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Posts Tagged 'word by word'

Why Little By Little Is The Fastest Way to Finish a Book

Saturday, September 19th, 2020

 

 

“If you want to be a novelist, write. Everyday. Faithfully, serenely, and diligently. You have to want to write so badly that nothing, not jobs, not friends, not family, not TV or the movies will stop you. You want it so badly that you will not be deterred.”
~ John Dufresne

I’ve heard it said that resistance shows up when your closest finishing, but I actually find from experience that shows up all the time.  It’s the thought of sitting down to write that is often the hardest and less I just say just for today word by word I’ll just write one word or maybe two words or perhaps I’ll sit down in front of my computer just for an hour.

It sounds easy but it’s often not. Suddenly watching Netflix is more compelling or perhaps it’s a good time to phone a friend. Or perhaps I could just spare myself the pain and tell myself, “I don’t know what to write. I won’t even be able to finish. This book is not good. What am I thinking even starting such an ambitious project?”

Resistance often shows up when there is drama is around me and I convince myself that I have to sit down and peace and write. Gosh if only I had that luxury.

But if I am to make writing my career and not give in to the voices telling me to go looking for a job, sign onto the recruitment websites, go live with my mother, or some other dire remedy—I must show up and write.

If I feed fear and say ‘you’re never going to make it’ that just lowers my vibration and brings that intention into being.
So I just make a commitment to write small.

Like now I’m going to open my manuscript and my Scrivener file and just locate one chapter and see what I need to do to carry the story forward.

And then I open it up and my first thought is ‘gosh where do I start?’’ But I can just set the intention to start somewhere, anywhere, perhaps it’s somewhere I am interested in particularly. And, voila, the magic starts and I am in the story.

Right now I have gone to a scene about a character that I need to flesh out a little bit more detail on so that I can add some more texture to the scene. Little is good. Small steps mean I’m moving forward.

Before I know it I’m really into things and it’s hard to stop. This is what some people call flow. It’s like a meditation. You are just completely unconscious of all those fearful thoughts that ruminated in your mind and stopped you from turning up in the first place.

Nora Roberts once said, “A writer never finds the time to write. A Writer makes it. If you don’t have the drive, the discipline, and the desire, then you can have all the talent in the world, and you aren’t going to finish a book.”

You don’t have to know what you’re going to write. You just have to have the desire, the drive, and the discipline to show up and write word by word.

And now I’m feeling excited so if I can keep the momentum which I will, I already know what I want to write tomorrow.

That’s the gift of keeping on keeping on. I know that because I’m writing short. I’d like to write more description which I’ve just discovered in my research file and weave that into this one scene.

And it’s not that I had completely exhausted thinking about my more arresting financial problems. Or why my relationships always seem to have so much drama. Nor whether the orchids will flower.

Despite the doubt, it’s just that for now I’ve parked my worries and entered into the energy and excitement of the book.
Just knowing that finishing a book just takes a word followed by another word, followed by another word, can overcome the tremendous sense of overwhelm I and many of my students and other writers experience.

Writing can be a pressured, stressful, infuriating and thankless endeavour. We can load so much expectation on ourselves and take ourselves far too seriously. So here is another story I tell often.

A wonderful counsellor who I trained to be a Worklife Solutions Certified Life Coach recommended the book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, by Bruce Lipton.

Lipton is an American developmental biologist best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs.

In his book, he shares how he experienced a paradigm shift while at a conference. Back then, Lipton, like so many of us, didn’t fully realise the crucial role the subconscious mind plays in the change process.

“Instead, I relied mostly on trying to power through negative behaviour, using positive thinking and willpower. I knew, though, that I had had only limited success in making personal changes in my own life.

“I also knew that when I offered this solution, the energy in the room dropped like a lead balloon. It seems my sophisticated audiences had already tried willpower and positive thinking with limited success.”

Fate intervened for Lipton, as it did for me when I was guided to his book. So often life whispers to us, but we fail to tune in. In Lipton’s case, the messenger he needed to hear was sitting right next to him; psychotherapist Rob Williams, the creator of the self-help tool PSYCH-K, was presenting at the same conference.
“Rob’s opening remarks quickly had the entire audience on the edge of our seats. In his introduction, Rob stated that PSYCH-K can change long-standing, limiting beliefs in a matter of minutes,” Lipton wrote.
In his book The Biology of Belief, Lipton shares how, in less than 10 minutes, a woman paralysed by her fear of public speaking transformed into a confident, excited, and visibly relaxed person up on the stage. The transformation Lipton witnessed was so astounding, he has since used PYSCH-K in his own life.
“PSYCH-K has helped me undo my self-limiting beliefs, including one about not being able to finish my book,” Lipton wrote at the end of his book.

That struck a chord with me. I felt a thrill of excitement. Not a thrill, but a trill—a song deep in my heart. Lipton was like the Pied Piper and I was happy to follow. At the time, I had so many unfinished books and had published nothing.

