Every creative writer wants to know how to be a good writer. But focusing too much on the desired end result (being good, getting published) can cause stress and create writer’s block.
There’s a truer path to your writing heart, but most advice from the writing industry doesn’t mention it. Instead, the popular focus is on outward success.
The true key is already part of you.
The true key to your creative writing dreams is learning to trust your imagination.
Deeply trusting your imagination is also the long-term answer for how to overcome writer’s block.
When you look at it this way, getting some writing practice can take on a whole new meaning.
Instead of possibly dreading your writing as a time when you’ll have to come up with some “good” writing or risk being a failure, you can think of it as something much greater than that:
You’re writing to discover the riches
your imagination will freely offer
once you learn to trust.
Your imagination holds an endless supply of treasures. The secret to accessing these treasures is to relax and allow it to flow out of you without judging what comes out.
So, how can a writer deliberately build trust?
1. Show up for your own writing destiny
If you don’t make specific appointments with yourself to write, there’s no way for your imagination to do anything but simmer.
The act of showing up at the appointed time and writing something is more powerful than any book you could read about how to please publishers.
Especially when you do it repeatedly over time.
2. Set the bar lower
If you’re always believing that you need to have at least 2 hours, if not half a day, set aside to make it worthwhile, your writing will get lost in the chaos of your busy life.
Begin to think in terms of minutes, not hours. Or hundreds, not thousands.
What if you wrote 250 words every morning for your story or novel? Doesn’t sound like much but you’d be surprised how this can build trust and momentum over time. Try it.
3. Allow another voice to speak
This can be the hardest thing of all.
We’re so used to the voice that tells us we’re not good enough—and all the permutations of that falsehood—that we can sometimes barely hear the other voice. The voice of the imagination.
It is in there, despite the clamor of your fearful thoughts. Sometimes, the only way to hear it is to keep writing.
At first the voice of discouragement will only sound louder. But if you keep writing (no matter what you think the quality of the writing is) eventually you’ll be able to hear your true creative voice.
4. Expect miracles, but only if you persist
At first the going will seem tough.
It may even feel too painful to endure. And that’s exactly right. You’re being tested. Are you going to choose a relationship with your imagination, or the voice of gloom and doom that says you can’t do it?
If it feels worse at first that actually means you’re on the right track.
Keep making those appointments with yourself, keep easing the pressure by setting the bar lower, and keep listening for when your real voice shows up.
Soon you’ll know how to get there faster each time you sit down to write. You’ll have greased your own wheels with repeated action.
You’ll start to feel the difference
The stronger your trust becomes, the easier it will be to recognize the difference between the two voices.
One voice is nothing but negative brainwashing and the other is your pure creative self.