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The Demons Go Away When You Just Do The Damn Work

For the last week as I avoided doing my writing in favor of all the other things I had going on (moving, unpacking, client work, etc), the inner demons had started to take over. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

The inner voice that tells you you’re not good enough. The one that says you can’t do this and shouldn’t even bother trying. The fear and the doubt and the negativity. The excuses. The BS nonsense.

THOSE inner demons, the ones that so often stop you or get in the way of you doing your writing.

The ones that I usually keep at bay by doing one simple thing: writing every day.

It’s funny to think that these inner demons actually STOP writers from writing. And the reason it’s funny is because to shut those demons up, all you have to do is write. Just sit your ass in a chair and do the writing.

When you do that, the demons are silenced. At least for that day.

Yeah, they will likely come back tomorrow. Battling with the inner demons that try to stop you from doing the work and being the writer and author you want to be is a daily hurdle. It’s just a part of the creative process.

But you can shut the demons up by sitting down and writing anyhow.

I know it’s hard. It really is. Because those inner voices and doubt and fear are a tough battle to fight. They’re constantly there–especially when you’re NOT doing your writing. (In fact, when you’re not doing your writing, they become stronger and gain strength the more you don’t write.)

And it scares you. It makes you not want to do your writing. It stops you.

But if you just sat down anyhow and put words on the page, you’d be amazed how quiet those demons get. Maybe not right away, but eventually. As you keep going.

That was the thing I discovered last night, as I laid down in bed to go to sleep and did a quick review of my day, which I do in my journal pretty much every night. As I wrote out the things that happened in my day that were awesome and that I was proud of, I realized I did my writing. I got it done.

And I not only wrote my blog post, but I also worked on the story plan for my screenplay AND I got started on my new eBook. I did good.

That’s when I noticed that the inner demons were silent. They weren’t popping up telling me I sucked or that I wasn’t a good writer or that I was wasting my time and shouldn’t bother. They didn’t stop me. And they weren’t really bugging me in that moment either.

I silenced them by doing the one thing they don’t want me to do… write.

By sitting down and doing my writing anyhow, even with all the noise and BS and demons in my head, I won. At least for the day.

As I sit here writing this, the demons are still at bay. And they will continue to be there, but I will continue to silence them by showing up and doing the writing.

When you do that every single day, that’s when you build up momentum that will shut those demons down, that will stop them in their tracks. BEFORE they’ve had a chance to dig into you and get in your way and stop you.

And that momentum, when built up enough, will give you back control of your mental space.

BUT if you’re currently listening to those demons–those negative, limiting, annoying voices that tell you you’re not good enough and you shouldn’t be writing and who are you to think you can write, etc–and if you’re allowing those demons to stop you or be the reason why you don’t write on a regular, consistent basis, it’s time to give them up.

And you give them up, by doing the writing.

How do you defeat a dragon? Not by avoiding it. Sure, that may keep it away from you for a little while, but it’s not gone. There’s only one way to make it GONE.

By killing it. By showing up to battle, sword in-hand, and fighting it ’til there’s no breath left in its body.

Same goes for your writing demons.

How do you defeat those voices that plague you? That are constantly there, telling you that you suck and aren’t a good writer and shouldn’t waste your time? Simple.

You show up to the page. Every day. Pen-in-hand (or laptop, as it may be). And you put words on the page.

Even when you don’t want to. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you have nothing to say.

By doing that–by showing up anyhow and getting the words down–you will defeat those inner demons. You will conquer them. You will wrestle them to the ground and YOU WILL WIN.

But you’ve gotta commit to showing up daily and doing the work. Otherwise those demons will continue to get the best of you and you will continue to not get your writing done and not make the progress you want to make.

The win is in the words being down on the page.

And WINNING and doing the work and being consistent and making real progress every day comes down to two very simple things… your writing habits and the discipline you’ve created around them.

Habits are the thing that will support you in achieving your writing goals, and discipline will ensure you continue to make progress and achieve.

Creating habits in my writing life and then being disciplined enough to sit down every day and write is the thing that finally helped my writing life take off. It’s the thing that allowed me the freedom to take on as much as I take on and to create as much as I create.

It’s the thing that gave me the writing career I’ve always wanted and growing every day.

Habits and discipline are SO important I’ve decided to help YOU create them for yourself… by giving you an INSANE discount on one of my best programs: the Writing Life Rehab Masterclass.

The investment for this life-changing class was $97 when I ran it live. BUT for the next 48 HOURS ONLY, you can grab the recording for only $7. That’s 92% OFF the original price!!

But hurry!! This flash sale ENDS Friday August 18 at Noon CDT.

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

The things I’m teaching you in this badass masterclass will change your writing life FOREVER and this is something you can use over and over again, whenever you find yourself falling off track in your writing life.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. The 48-Hour Flash Sale is officially ON! Grab the recording from my 2+-hour badass masterclass, Writing Life Rehab, and start to rehab YOUR writing life today. Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/writingliferehab

Why I Believe In Procrastinating

This may make me unpopular, but it has to be said… I believe in procrastinating. I believe in waiting ’til the last minute to do things.