A month after working with a PSYCH-K trained practitioner, I finished the first two books in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series. Soon after, I released my third, Midlife Career Rescue: Employ Yourself, followed quickly by a fourth book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

At the time of writing, I have since also published eleven romance books under my pen name, Mollie Mathews.
Now, you’re reading my thirtieth book—all completed within the last three years. All because, despite feeling sceptical (and a little vulnerable), I sought help to reprogram my mindset.

If traumatic memories or unhelpful beliefs are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, seeking help from a qualified practitioner with expertise in reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.

You may not need to see a therapist to move beyond self-limiting beliefs; but if you do, go and get help. There’s magic in that.
You can also learn from some of the most powerful, effective, and simple techniques used by practitioners working in the realm of positive psychology and mind reprogramming. This includes hypnosis—something you’ll discover later in this book.

This is not a bad line to have taped your writing desk:
“The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body.”

Talk to yourself in the kindest possible way. “Darling, you can do this. All we have to do is make a little bit of progress. It will be so much fun. Let’s write a description of a young art curator at a fancy museum who’s just discovered her biological father is the world’s most notorious art thief. Are you okay with that? We’re going to find something that will help us write that.

“That’s all we’re going to do for this present moment. We are just going to take this little by little, word by word. But we are going to finish this one short task.”

 

 

This has been an edited excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 COMING SOON

 

FREE GUIDED MEDITATION

 

Is writer’s block, procrastination or self-doubt holding you back? The cure may be as simple as shifting unhelpful beliefs. So often, we aren’t even aware of what our self-limiting beliefs are.
If your unhelpful thoughts are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.
Harness the power of your superconscious with this guided hypnosis meditation. Create the optimum state of mind for your writing or creative projects.
You’ll be subscribed to my newsletter and receive helpful tips and inspiration to live your best life. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Click here to receive your free guided hypnosis meditation—Creating An Optimum State of Mind>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/v3ul0lajve

Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Chapter one: Discipline

“There are no miracles. There is only discipline.”

Danielle Steel

How does a book get finished? Word by word. Some authors write quickly. For others, the words form more slowly. A writer may take five years, 10 years, a lifetime to finish their book. Others right quickly in a matter of weeks and months. However long it takes the answer is always the same. The work gets finished one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time.

As long as you are moving forward is all that counts. Every day you do not write your ideas are dying on the vine.

For some writers, committing to a daily tally of words, or time spent at the keyboard works for them. Others need publishing deadlines. I have often self-imposed this time-bound pressure by creating a pre-order for any self-published books. You are reading such a book now. The deadline is looming. I must upload the final manuscript within 13 days. Lucky thirteen? You’ll be the judge of that. And I will too. But I know it’s not luck that finishes a book, it’s discipline. The challenge is greatest when writing without a deadline or a dream of finishing.

Whether a carrot or the stick works for you, the effort is always the same.  It is the discipline of showing up. “Show up, show up,” encourages Isabel Allende, “and then the muse shows up too.”

A mindset of procrastination is less about the failure to manage time, it’s actually a failure to manage your energy. Because we only procrastinate when we are in a jitney telling ourselves, “it’s too hard”, or “we can’t”, or “it’s no good” Add a layer of “I can’t write,” I’m too tired.” “Tomorrow I will be better,” and we’ve baked ourselves a failure cake. Perfectionism and her twin brothers Resistance and Fear will keep us starving.

Feed your muse. Woo her. Tell her, “I  will show you my love, I will do this one thing.” Whatever it is. Character is action, and we must be the characters we want our muse to love. We must show our commitment, our devotion, our discipline to love our muse in sickness and in health. Love weathers all storms.

Bale Syder, an American screenwriter, consultant, author and teacher reminds me life it too short to continue to procrastinate. I tell myself I am willing to write badly just to get the work done. Through his Save the Cat trilogy of books on screenwriting and story structures, became one of the most popular writing mentors in the film industry. He accomplished so much, yet, aged 52, died too young

Blake’s Last Blog on August 3, 2009, is a call to love. “The most important thing to do is to love what you’re doing. That way, getting better at it isn’t a struggle, it’s a pleasure.”

You know the saying, Out of sight, out of mind.” My one thing right now is to open up my laptop and take a look at my manuscript. To fall in love again, I need to be with my words.

Over lunch, my one thing was to look at one of my research books. This helped me get into the energy of the book. Love is energy—one of the highest vibrations on earth. I am writing again. We don’t have to make it difficult for ourselves. Discipline doesn’t have to be painful

Yesterday my one thing was to look through some of my notes and to follow up on a lead. I felt the excitement return. The passion return. The obsession return. I felt love.

Writing a book is like lovingly nurturing your garden. If we don’t prepare the soil, sow the seeds, fertilize the plants, if we ignore and neglect the joy of the bountiful crop that awaits, eventually rot sets in. All the weeds strangle over future joy. In their place a tangled mess of hate.

“So what are we missing? Ah, yes! My favorite! The subject we haven’t discussed, not overtly anyway, is that part of the process that is invisible — that part of “hitting the wall” that, like the hero of every good story, requires you to “dig, deep down” and find the inner strength that goes beyond the material world, that part of tapping into the big picture in which you too are touched by something you’ve heard of, but maybe don’t believe in. Yet,” writes Blake in Save the Cat! Strikes Back.

