legacy. We must create and we must finish and we must put our soulwork out into the world.

There are no more excuses.

There’s no more time for procrastinating or puting it off.

There is only NOW.

And we, the lucky ones, who still remain here on planet earth, must create our legacy and live our dream lives. If for no other reason than to honor those who are gone.

We must show up every day, do our soulwork and put it out into the world.

For those who would give anything to have one more day, one more breath, one more chance. To do the thing they always dreamed of. To live the life they always wanted. To finish what they came here to do.

Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

And so we must live NOW, create NOW, put it out there NOW. Because you never know what tomorrow will bring…

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Is it time for you to finish your story? Then mark October 16 on your calendar and get ready to join myself and Editor, Sarah Fox, for Revise Your Damn Novel. Stay tuned…

There is Never Anything to Fix, You’re Perfect Exactly as You Are

I just made a seriously bold statement: that there’s never anything to fix because you’re perfect exactly as you are.

An extremely bold statement. One that most people probably wouldn’t agree with me on.

But I stand by it.

A big problem that so many people have is that they’re always trying to fix things about themselves and their lives, when there’s really nothing to fix. Fixing something sends the message that you’re broken or there’s something wrong with you.

Couldn’t be further from the truth.

There’s nothing wrong with you. You are perfect, exactly as you are right now.

Yes, there may be things you don’t like about yourself or your life, or things that you want to change or upgrade or improve on. But there’s never anything to fix, because you’re not broken.

And removing the “fix it” mindset is gonna be the thing that finally allows you to see yourself for who and what you really are.

For a long time now I’ve told myself that I need to “fix” my body, just because it’s not how I want it to be. But the thing is–there’s nothing wrong with my body. And many women would kill to have the body that I currently have.

But in my mind, it’s not good enough, because it’s not what I want it to be.

I want to be more toned and fitter. I want to be stronger and have better stamina. I want to my clothes to be loose and to be able to wear any damn thing I feel like wearing whenever I feel like wearing it.

So for months now I’ve been trying to “fix” my body and all the things I think are “wrong” with it. But the truth is, there’s nothing wrong with my body and there’s nothing that needs to be fixed.

I had to finally see that there’s nothing to fix about my body. My body is fine just the way it is. Yes, there are improvements I’d like to make, but saying I needed to fix something would mean that there’s something broken about me, and nothing is.

I just had to start seeing it that way.

And I finally have, thanks to a reframe I gave myself about where I’m currently at.

And, really, it’s the “I have to fix it” mindset that has stopped me from actually sticking with my daily fitness habit in the past. Because if you think there’s something wrong with you or that you have to fix something, it doesn’t exactly motivate you to want to work out or get healthy.

So I had to shift my mindset around fitness and getting healthy, and stop telling myself that I had to fix something.

Sure, I’m not as toned as I once was. I don’t have the body I had in my 20s. I’m not as small as I’m used to being.

But I’m also not that far off. All it would really take is just changing up my eating habits and exercising daily to get to where I want to be.

And if I chose to never do those things, to never eat better or exercise daily, guess what, I’d still survive. I wouldn’t fall apart or become broken.

So there’s nothing that I need to fix.

Approaching my health and fitness from a place of “I need to fix this” is the thing that has stopped me from wanting to make any changes. Which is why I’m no longer coming from that place.

The other day after I worked out at the gym, I had an ephiphany: it takes time to create the body you want.

I didn’t get to where I’m at with my body right now overnight. It took almost 34 years of eating too much sugar and junk food and not exercising very much to get me to where I am right now. I didn’t just eat a bag of cookies one night and wake up with the body I have currently.

Nope. It took years of neglect and not caring about what I was eating and not having enough movement in my life to make this happen.

So change isn’t gonna happen overnight either.

Sounds obvious, but that thought had never really occured to me until the other day. And it has helped me to make peace with the whole “fix it” thing and to realize that so long as I commit to eating better, taking better care of myself and exercising/sweating for at least 20 minutes a day, eventually I’ll get to have the body I’ve always wanted.

The dream body, for me.

This way of thinking–that I didn’t get to this place overnight and so I’m not gonna get to where I really want to be overnight either–has changed everything for my fitness and health. And this way of thinking can also apply to anything else in your life that you want to change or improve, including your writing habits.

You didn’t get to where you’re at with your writing today all in one night. No, the not writing often enough or not finishing your writing projects or constantly procrastinating (or wherever you’re at currently in your writing life) happened over a lifetime of putting the writing off and avoiding it and convincing yourself that it wasn’t important or didn’t matter.

