On a consultation call today with a new client, she’d mentioned that her self-confidence took a nosedive today. On reading, On Writing, by Stephen King–a fabulous book about writing well, by the way–she was crestfallen by his pronouncement that you’re not really a writer unless you write every day.
First of all, are you solely a writer? Or do you have another business? Perhaps you are a therapist, doctor, lawyer, coach, entrepreneur or stay at home mom…Well, Mr. King is a full time writer.
Mr. King primarily writes fiction. You, most likely, are writing about your life, your work, your clients, a systematic approach to solve a particular problem.
Mr. King is prolific. Maybe you have one book in you, maybe more. You’re probably not going to write as many as he does.
Do you need to write regularly to be a writer? Consistently? Yes. Maybe every day, but maybe once or twice a week at times, then more consistently when you are focusing on the book.
You will likely have an editor to tease out the best in your writing–to help you dive deeper for the quirky and meaningful details that will make your writing come to life. You don’t have to be a perfect writer. You’ll get help along the way.
Mr. King has some of the best advice on writing–ever. And it’s not a bad idea to write every day if you can. But it doesn’t mean you’re not a writer if you’re not writing every day.
One piece of advice I shared with the writer during her consultation is that self-doubt will inevitably arise for you as a writer. You need practices to lift you, to keep you in touch with your source of inspiration, to connect you with your deeper wisdom in order to counteract what some people call the “inner critic.” You don’t want to wait until the inner critic is upon you to develop this muscle for feeling connected.
In a few weeks, a group of writers–who are also business people, therapists, entrepreneurs, moms, coaches and other things–will come together for Writing in the Zone. Perhaps you will join us for this interactive 3-week teleseminar series. I’ll be sharing my 5 step system for Writing in the Zone consistently–a system that helps you connect with your inspiration and passion, and also provides a foundation to stay strong when the inner critic does strike.
This 5-step system will help you write with ease from a space of inspiration whether you write every day or write once or twice a week.
And if you need self-confidence, or there are other issues in your way, you’ll find tons of support–from me, from the community and from your inner MUSE, which I will help you connect with. I also just added an optional accountability element that works so effectively in my Stevie Award-Winning Bring Your Book to Life(R) Program to help you be productive and get the most out of the class.
You can read more here to discover if Writing in the Zone is for you. And feel free to ask questions here or e-mail me to explore. Class begins October 30. On the page that describes the program you will also find different options, including a private consultation with me. Share your comments and questions below…I’m happy to answer them–and I’d love to help you consistently write in the zone.
Rachel aka RC Vane says
Super excellent post, Lisa! In creative endeavors there are so many external things that can make us doubt ourselves and our processes. We can easily be more susceptible to the advice and opinions of others, especially others who are leaders in their fields. Always, always good to remember to take huge doses of reality when taking advice or listening to others’ opinions.
Lisa Tener says
Thanks, Rachel. Yes, we all have our self-doubts anyway, so it’s easy to allow someone else’s words feed into that. We also all have our inspiration and passion. We get to choose which one to feed.
Cara Bradley says
Great advice Lisa. Doubt has been a constant companion for me throughout my book writing process. I have finally learned to make peace with and befriend that nagging little voice that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I also learned to use the arising of doubt as my signal to settle down and go inward.
Lisa Tener says
Cara, going inward is key, isn’t it?
Judy Wernsing says
Richard Bach has written some of the best novels out there, in my opinion, and he has often written that he doesn’t enjoy writing, that he actually refuses to write unless a story will not go away. He’s likened it to a person grabbing him by the front of his shirt and telling him he won’t leave till Bach puts him down on paper.
Bach is unequivocally a writer. There are other writers who also feel as he does about writing. I think Stephen King’s advice is good, but the idea that one isn’t a writer if one doesn’t write every day is his opinion, not the truth.
Lisa Tener says
Thanks for that great example,Judy.
Vicki Tidwell Palmer says
Lisa, many thanks for the reality check! It’s so easy to fall into the self-doubt, “what’s the point?” mindset in the solitary pursuit of writing well. Your guidance and encouragement are much appreciated.
Margaret Welty says
Go after it LISA!!!!!! Most excellent “taking on” of the real stuff. Writing “in concert” — with whatever other horns you need is THE WAY TO SUCEED!!!!! I have loved all that you give me and your whole writing community!!!! Thank you!!!
Lisa Tener says
You’re welcome Margaret and Vicki. The carrot often works better than the stick. I started to think, “Oh, Lisa, that’s such a tired metaphor. Can’t you come up with anything fresher?” And then I decided to take my own advice! If the metaphor fits, wear it…