I used to fight it and tell myself that I shouldn’t be that way. I tried to change it. Tried to fix myself and change my ways and do things ahead of time.

In fact, I spent years of my life trying to overcome procrastination. I even had a blog dedicated to it!

But it never really worked for me.

And if I did do things ahead of time, it just made me feel anxious and caused me to be much more of a perfectionist. When I was doing things right on deadline, I felt in flow and like the words and the magic and the ideas were just pouring out of me, like I was channeling something beyond me.

So then I asked myself… what if this is just who I am? What if this is just my process and how I do things? What if I’m trying to fight being me, instead of just owning who I am: a purposeful procrastinator.

I’m a trained journalist and spent many years working on deadline for newspapers, magazines and online publications. I’m programmed to be a badass right at the last minute.

And while I may not always be physically working on the project or whatever I need to do, I’m always working on it in my head and I’m always marinating on it in my subconscious.

If I try to force it out before its ready, it just doesn’t work. Getting things done at the last minute is when I do my most badass work.

Something I’ve really been working on lately is totally trusting in the timing of my life. And rather than thinking I should be further along than I am right now or that I need to make things happen faster or that I shouldn’t procrastinate like I do, I just accept the flow.

What usually happens for me is I have a bit of life chaos or “stuck” moments where things feel like they’re falling apart, and then immediately after I have several breakthroughs and miracles and Divine Downloads happen for me all at once. I kinda like it, even though it’s not what’s considered “normal.”

We’ve been programmed to think that things need to happen faster and now, now, now. But here’s the thing–wanting something to happen FAST or RIGHT NOW is actually a product of several things:

1. Not trusting that what you want will actually happen for you
2. Not believing enough in yourself to know in your heart of hearts you will get there
3. Having a limiting belief that it’s possible to miss your chance

If you don’t trust that you will eventually get what you want, you’ll constantly be trying to force things and make things happen faster, out of fear of never getting there.

If you don’t believe enough in yourself and in your ability to create your reality and live your dream life, you’ll constantly be pushing and grinding and working your ass off, out of fear of never getting there.

And if you actually believe that it’s possible to miss your chance, you will miss it, out of fear of never getting there.

Fear actually holds you back from getting what you want. It stops you from feeling high vibe and from having the kind of energy required to make your dreams happen.

It attracts more things for you to be afraid of.

When you fully believe in yourself and trust in the timing of your life, you don’t have to worry about never getting there and you don’t have to push, push, push ’til you burn out or decide to retire or give up. You can sit back, relax and do your thing, fully knowing that you will get there.

Because you have to get there. It’s inevitable. That’s what happens when you’re consistent and you take daily action from where you want to be.

Giving up is what stops you from getting there. Not doing the work is what stops you. Not believing in yourself or having limiting beliefs that hold you back is what stops you.

YOU are what stops you.

I don’t give myself a hard time about my procrastination anymore because I know now that’s just how I roll. I know that I need to procrastinate to do my best work and not get caught up in perfectionism (and I’m a Virgo–it’s in my nature to be a perfectionist).

And I know it’s not an excuse because I always get things done and I always do what I say I’m going to.

It might take me ’til the absolute last minute available, but it always gets done, and I trust that whatever comes out is exactly what was meant to and that it wouldn’t have come out any better if I’d done it ahead of time.

So if you’re like me and you procrastinate like a mofo but always with purpose and your work, your projects, your daily actions always get done and you always do what you say you’re going to, there’s no reason to give yourself a hard time about your procrastinating behaviors. (If, on the other hand, you procrastinate like a mofo and you never get things done, constantly miss deadlines and never do what you say you’re going to, you’re not procrastinating with purpose, you’re just straight-up sticking your head in the sand in avoidance. BIG difference.)

Procrastination used to stress me out. It used to give me anxiety and I used to worry that I wouldn’t get things done. But after years and years of living with this process and seeing it work over and over again, I no longer worry.

I trust. Fully. In myself and in the Universe. I trust in the timing of my life and in my ability to always get things done and do a damn good job in the process.

‘Cause at the end of the day, you’ve gotta do you.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

P.S. Doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are re-opening later this week!!! And I just created a brand-new workshop that I’ll be revealing soon, which BAM members get for FREE. So much awesomeness is about to unfold!! I can’t wait to welcome in the new members. Stay tuned…

Are You A Creator Or A Consumer? (The Answer May Surprise You)

As a writer, you probably read that headline and thought, “I’m a creator.”

But are you really?

And the way to tell is to ask yourself two questions: do I create more than I consume? Or, do I consume more than I create?

My guess is, you’re consuming a whole lot more than you’re creating.

Consuming means you’re taking things in–reading books, watching TV shows or movies, going to live events or spending every night stuffing your face with food before you go to bed.

Consuming. Taking things in, but not putting anything back out.

Creating is a whole other thing.

Creators create. They are constantly putting new stuff out there–ideas, projects, books, art, music, whatever.

