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Posts Tagged 'writers block'

How to Overcome Writer’s Block Easily

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Rewriting is a lot easier than writing because you have a problem to solve.

~ Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter

 

Many people blame writer’s block for their lack of productivity. But delve deeper and the chances are you’ll find other culprits, including perfectionism, “blank page syndrome,” stress, or lack of devotion. But there’s also a simpler cause and one that is easy to solve, trying to write with both sides of the brain.

“To be more productive, you need to learn how to write faster,” says Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor of Write to Done. “The key point is to separate the actions of creation and editing.”

This means allowing yourself to write terrible, horrid, amateur first drafts! Perfectionism will keep you poor.

“When you try to write your first draft well, you are creating and editing at the same time (activities which activate different areas of the brain). This is like being in a car and stepping on the accelerator and the brake at the same time. You won’t get anywhere fast!” says Jaksch.

Julia Cameron shares how she approaches first drafts in her book The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life. “Early in my writing life, I tried to polish as I went…. Writing this way was frustrating, difficult and disheartening…I learned to write, setting judgment aside and save the polish for later…

“For the first time, I gave myself emotional permission to do rough drafts and for those rough drafts to be, well, rough. Freed to be rough, my writing actually became smoother. Freed from the demand that it be instantly brilliant, perfect and clever, my writing became not only smoother but also easier and more clear.”

Many successful authors, including Julia Cameron, say it’s important to get out of your own way, to be a channel, or medium, for the stories which want to be told.

Show up! Show up! And soon the muse will show up too,” says Isabel Allende, author of The House of Spirits.

“What writing is,” announces Stephen King in the same-named chapter of his memoir, On Writing, “Telepathy, of course. It’s amusing when you stop to think about it—people have argued about whether or not such a thing exists, folks like J.B.Rhine have busted their brains trying to create a testing process to isolate it, and all the time it’s been right there, lying out in the open like Mr. Poe’s purloined letter. All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing offers the purest distillation.”

Here are just a few simple ways to tap into your writing genius, get your creative juices flowing and love your first drafts more:

• Tap into your subconscious mind and write freely—write non-stop for three minutes. It doesn’t matter what you write, just don’t stop for three minutes! You may be surprised at the clarity and depth of ideas that flourish unhindered.

• Do a da Vinci and carry a notebook with you at all times to capture ideas, doodle in, collect snippets of dialog or jot down compelling descriptions around you, and use it to improve your craft and your daily writing practice. Or you may prefer to use a digital notebook or app like Evernote.

• Collaborate with other authors and do a sprint, or sign up for an organized event like Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, in November, to write your book fast (http://nanowrimo.org). This is a month-long program that encourages writers of all ages to stop thinking about writing and just get it done.

• Affirm, “Done is better than perfect,” and remind yourself getting words on the page frees you up for the easier task of shaping them into something coherent. You can’t edit a blank page.

• Create your own sacred “receiving” place and channel your story.

• Write by hand and use technology to input your words later.

• Read the following chapters—particularly “Fifteen Minute Sprints” which follows.

 

Mining for Gold

How can you give yourself permission to write imperfectly?

Schedule separate time for right brain and left brain writing tasks.

 

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book Two: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/ProductivityHacksDoLessMakeMore

Do less and earn more today!

Although this book was written for writers, the principles and strategies can be embraced by business entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, and thousands of others around the world who want to enhance their productivity, do less and make more.

Productivity Hacks for Authors

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

How to Boost Your Productivity Without Endless Sleepless Nights & Breaking Into a Sweat

Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil…It’s more about priorities, planning, and fiercely protecting your time.

~ Margarita Tartakovsky, blogger

Palomino horses cantering in field

If working smarter, not harder and doing less but earning more is your goal, and I’m guessing it is because you’ve been drawn to this checklist, you’re committed to finding ways that balance effort with ease.

We all want to be more productive but do we really know what this means? What does productivity look like? What does it feel like? How can productivity benefit your life—will it accelerate your wealth, happiness, and fulfillment? What might it steal—your sanity, relationships, health, and wealth?

These are questions many of us never ask—until it’s too late. Avoid barking up the wrong tree and chasing an ideal that may lead you further from the things that really matter, pause for a minute.

