For years, I beat myself up for not writing. The story inside my head was all guilt and shame.
Writing is so important to me, but I’m not writing. I’m so messed up. I have to get over the perfectionism and self-criticism that’s paralyzing me. I have to heal these blocks and issues so I can write.
Just recently, though, I realized: All that time, I was actually writing. I did finish stories, articles, even books–and I did make a good living in my professional writing business.
But, I FELT like I wasn’t writing. That’s because trying to write fiction (my true creative work) felt like dragging a wagonload of concrete blocks up a hill, barefoot, over broken rubble. And often I did fail, or I didn’t get very far.
Maybe you feel like this: You’re Frodo, gearing yourself up emotionally every single day. Pushing against fears of failure, fears of not being good enough, fear that time is passing and you’ll never be the professional artist you want to be.
Every day it takes heroic emotional effort to do your creative work.
If you’re experiencing this, I wish I had a quick solution.
I can’t take your journey for you or offer a four-point list that solves every problem, but I can give you one recommendation that will change your life as an artist: GET SUPPORT.
This is nonnegotiable.
You might need just a little support–a few friends saying “You can do it!”, some positive responses to a video you wrote, a writing group that gives you submission deadlines.
But if you’ve done those things and you’re still Frodo, wading through emotional resistance and muck just to get to your creative work each day (and then failing to do it because you get sucked into emails or web surfing or hours of unnecessary “research”)–you need more.
Get a coach. Get healing work. Bring out the big guns, and spend real money on getting your resistance handled.
(Because what’s the alternative? Do you really want to spend the next three or five or ten years trekking through Mordor every day?)
I’ve paid for professional support (coaches, therapists, healers, self-development programs, and more) for most of my adult life–even back when I was making just $1200/month.
Without all that coaching, healing, and transformational work, there’s NO WAY I could be where I am today.
When you get support, a better world is possible.
You can change the internal emotional landscape that makes your creative work such a struggle.
Getting your writing done doesn’t require a daily slog through Mordor.
It could be a refreshing mountain top hike.
Or a stroll in the meadow.
Or (hard as it may be to imagine!) skipping and playing by a creek.
Or running down the beach, the wind in your hair, and the sun and the endless horizon of possibility stretching out before you.
The future is yours, and it is yours to choose.