A solution to the yo-yo, whack-a-mole writing life

You’re a smart and practical person. You see the problem: You’re not writing enough. Or not publishing enough.

The solution is simple, right? Write more. Publish more. It’s not rocket surgery. It’s self-evident: like the solution to being 20 pounds overweight. Lose 20 pounds. Duh.

At first, the need for a solution is a constant-yet-quiet thought in the back of your mind. Then it gets louder and more urgent, and that makes you feel a little panicky. Eventually you’re checking out — watching TV, eating, distracting yourself with other things — to try to keep that panicky feeling at bay. Eventually, you creatively shut down in generalized anxiety and creative desperation.  Until one day, you’ve had enough. You’re like, “This shit has gotta stop. Today is the day I take action!”

And then you’re off. Like gang busters. Hitting it daily: the writing, that is, as if you are power-lifting at the gym. Except you’re at the writer’s bench, pressing words. Showing up. Showing off. Yeah, you’re a rock star. You’re a little high on your awesomeness. It’s like a crash diet, except you’re getting leaner and meaner on the page. Some days you’re feeling like a writing super model.

Beautiful young girl with a notebook siting down on lawn

Once your done playing whack-a-mole, you can enjoy writing in the grass — mole-free.

Then some time goes by and you notice you’re back in a slump. You’ve put all that weight back on in the form of unexpended words. You’re a literary slob … again. And you’re disgusted with yourself. Again. And you enter the serious funk of “WTF is wrong with me?!?!”

The problem is, the problem isn’t actually what you think.

Not writing and not publishing aren’t the problems. These are symptoms. But they sure look like problems, because we can point to them and go, “This is why I’m miserable.” It’s not as easy to identify the sources of our problems because they lurk in the subconscious while we are playing some elaborate game of creative whack-a-mole with the symptoms.

The emotional and psychological challenges that we face when they write are much like those people face when they diet. Issues of self-esteem, of acceptance and belonging, of motivation, of safety: these need to be addressed to get lasting results. Otherwise like dieters who never change their relationship to food, you’ll keep yo-yo-ing in your writing habits.

Sound familiar? Join me for a FREE webinar on how to get rid of that crazy yo-yo, whack-a-mole thing you’ve got going on in your writing life. If you can’t watch the webinar live, sign-up and you’ll be sent a link to replay to watch whenever it suits you. Attending live lets me address your personal yo-yo challenges and mole infestations. You can also email me your questions.

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