As I sit here writing this, there are dishes in the sink and on the counter; there’s a pile of towels and pajamas on the big-red chair in my living room, which my dog, Weiland, has now made his little nest for the day; while we’re at it, my living room could definitely use a vacuuming; and don’t even get me started about the laundry baskets and clothes rack in my bedroom with last week’s laundry still hanging-dry on it.
But this blog post is getting written.
And when I’m done writing this blog post, I’ll work on my novel revisions. Then I’ll work on my sections in the eBook I’m coauthoring with a friend.
The dishes and laundry and vacuuming will still be there. But my writing will be done. And I will have made progress on my goals and my writing dreams.
This is the way of the writing warrior—the writer and author who refuses to let anything get in the way or stop them from getting their words and stories out into the world.
There will always be life chaos. Wait, let me repeat that one… on stereo… THERE WILL ALWAYS BE LIFE CHAOS!!
It never goes away. If you do the dishes, there will be more soon after. If you put the laundry away, more will take its place on the drying rack.
You can always find something that needs cleaning or organizing or repairing or whatever. It’s a never-ending cycle.
But if your writing—your soul work—isn’t getting done at the expense of the cleaning, organizing, repairing, etc., it’s time to make some changes.
You’ve been waiting your whole life to be the writer and author you dream of being. How much longer are you willing to wait for? How much longer are you going to put your dream on hold for bullshit excuses and housework (or whatever you’re doing that stops you from writing)?
I used to think all that stuff mattered. That I had to have a perfectly clean house and everything had to be put away and neat and organized before I could spend time doing what I really wanted to do.
And some days I’d procrastinate and resist my writing so much that I actually made the housework more important, even though deep down I knew it really wasn’t.
Do you know what happened?
I had a neat, clean, organized space to live in, but was dying on the inside from not letting the writing out.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I finally allowed myself to do the writing—the stuff that really mattered—before I did the housework. It was magical, because after I finished writing and finished doing what really mattered to me, not only did the other stuff get done, but I didn’t resent it anymore.
The laundry, the dishes, it all gets done eventually. (You can even hire someone to do it for you, amazing, right?) And now so does my writing.
I’ve learned to embrace the chaos. I’ve finally accepted that I’ll never get it all done and I’ll never really keep on top of everything in my life. But so long as I’m keeping on top of and doing the things that really matter to me—my writing, creating and teaching—then everything else will work itself out.
How can you embrace the chaos in your life and get your writing done anyhow?
Write with a purpose, live with intention!
P.S. Could your writing life use a pick-me-up? Then stay tuned… more details about the Bestselling Author Mastermind, my high-level community and mentorship group for writers who want to create the habits, mindset, consistency and follow-through of a bestselling author, are coming soon. Get on the waitlist here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (and you’ll get access to a waitlist-only bonus!): www.jenniferblanchard.net/mast
If someone asked you, “what’s your BIG writing dream?” what would you say to them?
Would you tell them about your actual BIG writing dream? Or would you dim it down with some compromised version, because you have no idea how you’d ever make that happen and you don’t want the person who asked you to think you’re out of your mind or just really delusional for thinking you’d ever have a shot at a dream like that?
I used to answer that question by saying I want to make a living off my fiction. But that wasn’t quite it.
Yes, that’s a part of it. But that’s a compromised version of what I actually want. I never wanted to share my BIG dreams with anyone, out of fear that if I didn’t make it happen, I’d be judged or would have to hear “I told you so.”
So I kept the BIG dreams a secret and didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t talk about it, not even with the people closest to me. I just thought about it over and over again in my head.
And when I’d see other people achieving my BIG dream, I’d get triggered by their success and feel resentful and like it should be me. Instead of seeing it for what it really was: evidence that my BIG dreams are possible.
Because if it can happen for one person, it can happen for more than one (remember the story about the 4-minute mile?).
I didn’t used to have a lot of faith in my BIG dreams actually coming true. I used to think they were pipe dreams or things that other people can achieve, but not me.