Before you dive into these checklists and charge into applying the productivity tips and tools I share, ask yourself what does productivity mean to you?

“Productivity is the outcome of your efforts”, says Laurie Wills, a former bank executive. “It’s how much you get out, versus how much you put in. The question you need to ask,” he says, “Is when you look at what you’re getting out is it what’s important to you?”

As you’ll discover, many of these simple hacks will help maintain your focus, boost your energy, top up your reserves and fill your productivity tank simply and easily.

21 productivity hacks:

  • Begin with why: Get clear about what’s most important to you, the outcomes you seek, and your motivating reasons ‘why.’
  • Purposeful productivity: Share your gifts with the world. Work with purpose. Work by priority. Work for prosperous productivity.
  • See your goal achieved: You go where your vision Think big, feel big, and see your goal achieved.
  • Measure your success: Determine your most critical measurements of success or Key Performance Indicators
  • Tackle the toughest items first: The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complicated. Tick of the toughest items before tackling things you can do more easily.
  • Affirm for success: Use empowering affirmations to boost flagging motivation, overcome obstacles and stay focused, enthusiastic and confident about your goals.
  • Understand the rules: If you want to fast-track your productivity in any endeavor start and stay smart—understand the tried-and-proven rules of your chosen field.
  • Model your heroes: Who do you admire? Who has achieved the prosperous productivity you yearn for? Become a diagnostician and analyze their success strategy.
  • Successful daily habits: Identify daily rituals that boost your productivity and makes these a daily habit. Repetition and consistency are the important things.
  • Miracle mornings: When you win the morning, you win the day. Take time to ‘be’ (center and prepare yourself) before rushing into ‘doing’
  • Journal your way to productivity: Create a productivity journal with empowering quotes and other sources of inspiration, or embark on cathartic journaling to boost confidence and self-belief.
  • Your not-to-do list: What can you simplify or subtract from your life to free up some space for enhanced productivity?
  • Meditate: Stressed, fatigued or overwhelmed minds will never be productive. 80% of successful people have some form of guided mindfulness practice.
  • Embrace Technology: Format and publish your books with Scrivener and Vellum. Use dictation to write faster, Ghostreader to improve flow, Grammarly to check errors and Evernote to store and retrieve ideas quickly.
  • Batch to hatch time: Dedicate blocks of time to similar tasks is a powerful and simple way to decrease distraction and increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Get Organized. Chaos is the enemy. Declutter and get organized. Spend time each day, each week, developing systems to streamline your efficiency.
  • Boost your energy: Sleeping well, eating well, walking or some other form of exercise, and reducing alcohol are some of many effective ways to create and sustain highly productive energy.
  • Aromatherapy for mental alertness: The simple truth is, even if you are unaware of the power of smell, aroma affects your mood. To feel sharper and more alert, rosemary, peppermint and cardamom are just are few essential oils to try.
  • Focus: Juggling too many balls? Prioritize them, set a timer, and allocate segmented time for all the competing activities you feel must get done.
  • Take the procrastination challenge: It might seem counterproductive, but sometimes the best way to be productive is radical acceptance—flow with your current mindset.
  • 15-Minute Sprints: Small increments of progress help to maintain momentum over the longer-term— making it more likely you’ll finish larger tasks. Set the timer and just ‘do it’—you’ll be amazed at what you achieve.

Suggested Reading:

The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living with Your Writing/Book Two: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More

getBook.at/ProductivityHacksDoLessMakeMore

The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living with Your Writing/ Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset

getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

 

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NEW RELEASE. The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

For anyone who has dreamed of becoming an author.

For anyone who wants to make a living from books.

For anyone who wants to release the fear of failure, get motivated and achieve success. . .

This is the book to make your dreams a reality.

 

In my new book The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset I reveal dozens of insights based on survey research, my professional achievements and the success secrets of extraordinary artists, authors and creative entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, James Patterson, Paulo Coelho, Nora Roberts, Arianna Huffington, Oprah, Isabel Allende, and many more.

It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another thing entirely to make a living at it.

Developing a prosperous mindset is the foundation skill from which all else follows.