So you can’t just expect to wake up tomorrow and suddenly be a New York Times Best Selling Author.

It takes time to get to that point. It takes working at it a little every day. It takes commitment to the outcome and being willing to do whatever it takes, until it takes and then keep going.

And even still, wherever you’re at today with your writing, your body, your health, whatever, there’s nothing to fix. Because you’re not broken. You’re perfect exactly as you are.

But if you want to change; if you’re inspired to change; if you want to improve things and get yourself to an even better and more pefect for you place, that’s the mindset to have. That’s the way to make the transformation that you want to make.

One day at a time.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are opening to new members on Monday September 18!!! When you join us you get access to a KILLER Bonus (which I’ll be announcing soon!!) AND you get to participate in my upcoming 100-Day Writing Sprint workshop where we’ll be banding together to kick some ass and achieve our 2017 writing goals. Stay tuned… (and if you want to be the first to know when the doors are open, be sure to join my email list here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/newsletter )

Yes, I Write Everyday and I Don’t at All Understand Writers Who Don’t

The other day one of my hubs’ bandmates was hanging out at our apartment. We were just shooting the shit about whatever, as we usually do when he asked me a question that almost caught me by surprise.

He asked me: do you write every day?

It took me a second to realize that he was being serious. He seriously wanted to know if I write every day.

Once I got over the initial shock of the question, I responded by saying, of course, I write every day, I’m a writer.

But then I took a step back from the question and realized that the reason he asked me that is because most writers don’t write every day. In fact, many people who call themselves writers rarely actually do any writing.

Sure, they think about writing and they talk about writing and once in a while they may even sit in a chair and type some words out.

But it’s not a regular thing. They don’t have a routine or a habit of writing every day.

And they even tell themselves that they don’t have to write every day. That writing every day isn’t a prerequisite to being successful.

That may be true, in theory. I suppose you can be a successful writer and not write every day.

But the question I have isn’t do you write every day… it’s how can you call yourself a writer and not write every day?

If a basketball player only plays one day a month, can he still call himself a basketball player? If a musician only picks up her guitar when she feels like it, can she really call herself a musician? If an artist only paints when she has the time, is she really an artist?

I mean, again, maybe. In theory, you can call yourself anything you want.

But what I can’t understand is being a writer, or a basketball player or musician or artist, and not writing or doing something related to your craft every day.

Maybe it’s just me, but honestly, I write every day because I can’t not. Because on the days when I don’t write I feel like shit and I get annoyed and resentful and can’t deal with life.

For me, writing every day is therapy (and much cheaper too!). It’s my way of exorcising all the nonsense going on in my head. It’s how I make sense of life and how I keep my mind clear and focused and ready to be creative at a moment’s notice.

There is no other way for me.

I have to write something every single day. Even if it’s just a blog post or a post on social media or even just in my journal in the morning.

But I have to write. I can’t not.

If I don’t write, I have no purpose.

A bit dramatic? Maybe. But that’s how I feel. For me, writing is like breathing. And when I don’t write, I feel like I can’t breathe.

But if you’re not living the writing life, if you’re not all-in on doing the work, that could be a big reason why you struggle in your life, in more areas than just writing.

You can’t be born to write and know that you’re a writer and feel called inside to puts words on the page and then not do it. And if you avoid your writing, knowing full well that you’re born to do it and feeling all these things inside–stories and messages and ideas–and leaving them unexpressed, you can’t expect anything else in your life to go well either.

Because you’re not doing your soul work, the one thing you came here to do.

And you can’t avoid your soul work and expect your life to work. It can’t and it won’t.

Avoiding your soul work is the thing that actually STOPS everything else from working.

Whenever I find myself struggling with something, like money or a project, etc., the first thing I do is ask myself: have I been doing my soul work lately? And if I’m struggling, I can almost guarantee that nine times out of 10 I haven’t been.

Because when I do my soul work every day, my life works. Things flow. Money is easy. Projects get finished with no problem.

But the second I stop doing my soul work–and then the second that stopping becomes a habit–everything in my life falls apart. I struggle again.

And all of it can be fixed by just committing to showing up and writing every day.

It’s so simple it almost feels ridiculous. But it’s true nonetheless.

Doing your soul work makes your life work.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Only a few days left to join us for Write Your Damn Novel: NaNo Edition!!! We’re kicking things off on Monday, September 11 and diving right into the story planning and development process. If you’re ready to take the idea in your head and turn it into an actual story so you can write a first draft and finally have something worth revising, you do not want to miss this!!

>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/nanoedition