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Writer’s Block, the Inner Critic, and Limiting Beliefs

Do You Have to Be Traditionally Published to “Make It” as a Writer?

In 2015, I was still an unpublished writer. I had been querying for years with no success. I had sent out queries on three different novels and had queried so many agents I lost count of them all. I had rewritten my first chapters, my opening scenes, my first sentences, over and over and over again. Nothing worked and I was getting nowhere.

By that point I had been querying for years, six years to be exact, and so I had created a system to give myself emotional down time and also keep from losing my damn mind. I sent out a batch of queries every six to eight weeks, received back the rejections (or gave up hope of any answer), and then gave myself “recovery time,” while I recuperated from feeling depressed, discouraged, and despairing.

I went through many cycles on the emotional rollercoaster that we call the querying process. There was the stage where I was sure that if I could just learn more about “my craft” I would get a bite. I also went through the stage where I was convinced I just wasn’t looking in the right places. Then there was the stage where I tried to shove my novels into a genre—any genre—that looked like it might hold some promise. Finally, there was my least-favorite stage—the stage where I couldn’t help but feel I just sucked, and so did my writing. Continue Reading

Afraid to Start Writing Your Memoir? Here’s How to Push Past the Fear.

Even if you’ve been dreaming of writing your memoir for years, it’s very common to sit down to actually start doing it and feel immediately paralyzed and not able to move forward. This is a very specific, very strong form of writer’s block that often hits writers right when they’ve decided to finally take the plunge and begin writing their memoir. It also tends to happen to writers who have already started their memoir, and then they get into the middle of the first draft and don’t know how to keep going.

Symptoms of this kind of resistance show up as feeling paralyzed or frozen. It also shows up as feeling completely confused about how you’re ever going to pull all the pieces together, finish the book, or make it into anything worthwhile.

When this feeling of paralysis comes over you, it’s a sure sign that your system is overwhelmed. And when we go into overwhelm, we shut down and our creative energy goes into hiding. Continue Reading

5 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore That Are Telling You to Write Your Memoir

It’s very common for writers to begin writing their memoir and then tell me, “Oh wow, I wish I’d started this years ago. I can’t believe I put off writing my book for this long.” This is because, once the writer starts actually writing, they realize that they’ve been getting clear signs all along that writing their memoir was an important life task they are supposed to complete.

So, why do we ignore clear signs and still keep procrastinating on writing our memoir? Well, it’s pretty simple really. It’s fear. Every writer who has ever considered writing a memoir has felt this fear—and it’s no easy thing to conquer.

However, there are handful of BIG signs (5 in particular) that only happen when it’s truly time for a person to get serious about writing their memoir.

I outline these 5 signs in the video below:

I’m teaching a new class this June called Memoir Writing for Everyone and we’re going to be diving deep into the memoir writing process. We’ll be learning:

How to start your first draft
How to edit and structure your memoir
How to deal with fear of judgment

And more.

The class will also include Directed Writing Sessions, in which I’ll be giving memoir-specific prompts to get you going on writing some of the actual pieces of your memoir, so you’ll have something substantial to work with once the class ends.

To get all the updates on the class as I announce them, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE, and if you have any questions about the class, you can them to me here.

I’ll be releasing the third and final video in this series in just a couple of days. See you then!

Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ WriterThe INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, an online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with traditional writing methods. She also recently released Loving Meditations for Writers, a bundle of 10 meditations for only $20 that you can use for your regular writing practice. You can get a free copy of her book on creative marketing for writers by signing up for her newsletter HERE.

Top 5 Causes of Procrastination in Writers

Are you a writer who struggles with procrastination? Well, you’re not alone. I’ve worked with hundreds of struggling writers and procrastination is one of the most commonly reported problems and sources of dissatisfaction among writers that I see in my coaching practice.

Most writers know that procrastination is the problem, but many of us don’t know exactly WHY. I’ve outlined my list of the top 5 causes of procrastination in writers that I see all the time in my clients and students. Continue Reading

The Not-Good-Enough Hole and Why Writers Are Always Falling into It

Picture this: You’re sitting around relaxing, scrolling through Instagram, when suddenly you see a post from a writer friend: “So excited! Just signed on with my dream agent! Woo-hoo!!!” Instantly, your stomach drops and you feel slightly nauseous, and then two seconds later you feel guilty as hell. There’s no denying it, you’re jealous, even though you wish so badly that you weren’t. You genuinely DO want to be happy for your friend. But if that’s true, then why does her writing success feel so awful?

Then, you try to find something to distract yourself. You check your email and find a newsletter from another writer, someone you don’t know personally but whom you admire. Their latest book just won a prestigious award, and again, you get that sinking feeling in your gut. You’ve been dreaming of such an honor for years, and yet, here you still are, slogging away on a half-finished novel, with no end in sight, much less any awards coming your way.

And again, you feel that awful mix of envy and shame that just makes you want to crawl into a hole and never come out again. Continue Reading