So many famous stories are about having belief in yourself and achieving your potential.

But in many of us, there is a hesitant skeptical part of ourselves that knows, “I probably should believe in myself more, but what if I am deluding myself? What if I’m not good enough?”

I know this feeling very well. For many years I struggled with a negative mindset. I started books and other writing projects and never finished them. I told myself I wasn’t good enough. Who did I think I was writing a book? What if I failed? What if my books never sold? And loads of other messages that kept me stuck in a soul-sucking day job I hated. But, using the techniques I share in The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset I’m not only making a living from my writing but I’m inspiring other people to follow their dreams too.

Perhaps you’ve bought into the myth that you can’t make money from your writing. For years, the fallacy of the starving artist has pervaded our culture, leaching into the minds of creative people and stifling their dreams.

But the evidence-based truth is that the world’s most successful authors and artists do not starve. In fact, they thrive by leveraging off the power of their millionaire mindset and capitalizing on their creative strengths.

The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset is a blueprint for mastering five principles of success.

By fuelling your desire, mastering your subconscious mind, maintaining optimum health, empowering your relationships, making a commitment to turn pro and slaying obstacles, you’ll elevate your attitude to success itself and create the ultimate mindset.

 

Though it was written for writers, the principles and strategies can be embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, and thousands of others around the world who want to enhance their mindset

A must read for anyone who wants to make a living from their writing, or earn extra income on the side!

ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

BONUS GIVEAWAYS

The Prosperous Author 5-Part Video Mini-Course

FREE copies of my Amazon best-sellers:

  • Find Your Passion and Purpose
  • Box Set Mid-Life Career Rescue Series
  • The Art of Success: Coco Chanel


Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

 

ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Boost your creativity

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Young woman laying on dry leaves and enjoying life

It’s incredible to believe that seven years have passed and I’ve become more and more distanced from my creative self. As we head into Autumn it’s the perfect time to start shedding old patterns to make way for new habits.

Listed below are just 8 (lucky 8!) of the many creative tools and strategies that have helped me in the past to tap into and boost my creativity – I hope some reasonnate with you.

1. Stress less: Being overwhelmed can put a real dampener on people’s creative ability. Making a commitment to reduce the stressors in your life will help boost your creative juices. Become a creative procrastinator by putting off until tomorrow that which won’t advance your goals today! Meditate to boost your creativity and stress less

2. Diet: Eat well – you’ll have greater physical, mental and emotional energy and be more focused. Knock artificial energizers and stimulants such as caffeine, V’s and alcohol and nicotine on the head (or at least limit your intake). For more energy and creativity up your intake of water, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, and B group vitamins.

3. Brainstorm: Unleash ideas you’ve been holding back and generate new ones you never knew you had by tapping into the creative power of brainstorming. Creating some pressure by setting a time limit of 5 minutes or setting a target of 20 new ideas can liberate new ideas and free up old patterns of thinking.

4. See your way to success: Visualization is the creation of a clear mental picture of your goals and life desires. Actively picture in your minds eye your desired outcomes. Imagine or “image” the goal as already realized is a powerful creative technique.

5. Collage: Collect images that capture your goals and aspirations. Preparing an image board or collage and placing it somewhere you will see everyday is a great way to affirm goals and ensure the life you desire is always at the forefront of your mind.

6. Normalise failure: Not allowing room for mistakes is one of the biggest barriers to creativity. Normalise failure by viewing setbacks or mistakes as part of the learning process. Reward yourself for having the courage to try.

7. Learn from the experts: Take a class or invest in some bibliotherapy and learn your way to success. The successes I have had with my art have definitely benefited from attending workshops with top artists like Max Gimblett, Megan Schmidt and Jane Kellahan. I’m doing the same with my writing – I’ve benefitted from great authors and teachers like Karl Englesias and Carol Hughes, and the success of romance authors like Robyn Donald and Daphne Clair and editors like Mary Buckham and Sherry Gottlieb.My photography skills received a major boost when I travelled to Puglia, Italy in 2014 for a workshop with inpirational Carla Coulson.  It’s always inspiring to learn off people who have a passion for what they do and do it well.

