Why You Should Do What Works For You

As you probably already know, I’m on a journey right now to create Badass Writers Bootcamp, a community where writers can put themselves on track to being a happy, healthy, more badass creative person. (If you want to know more about Badass Writers Bootcamp, sign up for the interest list here.)

When I came up with the idea for this Bootcamp, the first question that popped in my head was:

“I wonder what A-List writers do that makes them so successful?”

I wanted to know if there was some connection between them, some food or lifestyle habit they had in their bag of tricks that made them a success.

So I interviewed a handful of bestselling authors (Larry Brooks and Randy Ingermanson, just to name a couple). I wanted to dig deep into their writing processes, their creativity processes and their living processes.

I asked them questions like:

  • How do you sustain your creative flow?
  • Do you have a pre-writing ritual?
  • What foods do you eat regularly?
  • What’s your exercise routine like?

Every time I got an interview back (I did them all via email) I would eagerly open the attachment, hoping to have found my golden nugget—the one thing linking all these successful writers together.

What I eventually found was different than what I expected to find.

Interview Results

I went into the interviews hoping for a “golden nugget,” something that would show me what these writers were doing with their processes and lifestyle habits that were adding up to writing success. What I came out with was something entirely different.

What I instead found was that, while they all had what I call the “essentials of being a badass writer,” they all had different ways of executing these essentials.

One writer was a total gym rat, claiming to never take a day off and spending at least 30-60 minutes a day exercising. Another was more into kettleballs. One writer never drinks coffee and instead opts for water and milk with protein powder. Another likes smoothies to add a kick of health to the day.

Each writer had his/her own way of capturing ideas, inspiring creativity and outputting words on the page.

The Golden Nugget

While I didn’t find a specific food or lifestyle habit linking all the writers together, I did find the golden nugget that makes them the badass writers they are today:

They all do what works for them

Each writer talked of the foods, habits and lifestyle choices they’ve made for themselves. Each writer’s was different and uniquely tailored to their writing career.

For example, Larry spends his entire day writing, everything from his own books to articles to blog posts and more, while Randy only writes when he has a project going on.

Each of their processes allows them to present their readers with the best writing possible. They’re not jumping from this trend to that trend. They know what works for them, they’ve discovered it over years of doing what they do, and they don’t stray from it.

Which is probably why they’re bestselling authors.

My Two Cents

As a person who’s long been called the “black sheep” of her family, I know first-hand how hard it can be to fight for what you believe in and to keep living life the way you want to live it, without letting society or family or friends or anyone else interfere.

It’s not easy at all to be who you are and to do what works for you. You’ll never get away from the people who tell you to eat this way or write this or be that. You’ll never stop the media and society from trying to scare you into being the status quo.

But you can learn to rise above it, and you do that by figuring out exactly what works best for you and sticking with it. Fuck what works for everyone else.

That’s what Badass Writers Bootcamp is all about—discovering what works best for you in all aspects of life, including food, exercise, creativity and writing habits.

I’ll leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes from a creative legend who never followed trends and always did what worked best for him:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Badass Writers Bootcamp: Ignore The Hype, Do What Works For You
(To stay updated on the launch as it unfolds, sign up for the interest list here)

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How do you rise above the constant noise of people/society trying to tell you what to be and how to live?


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Image courtesy of Charlie Wollborg

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