So I only allowed myself to go after dreams I knew I could achieve or didn’t have resistance to achieving. Mediocre dreams that were a small fraction of the bigger dreams I had living inside me.
Writing and publishing a novel. That was always a dream I had from when I was 13 years old. And while that was a pretty significant dream and achievement, I never had resistance to it. I always knew at some point it would come true and I would have a novel out in the world.
I believed it, from day one.
I may have had a lot of struggle and resistance to doing the work required to achieve the dream, sure. But I never doubted that I’d make it happen. I always knew one day there would be a novel in the world that was written by me.
But my BIG dreams… the ones I only thought about in my head or whispered out loud to myself when no one was around…those I didn’t even allow myself to want or spend too much time fantasizing about.
Because I not only had a ton of resistance to believing those dreams were possible for me, but I also had no clue how I’d make it happen. And so by not allowing myself to want what I really wanted, I could play it safe.
If no one knows about your BIG dreams, then there’s no pressure to actually make it happen. You’re let of the hook. You no longer have to worry about whether you’ll achieve your BIG dream… because even if you don’t, no one will know.
The problem with that way of thinking is that it caused me to play small, for such a long time. I’d sit on the sidelines, watching all these other writers achieving my BIG dreams and wishing it was me.
But I wasn’t doing the work. I wasn’t even allowing myself to fully want the BIG dream, even though deep down they were always there.
The BIG dreams have been there since I first started writing stories at age 11. My stories and story ideas have always come to me like little scenes in my mind; like bits and pieces of a movie playing in my head.
And that’s what solidified my BIG dreams.
But I never admitted it to anyone. I never said it out loud other than to myself. Because I didn’t believe it was possible for me. And I didn’t want to be seen as a failure in other peoples’ eyes in case I didn’t actually achieve it.
So I played small. Doing the bare minimum. Giving myself permission to procrastinate and make excuses and not write consistently.
Until a year ago when I realized something major… the only competition in life is with YOURSELF… and FUCK what anyone else thinks.
Most people are sitting on the sidelines in life, afraid to get on the field and play the game, because of the reasons I just mentioned (and a whole lot of other ones). And do you know who those people are who say things like, “I told you so” and “see, I knew you couldn’t do it” or who would judge you or make fun of you for not achieving something?
They’re people who never allowed themselves to want their BIG dreams. They’re people who have shoved their BIG dreams so far down they’re buried for all of time.
And they’re dead inside.
They just go through the motions, trying to make peace with the mediocre existence they’ve settled for. But they’re miserable.
Because they have these BIG dreams inside that they’re not allowing themselves to want, to go after and especially achieve. And they hate themselves for it.
They hate themselves for caring what other people think, for feeling trapped in a life that doesn’t fulfill them, for not taking action on what they want the most.
And yet they still don’t do anything about it.
Yes, thankfully some of these people wake the fuck up at some point in their lives and finally decide to go for it. That’s when you see people like Susan Boyle or the 90-year-old first-time novelist bursting onto the scene later in life.
They finally made their dreams bigger than their bullshit, as my mentor would say.
A year ago, I gave up my bullshit. I decided that I was no longer going to sit on the sidelines, watching other authors achieving my BIG dreams. I was going to get in the game and achieve with them too. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
So, what are my BIG dreams?
> To be a New York Times Bestselling Author of both fiction and nonfiction.
> To have my novels and screenplays turned into big-screen Hollywood movies, with famous actors and actresses playing my characters, and I get to make cameos.
> To write and publish hundreds of books—both fiction and nonfiction—everything from novels to memoir to self-help.
I’m no longer hiding from these dreams. I’m actively pursuing them. I’m writing about them every single day in my journal like they’ve already come true. I’m visualizing what my life would be like if these dreams were already true. I’m taking aligned act-as-if actions.
And I’m finally allowing myself to believe that’s possible for me.
Now, I’m creating this belief. It’s not something that was already there. I’m intentionally putting it there by reprogramming my mindset and removing any negative thoughts, beliefs or barriers that could get in the way.
