Here’s a mini workshop on how to design your own writing practice so you can write what you want, when you want.
It’s that back-to-school feeling where I get the urge to settle in with books and notebooks and plans. The lifelong learner in me loves to engage with a project or course of study.
What are you studying? What is your creative focus for autumn?
Say you are starting back at school now, and you want to end the year feeling like a creative champ. What would you focus on for the final quarter of the year? Choose one or two projects that are important to you.
I am focusing on the next draft of my book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing a World-Changing Book. My secondary focus is developing programs to celebrate my 20-year anniversary next year. I can’t wait!
Steve and I are going to upstate New York for Christmas. It’s always been my dream to be on a tropical island, far away from Christmas. I’ll take this! My plan is to have the book completely done and to the designers.
I know it’s early to be thinking about Christmas. (Crikey!) But I am still in long-term planning mode. I have a full and exciting fall planned, so Christmas dreams are my carrot.
For me, it feels good to have this kind of focus. Just two major projects alongside The Devoted Writer and my coaching work. That seems doable. There are other projects begging for my attention, but I am able to keep them at bay when I know what I want to feel most satisfied about when I get on the plane on December 26th.
Make your own creative focus for the fall, keeping it to two major projects at most. See how it feels to enjoy this focus!
Write your heart out with us!
If writing is part of your fall focus, consider joining me and other writers in The Devoted Writer. This class helps you set up a writing practice that makes your heart sing. Join us in October to write your heart out. Get your spot now and start warming up your writing fingers!
You find a structure that seems great to help you stay on track with your art or writing- something like the 100 Days Project.
You choose your focus and start out with a BANG! The first days are heady, where you feel joyously connected and committed to your creative love.
You see progress. You feel pride. Flush with joy and power, you show up every freaking day for your project. You are a creative badass.
And then…vacation. Guests. A tornado/flood/election/accident/illness/baby/new horse/barn/puppy/kitten/squirrel/fill in the blank derails you.
And all the woo hooo you started with turns into boo hoo. The self-recrimination kicks in. You wonder why you ever thought you could stick to your creative passions. It seems SO impractical, anyway. Just go back to the ‘same old, same old’ and forget your creative dreams.
Has this ever happened to you? I know this well, not just because of all the time I spend with my clients and students, but because I go through this cycle as well.
I got derailed from the 100 Day Project when I went on vacation. I didn’t want to do anything! I even left my FitBit behind, and my phone didn’t have service the entire week. When I came back to the studio, I found it hard to get back to my 100 portraits. I only had 12 left, but finishing seemed like an insurmountable mountain.
I finally completed the 100 Day Project last week – a week behind everyone else. I eked my way forward and finished 100 portraits. With my coach’s help, I completed my commitment and feel so much better than if I had surrendered to the post-vacation inertia.
Having her support helped, but what really gets me to finish my books, launch new courses and complete most of the projects I commit to is not someone else cracking the whip.
It’s my own inner drive. Self-respect. Integrity. Intrinsic motivation. Call it what you will. For me, it’s a matter of being able to live with and like myself. Like you, I have plenty of inner demons that try to take me down on a daily basis. If I were to add ‘creative loser’ to the mix, I would be sunk.
Keeping our creative promises is one of the best power moves we can do to generate self-respect and self-love. When I stay on track with my projects, following all the way to the freaking nitty-gritty, often excruciating finish line, I gain so much power. Not only do I keep my word, I have more fun and learn a ton about myself.
When I lined up all 100 portraits and took photos and video footage, pride welled up inside me. I chose my favorites – all 22 of them. That might sound like a small number, but it doesn’t matter. I made 22 portraits that fill me with pride and joy. I overcame a limiting belief about my artistic ability. I gained permission to do it my way, and made great strides toward developing my artistic style.
If I had given up before the finish line, that ‘fail’ would have been all I could focus on. I wouldn’t have given myself credit for what I did do. And now, I feel like a badass finisher, not because it was easy, but because it was hard to get over the finish line.
There are many reasons to stick with a project to the glorious finish line. What motivates you to stay on track? Share your tips and tricks below.
Need help finishing your projects? Pick up a copy of my e-book, Cross the Finish Line and be the badass finisher you know you can be.
Free-writing is a power tool, helping you build a book, blog, memoir or other written body of work. Join us in The Devoted Writer to practice and be the writer you’ve always wanted to be!