writing advice

Limiting Belief: I Should...

Limiting Belief I should_.png

You know you’ve heard this phrase a million times: “You should…” Join that group. Read that book. Write about that topic. Hell, we’ve probably said it in this blog. It’s part of the vernacular of our culture.

But it can be a limiting belief when it comes to writing—especially as a new scribe. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about all the things I “should” do. It gets you stuck in the past, stuck in the dizzying amount of possibilities, and you start to question everything.

All those “you shoulds” start to make you think that you need to do what others are telling you, instead of listening to yourself. You start allowing others to define you.

How do you get out of this spiral? A few options:

  • Listen to your gut. Your intuition will get you farther than relying on the “shoulds.” What do you really want for your writing career? What do you want to write about? Only you know the answer to this.

  • Walk away from the “shoulds.” Decide for yourself what you want and leave the rest. No one knows you better than you.

  • Try saying “I could.” It’s more future-focused—filled with possibility. Take out a piece of paper and write down 10-20 writing goals you have for the month. Think about what you could do. Once you have those 20 items down, make a second list with only the 5 most important tasks from your larger list. Work on them. Now. Ignore the larger list until the top 5 are completed. Then move on to the next 5.

  • Set up a writing schedule to get your goals accomplished. Once you know what you want, you have to put in the sweat. None of this matters if you don’t “DO.”

  • Seek professional guidance. Yes, I know it sounds like I’ve been telling you not to take advice. But there’s a difference between your best friend telling you that she read an article stating that fantasy stories are no longer popular, versus a professional who can guide you on your writing process. You want someone who will support your writing goals instead of just chasing trends.

When you have your list of “coulds” and want some guidance on getting them accomplished, contact us—we’d love to help!

Writing 50,000 words in a month may not work for you.

Writing 50,000 words in a month may not work for you.

For the third time in two and a half years, I’ve written 50,000 words in a single month. Here’s what I learned and why I’m not planning on doing it again…

What song do you sing? (Developing Your Writing Voice)

What song do you sing? (Developing Your Writing Voice)

Your writing voice is the unique language that makes your writing yours. It’s what sets your zombie story or memoir or romance novel apart from all the others. It’s the humor/wit/sarcasm/intellect that defines you as a writer. If you’ve ever read something by Toni Morrison or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you know how alluring a writer’s voice can be. If you’ve ever read David Sedaris or Tina Fey, you understand how a writer’s voice can be laugh-out-loud funny.

So, here's the big question: How, exactly, DO you develop your writing voice?