But as I’ve seen happen with so many other beliefs I wanted to have that I programmed into myself… once you do enough mindset work and take enough aligned act-as-if actions, the belief will be there.
And once the belief is there, the dream showing up in your physical reality is not far behind.
So, what are your BIG writing dreams? Share in the comments if you dare…
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
P.S. Doors to my upcoming workshop: FINISH Your Damn Novel—30 days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration and getting-writing-done for writers who have started a first draft or the revision of a novel and want to FINISH, open on Friday March 24!! If you want IN on this workshop, get on my email list here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (you’ll also receive a free copy of my eBook, The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula).
That’s a question I ask myself A LOT. What would I need to believe to create the reality I want to see?
Because your thoughts and beliefs create your reality.
So if you want to achieve something or have something show up in your life, you need to be directing your thoughts and beliefs toward that goal or that thing. And the more you do that, the more your brain will accept it as real until one day it actually will become real.
You’ll be able to see it, hear it, touch it, maybe even taste it and smell it (depending on what it is). It will have manifested in your life.
The more you give your time to directing your thoughts and beliefs, and focusing on the things you want to create, the easier and faster you’ll see these things show up.
This whole ‘thoughts become things’ may seem crazy when you first hear it. It’s contradictory to everything you’ve been told about life and how the world works.
But even as contradictory as it sounds… there’s this weird feeling in you that, it may actually be true. Because when you hear it, your ears and your brain perks up. It resonates with you.
Or it might scare the fuck out of you.
Because the idea that you’re in control of what shows up in reality and that your beliefs and thoughts create the reality that you see around you… that puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.
You have to actually take control of yourself and your life.
The whole ‘thoughts become things’ scares me at times, too. But I’ve practiced it enough now to know that it actually DOES work. And it’s INSANE at times when stuff shows up in your life after you’ve thought about it.
And the Universe is always giving you little signs and signals to tell you that what you’ve been thinking about and focusing on is showing up. I see signs of my dream life ALL the time.
Lately I’ve been writing in my journal that my novels get turned into movies. This is my ultimate dream for my fiction—to turn my novels and my stories into movies on the big screen, with big-name actors and actresses. And of course, I get to help with the screenplay and have a cameo in the movies 🙂
Now no one would know that I’ve been writing about this in my journal unless I told them, right? (I haven’t told anyone until right now.) And yet the other day, a girl in my free Facebook group posted the craziest message… she had a dream that she was on the movie set for my novel, SoundCheck.
HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!!
OK, maybe that’s too woo-woo for you and you’ll brush it off as coincidence or random. It’s totally fine if you want to do that.
But here’s what I know: coincidence doesn’t exist. It’s not random when things happen that you’d usually call a coincidence.
It’s a sign, a signal from the Universe that what you’re asking for is unfolding. All you have to do to continue seeing signs and signals, is to KEEP GOING.
So I ask myself all the time what beliefs (and thoughts) I’d need to have to see what I’m asking for show up in my life.
When I look at this novel-to-movie dream, some of the limiting beliefs that pop up for me are:
- No one I know has ever done this
- What makes me think my stories are good enough to be on the big screen?
- Being a Hollywood screenwriter is a pipe dream
- There’s too much competition for me to achieve this dream
- Millions of other novelists have this exact same dream—to see their novels as movies on the big screen—what makes me think I’ll be one of the novelists who actually does it?
Thoughts and beliefs like that are NOT going to help me achieve my goal of having my novels turned into movies.
That’s why I have to ask myself what I’d need to believe in order to create what I want to see, so I can dig out those limiting, negative beliefs and thoughts that are going to hold me back.
When I think about the beliefs I’d need to have to align with my novel-to-movie goal, I think of:
- Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, JoJo Moyes, Stephenie Meyer, Kathryn Stockett… just a small handful of novelists who have seen their novels turned into movies. If it can happen for them, it can happen for me.
