Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of seeing—and hearing!—Adele in concert during her Las Vegas residency.
I had some issues with Las Vegas itself, but that's a story for another day.
The show was intimate, authentic, and spectacular all at once.
Just over a year earlier, Adele had done the unspeakable: she postponed her residency less than 24 hours before the first show.
Calling it the worst moment in her career by far, she agonized over the decision but ultimately made the call because "There was just no soul in it," she said. "The stage setup wasn't right. It was very disconnected from me and my band, and it lacked intimacy."
It takes a great deal of integrity to make that kind of gutsy decision as an artist. As a creative. As a human.
Author and speaker Glennon Doyle made a similarly gutsy decision in 2016, on the eve of the publication of Love Warrior, her memoir about the redemption of her marriage to her husband Craig.
My yoga studio has a Century Club—you earn a prize once you reach 100 classes a year. One year, pre-pandemic, I practiced over 200 times! That meant showing up on my mat 5 x a week on average.
This fall, I barely showed up at all.
In October I practiced yoga ONCE.
I’d sign up for classes and cancel at the last minute.
It got to the point that I was embarrassed to go to the studio because I hadn’t been there for so long.
I stopped thinking of myself as a yogi. I stopped even signing up for classes because what a joke! I knew I would cancel.
One day I said to myself, you are getting on your mat no matter what. You don’t have to practice 5-6x a week. You just have to practice today.
I showed up to class. It was hard, but I felt...
You know the roller coaster I’m talking about right?
I wrote about how I felt riding the low point on the emotional roller coaster last week as the high from landing my book deal wore off and the work I have to do on my book—plus life—hit hard.
"How can I draft a book proposal if I don't even know what my title is yet?"
"I'm overwhelmed so I'm not doing anything."
"How do YOU make time for writing?"
The Serenity Prayer that is often shared in 12 Step Meetings is a great guide for writers, even if you never intend to darken the door of a church:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Accept the fact that the roller coaster will happen. Don't beat yourself up when it does.
"Normalize the roller coaster" is one of the mantras of Dallas Travers who runs The Hive, a business mentorship program for coaches.
Ahh ... the emotional roller coaster.
One day you’re a coach or an entrepreneur flying as high as a kite! You've gotten a few new clients, have discovery calls lined up, and your bank account is finally looking healthy.
Everything is clicking on all cylinders.
Until it isn't.
One of those new clients backs out. On one of those discovery calls you were so excited about, the prospect challenges your prices. You start panicking about the money you're spending on your virtual assistant.
It happens to writers.
This week it happened to me.
Last week I was still flying high after getting a book deal!
But this week life happened and the high wore off.
My elderly mother fell and was sent by ambulance to the hospital.
I started my book...
If you’re a writer, it’s impossible to banish doubt completely. I’m guessing you may have wondered:
But while you can’t banish doubt, there are ways to manage it:
Doubt will always be lurking, but it doesn’t have to get the upper hand.
Writing can feel like a slog. You would rather do practically anything else (dentist appointment, anyone?) than put your butt in the chair. But then there are those magical times when...
We write because writing makes us feel alive.
We write because we have no other choice.
But sometimes writing is the last thing we want to do.
Don’t beat yourself up if you feel that way.
Sometimes we need a specific reason to put our butt in the chair and do the work.
Like finding out a publisher is accepting unagented memoir manuscripts for exactly 2 days this fall.
Yeah, that got my attention. It was exactly the push I needed to ramp up my revision from la-di-dah to full speed ahead. What’s motivating you to get your work done?
Writing a book is hard.
There will be many moments when you feel like you’re fumbling in the dark.
What’s my story really about? When does it start? When does it end? How should I structure it?
Who will read it? Will anyone really care?
But if you keep at it, a magic moment will happen—I promise!
You will see the light. You will understand what your story is really about. You will know how to structure your...
Avoiding Comparison: The Struggle is Real
When you’re a writer, it’s hard to avoid comparing yourself to other writers.
You know, the ones who have agents. Book deals. Thousands of Twitter followers. Reviews in The New Yorker.
Meanwhile, you’re toiling in anonymity, just trying to get your draft done.
The struggle is real and so are your feelings.
Acknowledge the envy and don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way. We’ve all been there.
Then get back to the page and get that draft done.
Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll be the one with the agent and the book deal. You’ll never know until you do the work.
Need A Pat on the Back?
Writing is largely a solitary pursuit without a lot of validation or “attaboys” or “attagirls.” For writers who thrive on praise (anyone else here whose “love language” is “words of...
Bravery means doing something scary—Elizabeth Gilbert
Writing is an act of bravery. Putting your thoughts, ideas, your story, your choices—your life!—onto the page for the world to see is scary. And it’s also exhilarating.
>> We do it because the work matters to us.
>> We are not hobbyists. We’re creators.
>> We’re scared, and we write anyway.
Ask yourself: When does fear show up in your writing life? What are your strategies for handling it when it does?
How to write: Stop not writing. Get and keep your butt in chair—Anne Lamott
Distractions, procrastination, self-doubt, and fear: all forms of resistance that keep us from putting our butts in the chair and writing.
Resistance is universal and insidious—all writers experience it so don’t beat yourself up when you do.
TIP: Find out what works for you and stick with it. My personal plan for getting my work includes non-negotiable time blocks...
Writers go on a hero’s journey when they make the decision to get their story out of their heads and onto the page.
Queer writers go on a Queero’s Journey!
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