What Does It Take To Be A Writer?
For those that have been following my journey as an author of my first business book, you will know that I am approaching the finish line, with the official book launch party set for 2nd December.
So what does it take to be a writer?
I think it is like any thing that is outside your current skill set or experience you have to be focused, supported and resilient to set backs.
I watch people that train for and then run marathons. They usually ask for help with training and have to commit to regular training and new disciplines regarding diet and nutrition and I know they often hit walls where they doubt they can actually do it.
Writing this book has been similar in terms of the mindset and resilience. I had to commit to and then focus on the discipline of writing with specific deadlines. I also had times when my mind really didn’t think I could do it. I had moments of self-doubt and fear. I would burst into tears with frustration because I could not find the structure within my story. I could not find a way to share my thoughts that would make sense and flow easily. I would read my own work and lose the will to live because I was bored with my lack of structure.
And it has also be the most amazing experience, liberating and freeing from so many restrictions that previously held me back from showing up in my business and my life as myself. When you commit to writing a book where you will be sharing your story, your thoughts and feelings it can be quite scary to suddenly realise that even you are not quite sure what you are trying to say. Having a strong support network that beleived in me even when I lost sight of the reason why I was writing was key.
The whole process forces you to be absolutely sure of what you want to say and you quickly learn that doing it with help is so much easier and a lesson that I quickly transferred to my life as a whole. Understanding that no author wrote their first draft and it was instantly published perfectly was reassuring even if I did try for far too long before sharing my first draft with someone.
What I didn’t realise though is that it also makes you really think about who you are writing to. You realise as you write not everyone will get it. Not everyone will resonate with it and many may will criticise it. Family and friends will buy it but never read it, people will read it and never say anything good or bad so you have to be prepared to manage the stories you might make up in your own head of what that really means.
With support and with focus on those you are on the planet to serve you can and do get out of your own way. You develop resilience to criticism and feedback without becoming resistant to hearing the things that will help you communicate at your best.
When you find your strength deep inside. That is when you realise you are not writing for those people who won’t get it. You are writing for those that are experiencing something similar to you a few years ago.
You tune into and remember the pain you experienced because you didn’t know what you know now and that drives you to write in order to relieve them of the pain. You can tune into that pain and the desire to take the weight off their shoulders and show them an easier way to solve the same problem.
One of the challenges of writing to your younger self is that you end up taking your own brain back to those periods in your life when you felt lost, abandoned and alone. It can churn up emotions you thought you had dealt with as part of your training and personal development. And some how you end up feeling those old emotions all over again as though they are true again today.
I remember feeling quite angry and then scared that perhaps I hadn’t actually found the answer and who was I to share solutions with others when I was still having challenges.
I was able to remind my critic that despite talking to my reader in the present tense it was in fact a past tense experience for me.
I was able to reassure my critic that I was okay now and then step by step as the book emerged and with it my own process. I was able to understand how I worked which allowed me to commit to taking my own advice.
It can be a bit of shock to find yourself feeling the same despondency over again. That is why it was so important for me to have the right support – clients, friends and coaches who knew that I was no longer that person.
I am so glad that I finally committed to Karen Williams in Sept 2104 that I would attend her writing retreat in Sept 2015. When I booked a year ahead I made a conscious decision to move from talking about writing to actually writing it. That was the day my journey started. Just saying it is going to happen meant I had to start to prepare myself, my family and my business for the time that I would need to invest to make the dream a reality.
As I approach the final weeks before the official launch I found myself in tears as we sat here in our beautiful beach house in Adelaide. The fear was building up and now that my children had their copy of the book my motivation and focus had to change. I had to remember that even though I already know that I could do a better job if I were to write the book again – that this book can and will make a difference and I couldn’t give up now.
If you want to move from overwhelm to clarity do check out my book.
Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage Your Critic – Clarity confidence and change.
If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do check out my book “Manage your critic – From Overwhelm to Clarity in 7 steps”.
Alternatively book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happily set you up for success. I might be part of the support you need and I might not be but either way you will you know your next best step.
Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for speaking fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.
That was until she learned how to manage her critic and turned her overwhelm into clarity and confidence in 7 steps.
Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.
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