- I know my genre and I know my readers and I know my stories would make awesome chick flicks
- You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to… even this
- There’s no such thing as competition because no one else can ever be me
- Shared dreams are powerful connectors between writers, and it motivates and inspires them to know what’s possible for one writer is possible for another
Beliefs and thoughts like that are much more likely to get me to my end result of seeing my novels turned into movies.
And that’s why I spend time each day creating and crafting my reality, exactly as I want to see it. First by writing about it in my journal as if it’s already my real life; and then visualizing it and feeling as if it’s already real; then going into my day acting like it’s already real and taking action in alignment with the belief that it’s real.
I taught a workshop locally last weekend all about my Bestselling Author Mindset Formula, and after I explained my daily mindset practice to the group, one man raised his hand and said that what I’m doing is a self-hypnosis exercise that focuses your brain.
And that’s really what writing your reality and crafting your thoughts and beliefs is. It’s reprogramming (or self-hypnotizing) your mental computer to focus on, think about and believe what YOU want it to.
Not what society has told you to think and believe. Not what you were taught to think and believe. Not what you see other people thinking and believing.
But what YOU want to think and believe.
That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that matters. Yes, action is involved too. You’re not gonna create your dream life sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You have to take daily actions that align with your goals.
But you knew that already.
What’s hard is getting yourself to take the actions and take them daily and consistently, like you know you need to be. And that’s where the beliefs come in.
Because when you believe something is already true, you’re much more likely to take action and do the work. When you believe it’s possible for you to have, do and be something, you’ll turn off the Netflix and get to it.
But when you have beliefs and thoughts that contradict the goal you have, that’s when you’ll use Netflix (and procrastination, and binge-eating, and wasting time on Facebook) as a way of sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the work.
Which is why you’ve gotta get your mind to your goal before your life will get there. Beliefs create thoughts which create actions which create results.
Want to hear the best part?
You can get wherever you want to go in your writing life, by starting right where you are right now. And by consciously deciding that you will direct your thoughts and beliefs toward the outcomes and results you want to see in your life.
I really challenge you to take this one on. To spend 5-10 minutes a day consciously directing your thoughts and beliefs to where you want to go. Do it first thing in the morning if you’re able to. (Here’s a book and journal that can help you do this.)
Direct your thoughts and beliefs every day for the next 90 days. Report back.
Share With Us
What old belief(s) are you going to let go of? Create a new belief(s) and share it in the comments.
Want to reprogram your beliefs and thoughts so you can align them with the writing goals you have? Grab a free copy of my eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 here.
By Jennifer Blanchard
When a marathon is being planned, one of the most important steps in the process is deciding on an end point. Runners need to know how far they have to run and where they will end up when the race is finished.
The same thing goes for your writing.
In order to fully commit to your writing, you first need to know what your goals are.
What are you trying to accomplish?
- Do you want to finish a novel?
- Do you want to start a novel?
- Are you trying to write a screenplay?
- Do you want to start submitting your short stories to literary magazine competitions?
- Are you ready to try publication?
Spend some time really thinking about what you want to achieve with your writing. Here are some steps to get you started:
- Make a List–Write down all the writing goals you want to achieve in your career. Anything goes at this point in the goal-setting process.
- Narrow It Down–Once you’ve written down all your goals, you want to take a look at the list and narrow it down. Which goals are long-term? Which goals can you achieve immediately (such as writing daily)?
- Choose 1 or 2 Goals–It’s easy to get overwhelmed with your writing goals if you try to accomplish too many at once. It’s best to choose 1 or 2 of the goals from your list to achieve first. Once you reach that finish line, then you can choose a couple more goals from your list.
The reason why it’s important to be specific with your goals is so you know exactly what you are working toward. It’s much easier to procrastinate on your writing when you have no idea what your end goal is.
But when you have a clear plan, and a bigger picture in mind, you’ll be more likely to actually sit down and write.
Also, having an end-goal in mind will not only motivate you, but will give you a reason why you should sit down and write every time you feel like procrastinating.
My current wrting goal is to start and finish my second novel. What are your writing goals?