I saw something in a Facebook group for writers the other day that kinda got me fired up. And it’s not the first time.
To be honest, it’s something that gets me fired up every time I see it.
Someone posted a meme in the group that showed a writer being stressed out and having a hard time. And then the comment from the poster was: who else agrees it’s hard to be a writer?
I cringed when I saw this while scrolling through my feed the other day. Talking about writing and being a writer in that way always makes me cringe. Because it’s so totally unnecessary.
If you think being a writer is “hard,” then it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s actually hard to be a writer. That’s just how you’re choosing to see it.
Now, of course, this Facebook thread about it being hard to be a writer was super popular in the group. People kept commenting on it, adding their two-cents about how hard writing is and how much they struggle with it. The “likes” kept coming.
And I just kept shaking my head.
Because these writers are dooming themselves to writing being a struggle for them. They’ve just decided and declared to the Universe–in a public forum–that being a writer is hard.
And so IT IS.
That’s what you have to remember about this whole writing thing. It will be as hard–or, as easy–as you decide it’s going to be.
There are writers out there who don’t struggle. Authors who write multiple books a year because it’s easy for them. Writers who sit down at their computers and the words just flow like water.
That doesn’t mean these writers aren’t working hard. You can bet your ass they’re working extremely hard.
Writing is HARD WORK. Maybe the hardest creative work in existence (especially for fiction writers).
But that doesn’t mean being a writer has to be HARD. Hard and hard work are NOT the same thing.
And that’s a distinction I want you to really take in, because it will change your writing life.
For writers who achieve flow and who never have to worry about getting inspired or not knowing what to write about, they have created intentional ways of BEING.
They don’t sit around in Facebook groups complaining that being a writer is hard. They sit their asses in their chairs every single day and they put words on the page.
When they’re not inspired, they find ways to become inspired and they get their writing done.
When they’re tired, they find ways to pep themselves back up and they put in their writing session.
When they’re super insanely busy, they still find ways to sneak writing in and they put words on the page.
There are no excuses. No focusing on the fact that being a writer is hard. They just do the work.
Writing is only hard if you decide that it is.
I used to tell myself writing was hard… and so it was for me. Sure, I could crank out a blog post without a problem, but writing a book was always a struggle for me. Until I realized it was only a struggle because I was letting it be.
So this year, I took charge. I decided that I was gonna make my writing life easy, breezy and FUN. I was gonna go big, aim higher and write more books. I was gonna finally have my dream writing life, exactly as I’ve always imagined it, all on my terms.
And so IT IS.
I never have to get inspired anymore or worry about not knowing what to say. I just sit down and something always comes to me. And if it doesn’t come right away, I just close my eyes and ask myself, “what do people need to hear from me today?” and soon after the answer always comes.
I keep lists of ideas, on Post-its, in my various journals and notebooks. So I can always reach for the lists and choose something off one of them.
But the funny thing is, I rarely ever do. Because I’ve created intentional ways of being around my writing where the inspiration just COMES TO ME. I get badass high-concept story ideas on the regular. I have a huge list of eBooks I could write.
There is no stopping this well of creativity. It will never run dry. I will always have something to say. I will always have something I can create.
And it all goes back to making the DECISION to let my writing life be easy, breezy and fun.
Your words have power. They create things. And intention makes it so.
The last thing you want to do is say out loud–or even type in the comments of a public forum–and agree with writers who say that being a writer is hard.
Being a writer is whatever you decide that it’s gonna be. Period.
Here are some of the intentional ways of being I’ve created around my writing life:
- Writing my reality—this is a journaling exercise I do several times a day, every day. I write out what I want my life to be like, feel like and look like. This includes details about my writing life, my current writing projects, and even intentions around how I want my day to go. This is the most powerful practice I have in my life.
- Setting intentions before I start–rather than just jumping into my writing session or working on whatever project or task is in front of me, I take a second to just set a few intentions for how I want it to go. I’ll say things like, “the words flow with ease. I get this written in record speed and it totally kicks ass.” Simple. And then I get into my session (or whatever task I’m working on). This practice works for anything, even cleaning your house and doing dishes (I will say, “the dishes get done in lightning speed and I enjoy myself the whole time;” corny, but it works!).
- Regular idea generation–I am constantly brainstorming and writing down ideas. I don’t use 90 percent of what I write down, but I write it down to get it out of my head and to clear a pathway for the really great ideas to come through. A big problem a lot of writers have is they don’t generate enough ideas, so when they finally get an idea for something to write, they don’t even consider whether or not it’s worth writing. They just write it. And that’s how a lot of novelists end up with mediocre stories about everyday people and everyday places. A snooze-fest as far as a reader (and agent and publisher) is concerned. But by generating loads of ideas, you’ll ensure the really great ones actually come through clearly.
- Daily writing tasks–writing is one of my top 5 priorities every single day. Which means I always get my writing done in some way, shape or form. I may not always work on my books every day, but I’m always writing blog posts or creating new content for my community. I write something every day, even if it’s just a mini-blog post on my Facebook page.
- Create something new daily–creating is a top priority for me. As a creative, multi-passionate being, I can’t not create. Whether I’m writing, making art, recording a video or just cooking in my kitchen, I create something new (usually multiple things) daily.
- Act as if–this one is a biggie. Making the decision to show up every day and act AS IF I am already the writer and author I dream of being has made a huge difference in my success. When you act as if, you send a powerful message to the Universe that you believe what you’ve asked for–your dream writing life–is yours. But in order to receive it, you need to take consistent action on that dream. Receiving what you want is not a passive thing. You can’t ask for the dream writing life and then sit on your couch and watch Netflix. You’ve gotta ask for the dream writing life and then GO OUT THERE AND GET IT.
- Creative wellness–I believe in the connection between what you eat and how you feel. And I also believe in the connection between lifestyle and your creativity. So I make it a priority to eat right and get movement in (even if it’s just walking my dog and doing some stretches) every day. Food is fuel and movement is energy. You need both. And as a writer, you’ll benefit so much more from treating your body like the creative temple it is. Junky food and lifestyle habits equal junky creative juices.
These intentional ways of being have helped me to become the writer and author that I am today. And now that I’ve been at this for so long–and especially as I’ve cleaned my act up this year–these ways of being have become a habit. I no longer have to really think about them, it just happens naturally as an extension of showing up every day as the writer and author I want to be.
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What intentional ways of being have you created around your writing life?