As a writer–and especially as a writer who wants to be a pro author–you have to be creating more than you’re consuming. 

We’re all born with innate creativity. But if you don’t use your creativity and creative gifts on a regular, consistent basis, they lose their effectiveness. And eventually you’ll find yourself in your mid-50s feeling like you don’t have a creative bone in your body.

And that’s not true. You do have a creative bone. Lots of them.

But you gotta use them. You’ve gotta use your creativity as much and as often as possible.

You must commit to being a creator, and to creating more than you consume.

This was a tough one for me. Back in 2008 when I officially started my novel-writing journey, I was definitely consuming WAY more than I was creating.

Back then I spent most of my days and nights watching endless shows on HGTV and Food Network. Telling myself I wanted to write and even that I would write… but first I had to watch Rachel Ray or House Hunters or whatever stupid show was on.

And then the writing never happened. (Or happened very little in comparison.)

Now don’t get me wrong–there’s nothing wrong with consuming. After all, as writers, we need consumers, otherwise who will read what we put out there?

But there has to be a balance between consuming and creating, and more of the weight needs to fall on the creating side.

Today, I definitely create more than I consume (but I could still use to consume less and create even more, as I’m pretty addicted to Netflix).

That’s the whole point of being a writer. Of being an author. Of being someone who’s great with words.

The sad thing is, way too many writers are out there calling themselves writers or telling people they want to write book (or that they are writing a book), but then most of their free time is spent consuming. Reading books or streaming Hulu, while dreaming about the stories living inside them that they want to write, but haven’t yet.

And a good majority of those writers never will.

They’ll never step up and do what it takes to be the creators they dream of being. Because they’re too busy hiding their heads in the sands of media, news, Facebook, Netflix and whatever other mindless dribble is coming out of their electronics.

They’re too busy Resisting the writing dreams that live inside them and procrastinating on taking action. They’re too busy telling themselves that they’ll start tomorrow or next week or next month, once their circumstances change a bit or when their lives are less chaotic. (Which will never happen, by the way.)

Look, we all go through this at some point. No one is above it. Resistance and procrastinating are a part of the creative process at times.

But the real trouble happens when you don’t do anything about it. When you just keep Resisting and keep procrastinating, never actually creating anything you want to create. (Trust me, I know. There was a time in my writing life when I actually avoided doing the work by getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing the bathroom floor with a sponge–and I HATE cleaning!)

That’s over for me now. I’m all in. I’m game on. I’m on fire with a passion for writing and for creating and getting my ideas out into the world on a regular basis.

Now that’s not to say that I don’t have moments of Resistance and procrastination still (I totally do and probably always will. I am the original Procrastinating Writer).

But I’ve transitioned to the next level in my writing life. I’m a published author (6 books and counting–my new one comes out next week!).

I’m on a mission. A mission to use up everything that’s inside me, so when I leave this world I can feel 100 percent like I accomplished everything I came here to, and then some.

I refuse to live with regrets. Ever.

And, well, when you don’t get your writing out there; when you make Netflix and reading other people’s books more important than creating and putting your own ideas and stories out into the world, that’s when you’re setting yourself up for regrets.

Major regrets.

Because while you can have it all, you won’t be able to when your ass is planted on the couch in front of the TV. Or when you’ve got a stack of books a mile high to read, meanwhile your own book is collecting cobwebs on your laptop or–even worse–inside your head.

Having it all means taking action. It means showing up and doing the work. It means making your writing, your stories and what you want to create MORE IMPORTANT than all the books, TV shows, movies, music and what not that you want to consume.

There has to be a balance. And in my opinion, that balance needs to fall heavier on the creation side than the consume side.

That’s why I created the Bestselling Author Mastermind group–because I want you to stop making the bullshit stuff that you consume on a daily basis more important than doing your writing and getting your ideas and stories out into the world.

This mastermind is accountability and productivity at a whole new level. We’re doing daily check ins–so you can see progress a whole lot faster (or see where you’re totally not doing the work and need to step up).

And I’m in the trenches with you, doing my writing and getting it out into the world.

I’m a big fan of leaders who lead from the trenches. Who get down and dirty with the people they’re leading. Who are totally transparent and show you the truth of what it really takes to be successful–no BS, no rose-colored glasses.

Who step up and prove the things they preach. Who put into daily practice the things they teach. And who are willing to get vulnerable and share it all–the good and the bad.

That’s what makes a revolutionary leader in my mind. And that’s what I want to be.

A revolutionary leader who helps emerging novelists step up, claim their writing dreams and then take action to make it happen. I want to be the reason more stories get out into the world.

Stories that never would’ve seen the light of day without me.

That’s what the Bestselling Author Mastermind group is all about. Action. Progress. Giving up the BS that holds you back. Committing to your writing dream. Being willing to do whatever it takes.

And creating more than you consume.

If you’re ready for that level of accountability, productivity and creation, I’d love for you to join us. Learn more about the Bestselling Author Mastermind here.