I just finished reading a great book, The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee. I finished reading in about two days. It's one of those books that makes you want to take action. Right then and there--but you can't because you have to read just one more chapter.
The photo above is a collage I created last fall while I was looking at my writing business and how I want it to change/grow.
When I started writing for a living seven years ago, I never dreamed I would be in the place I am now: writing books? Helping businesses tell their stories? Working with writers and helping them overcome some of the same blocks I once faced? Impossibibble! (As Tigger likes to say.)
How Does One Make the Work of Writing Fun?
I think it comes from trusting yourself and following your intuition whenever possible. This week for instance, I've been struggling. Feeling like the well is nearly dry and coupled with the zero temps we've been experiencing here for the past month or two (or five?), I'm not feeling like the best version of myself.
So today, rather than force myself quickly into my to-do list, I played for a while. I cut out more images and words that felt right as I flipped through old magazines, creating two more collages: one outlining my perfect clients and another my desire to change my relationship with money. (While I'm frugal by nature, sometimes even a good thing can be taken too far.) Now other pieces of my own personalized right-brain business plan shaping up.
There are other ways of course to add more fun to one's writing work day. Here are a few suggestions:
What are your thoughts? Do you find there are certain tried and true methods to get you through those writing work days when you just aren't feeling it? Please share in the comments.
PS--Just FYI, my new e-Newsletter, specifically for writers & creatives comes out on March 1st (2 days!). If you haven't already signed up, why not do it now?
Sometimes—infrequently—I have a daydream I’m a bit embarrassed about. Having run my own writing business for the past seven years, this daydream feels like a dirty little secret.
But here it is: _
Sometimes I dream of having a 9-5 Job.
I picture the gobs of money funneling into my company-matched 401K, the paid time off, the vacations where—when I’m away—I have no need to wake up panicked at 3:30 a.m., wondering if I emailed a response to XX. Or if, in fact, I’d actually finished that project for XX, or had just run through it so many times in my mind that it feels finished. I fantasize about leaving work at work: closing my computer down for the day, shutting my office door and being f-r-e-e.
And though I love my career 95 percent of the time, there are days like yesterday where I wonder what the heck am I doing? Where so many ideas are swirling around in my poor, overloaded brain that it feels ready to combust. Times like yesterday where I feel a tight, clenching knot in my gut thinking, if I had anything left in my creative well, I could work through these feelings by writing or painting. But the well, after a long day, was dry. So instead I seethed my way through an episode of Murdoch Mysteries, reading a business book during commercial breaks and wondering if I should be less worried about worrying about work.
Creativity has so many benefits. But it has its dark side, too. Feeling overwhelmed is common for creatives. Lack of belief in yourself, in your art—whether writing or painting or making music or woodworking—can cause significant stress over time on both your body and spirit. Taking a break is one way to handle the dark side. If it’s a more serious issue, medication and/or therapy may help. Sometimes though, it takes a little time out of one’s head to mend the frayed wires.
So what's a creative to do?
After an overloaded day and a stressful (self-induced for the most part) morning, I finally saw and felt a glimmer of hope while talking to another entrepreneur. We sat and chatted about the work/life balance, feeling frazzled and the guilt mongers that hound us (our own, personalized versions). Then we shared ideas to help each other over cups of steaming coffee in paper cups.
That short session with someone who “gets it,” was more meaningful to me than a hundred therapy sessions. Because this entrepreneur is also creative. And she understands my language.
Now it’s your turn. What does your creative dark side look like? Overwhelm? Fear that you’re a hack? Competitiveness or coveting someone else’s work or creations or life? How do you deal with these feelings and thoughts successfully?
So did I. Lots of times. In fact, it wasn't until I found this particular 15 minute writing method that things changed. Using that and making one other small change, I've now written four novels ... with more on the way.
I particularly liked this quote by author, Beth Kanell. Beth says, “One of my favorite things about reading The 15-Minute Novelist is the feeling that I've got a clear, step-by-step workbook in front of me -- even with questions to answer! It's conversational, like a good friend or warm-hearted pro, putting an arm over my shoulder and saying, "Stop scaring yourself! You can do this and have a great time, 15 minutes at a time, just like this ..." -- and I know it's going to work, because I've been there. J.P. Choquette's book reminds me of the good times I've had, and how to have them again, putting a story onto paper to share it.”
That bit about being ‘reminded of the good times she’s has and how to have them again’ made me break out in goose bumps. Yes! That is why I wrote this guide and what I’m hoping that other writers come away with.
Belief in themselves.
A new, simple way to write.
If this e-Guide helps a writer accomplish even one or those, I will be happy. But if a writer tells me they have experienced all three? I’ll be tap dancing like Danny Kaye.
Interested in learning more about the e-Guide or ready to buy?
"I've tried finishing a novel before ... and failed."
It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!
The release of my e-Guide, The 15-Minute Novelist: How to Write a Novel in Just 15 Minutes a Day happens today.
Thanks to some early reviews, I have proof that this method isn’t just a bunch of fluff, but really works.
Are you a writer or creative entrepreneur, looking for a little encouragement? Join my new inspirational newsletter list, just for you! Each issue will feature:
Sound good? Sign up here.
If stuck creatively, this is one of the best things you can do
Do you ever tell yourself that "someday" your going to start (or finish) that novel. Someday you will make time to get back to writing poetry. Someday you'll enter your short story (which has yet to be started) in a contest.
I have a question for you:
When is someday?
One of the most beneficial writing events I ever attended was a retreat. Located in a beautiful country setting, the focus wasn't on critiquing, sending out query letters or perfecting our agent pitch. Instead it included lots of time for ... nothing.
We were sent out into the fields and woods with notebooks and pens and asked to just notice something--one thing--and write about it. It was an experience that nourished me on many levels. And I want to share that same experience with you.
Best, but not necessarily easy.
In our busy, loud world it's often difficult, if not impossible to pull away. To carve out time for our writing and for that all-important first step: reflection.
That's what Nourish will offer. A chance to close out the noise, the obligations, the expectations of others and focus solely on our writer-selves.
I chose the name "nourish" because it's going to be a day that does just that. A delicious, healthy, spa-like lunch will be provided along with hot beverages. Your body's need for movement will be taken care of with time for a yoga class or time out of the house for a walk in the charming village of Enosburg.
You can share a writing-related challenge you're struggling with in a one-on-one mini-coaching session with me, where you'll leave with a step-by-step plan of action. You'll have time for guided journaling and a creative art project intended to help you tell the story of your own desire for nourishment and how to get more of it in your life.
As a writer, you deserve time to dedicate to your craft.
Maybe you can set a goal and make sure that this work time is protected. I would ask though, has that worked up to this point? If not, consider joining us at Nourish: Retreat for Writers and see if you don't remember the time spent here for years to come.
Welcome to the website of author J.P. Choquette (pronounced, "show-kett"). Join the Reader Group and nab a free short story, along with the latest news, goodies, upcoming event announcements and more.
Already read a book? Have you checked out her other suspense novels?