8. Collect feedback: boost your creative confidence by noticing what you do well. A good way to do this is to collect unsolicited feedback that you receive from others. I’ll share some of my recent feedback to show you what I mean – I have a special inspirational feedback journal  where I keep comments such as these:

Art

“I saw your beautiful pieces at Thorndon. I recognised them straightaway and loved them sooooooooo much. So did Heather!! They have a strong magnetic pull and for me I just adored them . I found myself in front of one ALL the time.

“I’ve been receiving your inspiring newsletters for some time now and wanted to let you know that I finally saw one of your paintings when my husband and I visited the Affordable Arts Show on Friday. I was busy admiring ‘Whole’ then recognised your name. After seeing your other art works on the website I felt I had to let you know how much I enjoyed them particularly the colours you use and your free flowing style. I would love to come along to your upcoming exhibition. Could you please send me more details nearer to the time?”

“I love it. I really love it.” – Megan Schmidt re abstract “Autumn”

and from the lovely man who brought my award winning Wai art piece love stain,” introducing the “Photographer” who fell in love with your Wai Art Award entry . . . . thank you, R”

All those comments and many more life them make the world of difference to me – it means people have connected with what I do and felt uplifted, happy and positive when my joyfully created works are around. Thanks to this feedback I continue down the path previously less travelled. I can’t encourage you enough to start collecting your own feedback too.”

I’ve done the same with my writing, photography and other creative pursuits. Keeping and reviewing feedback nourishes my creativity.
Writing

“It’s bloody blockbuster material, girl! Great characters, great plot, great conflict and tension and stakes that just keep racheting upwards.”

“I know I threw a lot at you and my greatest fear is that I stop a writer dead in their tracks. That would be horrible. But if I didn’t see the potential in your work and in your story — which is sheer brilliance – I wouldn’t push you so hard. Have fun with the revisions — I know you’ll do a great job!”

 

How this works in practice

If I didn’t take time out to think about my achievements and to replenish I wouldn’t have achieved a fraction of the things I have in my creative and artistic career. Recently I scheduled a block of time and took off to Fiji. Taking this time out helped me stress less and return to my normal life with greater resilience.

Having just purchased a new property, and all the stress that comes with buying and selling and moving etc I’m planning time out again. My soul needs it. By actively investing in myself and my creative skills I’m aiming to  came back super inspired and energized. I’m confident that, rather than push myself with self-imposed deadlines and expectations, by taking some time out I’ll be positively brimming with creative ideas and a whole new sense of joy and colorfulness will emerge in my work – both professional and creative.

So even though I’m not actively creativing right now I am proactively visualizing and planning my next creative journey. I’m collecting and adding photos  other inspiring images to my visual diary and passion journal  to help make my dreams more real. I did they same thing before I went to Maui in 2008 – the last time I felt truly creative following winning the Supreme Art Award and finalling in the The Adam Portrait Award that same year.

 

I’m looking forward to living with passion and creating with joy again and hope you are too. The world needs more happy people.

How to whip writers block and procrastination into shape – take the challenge!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

This month I’ve been taking part in NaNoWri challenge – 50, 000 words in a month, via the Harlequin site.

Never mind that I started late. I’m there now and clocking up words on my new idea for a romance novel.

Working with a group of like-minded people, even if they are all on-line, is incredibly, incredibly motivating and encouraging.

The other thing that works well for me is rewarding successes – and offering myself bribes.

My first bribe was a scented candle when I reached 10,000 words.

Now my next bribe will be a massage when I’ve made 20,000 words – only (she says optimistically) 6160 words to achieve this reward.

I’d like to achieve by the end of this NaNoWri challenge. So what with four days left that leaves 1540 words a day, maybe 770 in the mornings and the same in the evenings to pace myself. She says have devoured the eBook Daily Rituals (which is a brief analysis of some of the world’s best known and loved authors. A great read – very encouraging on so many levels.

I could stretch it to 25,000 then I’d achieve the huge psychological challenge of attaining the halfway mark to a completed book – but with only four days left and a lot happening in my personal life I don’t want to set myself up to fail.

What are your favourite ways of whipping writers block and/or procrastination into shape?

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