Let’s say you’re a “lapsed” writer.
– Once wrote regularly, productively and happily.
– Took your craft seriously enough to invest in it.
– Wrote enough to accumulate some pages or even draft a book.
Perhaps it’s been years since you showed up to the writing desk.
Maybe family responsibilities, professional success or the rigors of running your own writing business interfered with your love for writing and your writing practice.
Perhaps you do make it to the writing desk now and then, but the results from your occasional writing sessions are so unspectacular that you find it really hard to return.
(Some of my client report they’d rather pay bills or wash the dog before they sit down to write…sound familiar?)
Here’s the deal.
You can have a stern talk with yourself and plant yourself firmly back in your chair.
Go ahead and try willing yourself back into “productivity,” but if you do, be prepared for a brittle kind of writing practice, one tinged with guilty feelings, tons of “trying” energy and some self-coercion thrown in as well.
(Doesn’t “butt in chair” sound like a drag?)
Thing is, most writers I work with forget to extend a little kindness to themselves. Especially when they’re first starting out.
There’s a time to practice butt-in-chair and all the other productivity techniques that help a creative mind settle down and write.
You need forgiveness.
If you’re a lapsed writer, before you even start exploring writing again or “getting more productive,” you’ve got to take a little action to give yourself a fresh start. And that action is the simple act of forgiving yourself for the way things have been.
Forgiveness for lapsed writers is the practice of making peace with yourself — your choices, your past, your circumstances — so you can live more fully, and write more fully, in the present.
You don’t have to get all sullen and depressed. And this process doesn’t have to take much time at all.
You simply want to look at your past with wide-open, kind eyes. You also want to take a look at your present.
Then you want to acknowledge things that happened and your circumstances now……exactly as they are.
- Yes, I feel like I wasted 2 years by shoving my novel draft in the drawer….and that’s the choice I made. I forgive myself.
- Yes, I let go of my writing practice because I thought walking the dog was more important and I couldn’t see any other options…and that’s the choice I made. I forgive myself.
- Yes, I let my partner’s feedback about my manuscript send me into a months’-long tailspin….and that’s the choice I made. I forgive myself.
I want to share something with you.
Once upon a time, I was the Queen of Victimhood. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I look back I see clearly that I loved nothing more than to latch on to events, words others said or circumstances that would reinforce my unconscious belief that life wasn’t rich enough to offer me what I wanted:
– there would never be enough time to write or sing…
– people wouldn’t like me if I owned my creative voice and spoke up freely as me
Today my life is much different. I took my power back from other people and “life” itself. Today I take responsibility to define my own goals, and I gift myself with whatever it takes — time, mentoring, meditation practice — to move myself forward.
I’m not saying my life’s all perfect & shit. (It’s not.)
But I tend to wake up happy these days, and I stay that way throughout the day. I’m living a rich, creative life I truly love.
When I first started changing my life, though, I made the mistake I see most lapsed writers make. When I wanted to shift things for myself, I started out by trying to push myself and struggle into “more productivity.”
It didn’t work!
Before I could move forward, I had to I take a little time to truly see my past for what it was. Next, I had to let go of my baggage and gently FORGIVE myself for being exactly where I was in the moment.
Then I was free to create a new beginning.
I hope this is reaching your heart today, because it’s very important.
Many writers who come to me want to just get down to business and WRITE, dammit!
They’re surprised when we do a little reflection.
They’re surprised when we start our work together by first looking at what they want in life, art and business. And they’re quite happy when we focus on making daily choices to support their vision and goals.
Writing comes naturally when you forgive yourself and start fresh.
Take a little time to make peace with yourself.
The past is the past.
Now is now.
Make some good choices. And practice forgiving — and loving — yourself first.
Then plant your butt in the chair and write. Got it?
I’m rooting for you!
Email email@example.com for your invitation! We start July 8th and we’re going to have a blast. Would love to have you join us.