I recently received a nice email from an aspiring writer who complimented me on my work and then asked a few questions. I thought I’d share my responses here in case there are others struggling to find their voice.
Thanks for your message. I’m happy to hear my writing has inspired you in some way. I’ll do my best to answer your questions briefly in this email and I’d be happy to go more in-depth with you via a phone call, WhatsApp or Zoom if you’d like.
I also wanted to ask if you had any advice for a young writer who is just starting out. I’m struggling with writer’s block and wondered how you came across your stories?
First, consider that there really isn’t such a thing as ‘writer’s block.’ You are either writing or your not and then you describe when you’re not writing as ‘writer’s block.’ Of course, it’s not quite that simple. There are probably some other old conversations you are having with yourself that are keeping you from writing. Identifying those and letting them go, while not always easy is well worth the effort.
Not knowing that much about you or what you’re interested in writing, I’d be stabbing in the dark to offer you any more coaching at this point. Perhaps if/when we talk. And yet, I will take a stab:
1. Do you have an established writing time/schedule. If not create one. To start with it doesn’t even have to be that much time. An hour a day, even thirty minutes to start. Whatever it is, keep your word with yourself.
2. Try the Pomodoro technique when you do sit down to write. Set a timer for 25 minutes, then write until the timer goes off. That could be brainstorming what you want to write, adding to something you’ve already written, or revising, etc. Stick to it for the full time, then take a 5-10 minute break before going resetting the timer if you still have time set aside.
My promise to myself is to write for at least 2 Pomodoro segments every day during the week and once per day on the weekend.
Or how do you keep yourself motivated, especially during the current pandemic which can be quite draining?
Truth be known there are times I’m not motivated or inspired to write. Often times it takes keeping my word with myself and sitting down at the keyboard and setting my timer. I mean, after all, 25 minutes isn’t that long, and if I do that I often find by the end of the time, I’m back in the flow. Don’t wait to be inspired. Sit and write and let that inspire you.
You maybe like me. I often don’t like to write. It can be hard. However, I love to have written. That’s a blast.