Coach Marla Beck

Haunted By Your Freelance Writing Past?

by Marla Beck

in Uncategorized

The human mind has a peculiar tendency to amplify anything we focus on…especially, the negative.

So let’s talk about your freelance writing career for a moment.

What have you been thinking about lately?

  • How good it felt to achieve your last writing milestone, or that time you tried to solve a writing problem…and failed?
  • How good it’s going to feel to get that byline you’ve dreamed of for years?  Or how terrible it felt to get rejected for that pitch you invested hours in crafting?

It’s normal to feel haunted by past failures and mistakes.  It’s not helpful, though.  The art of achieving your biggest writing goals begins with your attention and your focus.  This means, dear friend, you have more power and ability to shift your circumstances than you may have ever imagined!

I speak from experience.  You see, just last week I discovered a “ghost” of my own.  A few years ago I had talked to someone about an idea, and that someone didn’t just not like it…they rather hated the idea, and backed up their negative opinion with a splash of personal judgments and a broad generalization or two.  Although I knew this one person’s perspective was biased, enough of her language tapped into my own latent fear, and I decided her response was valid.

A few years have passed and I hadn’t realized I was focused on this ONE opinion of this project (to the exclusion of other, positive voices) until last week, when I sat down with my notebook and walked myself through the same process I teach my clients to root out their limiting attitudes and beliefs. Once I uncovered the mental baggage I’d been dragging around, I nearly laughed out loud.  Like an insensitive trombonist in a well-rehearsed symphony orchestra, I had allowed this one voice to blat and dominate the soundscape in my mind.  I’d cut myself off from hearing the rich textures of the woodwind section, the strings and the rest of the orchestra. My attention to the “blat” kept me from hearing the melody and developing and advancing my nascent idea into the realm of the possible.

Ghosts.  Trombonists.  I mix my imagery today but I hope my message to you is loud and clear: YOU conduct your own symphony.  The strategic career moves you dream up and truly want execute?  Your success depends on YOU.  The creative risks you dare to take?  You again, dear writer.  The joy, meaning and money you create in your writing business and career?  It’s up to YOU.

Don’t be that smart writer who somehow settled and convinced herself that her less-than-vibrant, less-than-deeply-successful writing career is ok…just because she didn’t know how to get unstuck and create it for herself.

(These writers show up in my practice ten or fifteen years later, heartsick at the hours and weeks and months they wasted in struggle, when they could have been confidently pursuing the future they really wanted.)  Please: don’t make this same mistake.

The key to un-haunting yourself and finally achieving your most cherished writing goals is this:  put your limitations to rest, map out a writing vision that honors your head and your heart, and pursue a savvy, step-by-step strategy to get you there.  So many writers I work with find themselves quickly finishing a book, finding time to pursue stretch goals, and publishing in better publications, and in every case their fresh momentum started with making over their limiting assumptions and beliefs.

Making substantial changes in your freelance writing career is easier than you think.

Click here to get in touch with me and set up a call to talk about your writing goals.

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