In eleven weeks it will be my birthday. In 11 weeks why couldn’t I finish my book? The book that has taken me 10 years to write. I can embrace the joy of finishing. “How?” you ask. Dear friend, follow me to the next chapter.

 

 

 This has been an excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 Available soon

free guided hypnosis meditation

Is writer’s block, procrastination or self-doubt holding you back? The cure may be as simple as shifting unhelpful beliefs. So often, we aren’t even aware of what our self-limiting beliefs are.

If your unhelpful thoughts are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.

Harness the power of your superconscious with this guided hypnosis meditation. Create the optimum state of mind for your writing or creative projects.

You’ll be subscribed to my newsletter and receive helpful tips and inspiration to live your best life. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Click here to receive your free guided hypnosis meditation—Creating An Optimum State of Mind>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/v3ul0lajve

 

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You might like:

 Word by word…you can write a whole book that way!

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

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Breakfasts, lockdown, and breaking the procrastination virus

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

 

 

 

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.”

~ Coco Chanel

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.”

~ Coco Chanel

I know I set out to tell you every single thing I know about writing, but I’m also going to tell you every single thing I know about breakfast, partly because the dynamics and disruptions are so similar.

I am tempted to find everything that takes me from my writing as a distraction. This morning I resented being pulled away by my partner who was happy, and in a good mood and wanted to make breakfast for me. He wanted us to go together into the garden and pick fresh guavas from the tree.

‘So what’s the problem?’ I hear you ask. The problem was—if I chose to see it that way, which I did at the time—that I was in full creative flow. Stopping for breakfast was the last thing I felt like doing.  My writing was being fed. My writing was being nourished.  My writing was chomping down, after days of famine, on a plate full of porridge.

The last thing I wanted to do was to be dragged kicking and screaming to my highchair and fed. I was happy. I was productive. I was writing.

I had to do a quick mindset shift, or rather I chose to, because I don’t want to be a lonely isolated, unloved writer. “But we love your books,” I hear you say. “You are the queen of uplifting inspiration.” 

I am not unloved, but I want to share my life with an actual person. One that makes breakfast for me!

I know with Lorenzo in by my side life it is a lot, lot easier. It’s a lot, lot easier to do my work. Well sometimes.

The encounter and my mood that day challenged me to reprioritize what is truly important.  As I wrote in The Art of Success: Coco Chanel, she once said,

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.

Chanel shared that one of her biggest regrets is that she didn’t spend more time devoting herself to love—instead she chased the wrong dream. She died a rich and lonely woman, by herself in The Ritz.

So I affirmed to myself, “This is good. This is fine. This is time to be together and nourish my mind.”

Later as we ate together my king said, “That should put more lead in your pencil.” And it’s true. Having a loving partner and eating good food should not be seen through the lens of distractions. Instead, it should be rejoiced as fuel for our creative soul. I write more about this in The Happy, Healthy Artist.

There are greater, more dangerous demons, masquerading as distractions.

Distractions are also created by multi-tasking, emails and other demands. Even seemingly reasonable requests like my king suggesting today I should create a blog about working from home.

It’s not an unreasonable idea. Especially as I write this chapter and the whole world is in lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis.  His suggestion may even be a salable idea. But I don’t want to write about working from home.  I want to write about creative unblocking. And then I want to create some art and put into practice what I’m sharing with you.

So here’s the thing that worked for me today. I have to say it’s a beautifully simple and effective strategy, but it’s also one I actually haven’t been doing.  I just simply said to myself, “I am in lockdown from 2 to 4 and I am not to be distracted.”

I took myself to a non-distractive place, which was sitting outside in the garden. And I wrote.  In this case, it was dictating into my manuscript something I had handwritten during a restless night of insomnia.  Dictating is the perfect strategy when you feel blocked because actually you have something you can do. You can just engage the other side of your brain and put some flesh on the bones.

That’s not to say I wasn’t tested. The thing about working from home is there are always distractions.  Especially when your home is a 10-acre property and you live with a perfectionist.  The wonderful thing about my perfectionist is that there is not a blade of grass out of place and everything is manicured—perfectly.

It’s a beautiful serene non-chaotic place to create.  The truth is that when I feel everything is getting messy and chaotic, it does my head in to be surrounded in mayhem. I find it hard to focus.

When my king approached my little locked-down bubble of writing mirth in the garden later that day and told me he was going to spray some weeds between business calls I felt guilty. I should be doing some housekeeping and cleaning. I should be helping!

My intention to be in lock-down from 2 to 4 protected me.  I just took a little mind spa break and I did a micro clean in 10 minutes which cleansed eyestrain and mental overload and mopped away any guilt. The old, non-quarantined me might have mopped the floors, cleaned windows or dusted with procrastination whip until I had cleaned the whole damned house.

But no, I had an important appointment.  I had a non-negotiable time blocked out in my calendar. And it felt great. Empowering. Freeing. But  I doubt it would’ve felt so great if I was hungry, famished, my blood sugar levels plummeting because I hadn’t eaten breakfast.

 

This is an edited extract of Word By Word by Cassandra Gaisford

Available for pre-order soon!

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