I just opened up registration for the Joyful Writer, my new live class that begins next week. You can find the sign-up page here:
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE JOYFUL WRITER
And if you have any questions, you can contact me here.
P.S. Registration will be open until Sunday May 9, but after that it’s closed and I can’t let in any late-comers, so if you know you want in, register now!
Nothing feels worse than being a writer who has lost all inspiration. Every time you sit down to write you feel like the well has run dry. You feel empty, disappointed, disconnected, and like your inspiration will never come back.
Is it possible to recover from this type of situation?
Even though it feels hopeless when you’re going through it, it IS possible to get your inspiration back as a writer. However, it’s not as simple as using good writing prompts or putting yourself on some sort of schedule to enforce discipline. Inspiration tends to shy away from too much structure and too many rules, so using these types of strategies may only compound the problem.
I’ve worked with hundreds of writers over the past eight years and one of the most common problems they report to me is overthinking. They might overthink the idea of their story, how the characters should act, who’s going to read their memoir, if they’re writing their book in the right format, or a dozen other things.
One thing is for sure, when a writer starts to overthink things, the writing goes downhill fast. This is because most of the creative “problems” that arise with writing are not issues that you can think your way out of, and this is so hard for so many people to grasp because we live in a society that tells us that thinking is the answer to everything. And if you’re truly stuck about something, well, you just need to think harder.
But thinking harder doesn’t get us anywhere. In fact, it only makes us feel more paralyzed, more stuck and frozen and scared, and more hopeless.
It seems like it would be easy to know if you’re an unhappy writer, right? But it’s a little trickier than just asking yourself how you feel. A lot of writers who are deeply unhappy with themselves, their writing, and their writing lives overall, actually don’t even know how unhappy they are. They’ve been unhappy for so long that it just kind of feels normal to them now.
This was me for a long time.
For many years I didn’t write at all. I was definitely unhappy, but I didn’t actually know how unhappy I truly was, because I had never known anything different. Sure, a long time ago, when I was a kid, writing had felt fun to me. But by the time I hit my late teenage years it had become hard and painful. Every time it felt like an uphill battle.
One of the most painful struggles that writers with toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism describe to me is the overwhelming anxiety they feel every time they sit down to write, or when they even think about writing. Much of the time they also feel severe anxiety when they think about all the time they’re spending NOT writing. This anxiety manifests as a vague nervous dread, but it can also show up as a specific sinking in the stomach or a panicky feeling in the chest and throat, like you might start crying at any moment.
Writers who struggle with these issues feel this way when they’re not writing, but they also feel this way—and sometimes even more so—when they are writing. It feels like an absolute no-win situation, because the thing that you want to do so badly and you feel so passionate about, seems to cause you even more pain whenever you actually try to do it.
Most writers who suffer from toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism never discover the reason behind all of this. We just assume we’re failed writers and there is no solution. But there is, in fact, a very good reason for why we feel the way we do: