06 January 2009


Comment from yesterday's post Great Doubt. Great Faith. Great Effort:

"This is one of my biggest struggles. I have faith in myself and my story, but I have a hard time finding the energy to actually write. Any tips on dealing with this?"

The comment came anonymously, so my answer won't appear personal.

Your lack energy for your writing is like a character who resists the call to adventure. Resistance generally comes from one or more of the following character profile traits (each of which has the potential to create dramatic action):

  • fear
  • flaw
  • prejudice

At least that's what happens in stories -- it's the character herself who gets in her own way -- the Character Emotional Development plot line.

Based on that assumption, following is a tip for finding the energy to write:

1) Make a reminder sign -- a post-it note on the mirror, a ribbon hanging from the lamp shade, something to remind you of this tip.

2) As you brush your teeth or otherwise prepare for bed, meditate on your resistance.

3) With your head on the pillow, make a goal for yourself for the next day. Imagine yourself taking action, step-by-step toward your goal. Anticipate possible antagonists -- your own resistance included. See yourself in your mind's eye replacing the story you have been telling yourself that is causing your resistance with something different.

This is your life. You are in charge. You may not want to be. That's fine. Feel the resistance.

Now, tell yourself a different story, one that draws you to the successful completion of your goal.

There's no hurry. Either way, the day will come and the night will go. The only thing that changes is your attitude and your action. Think of it less a journey and more a process -- the process of being a writer...

Any other tips???