The dark side of NaNoWriMo was a topic that came up between me and a fellow intuitive writer last week. This writer told me that he had been at a meeting of his regular writing group, listening to his colleagues detail their plans for NaNoWriMo—the outlines, the list of steps, the character traits decided upon in advance—and he had felt awful. And as he listened to them talk, he felt worse and worse. It started out as a slow, but growing discomfort, and by the time a few minutes had passed he was consumed with self-doubt and worry.
When I first started using intuitive writing as a practice, I had no idea what I was doing. I definitely felt like I was on the right track, but then I kept getting off on the wrong track. I would see very clear images in my head of my characters, or feel haunted by a piece of music or a certain phrase, but then when I tried to nail these things down into concrete form, they quickly vanished. And then, I did that thing that so many intuitive writers try to do when they double down on their efforts to produce, I tried to use rational writing methods like planning, plotting, and outlining in an attempt to get anything—anything at all—down on the page.
Me being an intuitive writer, of course it didn’t work.
For many years I considered myself an utter failure as a writer. I had a creative writing teacher in college who basically told me that I sucked at writing and I should find something else to do with my life. And the worst part was, I really kind of believed her. Because I had done horribly in every creative writing class I ever took. I came up with ideas for stories, but when I tried to write them down I lost all inspiration. I studied writing craft books, but every time I tried to use the tools they talked about, my story completely fizzled.
I was convinced there was something wrong with me.
It seemed like I just wasn’t cut out to be a writer.
Today’s guest post comes from Ritu Kaushal, a San Francisco Bay Area-based author and the blogger behind the popular HSP and empath-centric website Walking Through Transitions. Her writing has appeared on Tiny Buddha, Sensitive Evolution, Elephant Journal and Having Time amongst others. She recently released The Empath’s Journey, a book I highly recommend that every INFJ, INFP, and empath add to their arsenal of tools on how to survive as a Highly Sensitive Person in today’s world.
Sometime last year, as I was trying to give the final push to birth my book The Empath’s Journey, someone asked me: Who are you to write this? These were their exact words. They didn’t say them with curiosity or a desire to know, but with a slashing, hurling, aggressive energy.
My friend Amanda Linehan’s YA thriller, Uncover, is free for the month of October on all retailers. I just finished another one of her books, Lakeside, a couple of months ago and it was fantastic. If you like YA at all, I recommend you pick this one up while it’s free. You won’t be disappointed.
Here’s the summary if you’d like more info:
Marissa wants to put this all behind her. Her best friend has been killed in a car accident, and her death has left more questions than answers. When a friend mentions a lost object that could bring some closure, Marissa reluctantly agrees to help search for it, but finds herself trapped in the dark, making all the wrong moves. Can she find her way out of the darkness?
And here’s the link to get it for free:
Happy reading. 🙂