Wouldn't it be wonderful if whenever your book writing stalled, whether through procrastination or "writer's block," you could simply pull out a piece of paper that had a Magic Formula on it--written just for you--that would help jump start your writing, again? Well, I'm going to show you how to create your own Magic Formula that will help you break through any writing issue or block you may have.
Study Your Writing Habits
The first step in creating a Magic Formula powerful enough to banish procrastination and blast through writers' block is to identify the specific thoughts, feelings, and actions that help open up your creativity and inspire writing in flow, and those that get in the way of your creative process.
To do this, pick a period of time to study your writing habits. It could be a week, 10 days, or a month--the longer the better. For this period of time, it's important to:
- have a notepad by your side when you write
- journal every evening (or as often as you can)
When writing, or reflecting back on your day and journaling, be aware of and write down what thoughts, feelings, and actions:
- encourage you to sit down and write
- help you keep going when other ideas or interests try to pull you away, or you feel like giving up
- motivate you to push through to a deeper level of creativity and writing
Be as specific as you can.
On the flip side, be aware of and write down what thoughts, feelings, and actions:
- seem more important (or immediate) than writing and entice you to stop writing or to put it off
- get you so frustrated that you stop writing or change projects mid-stream
- have you feeling "not good enough" to write or submit your work
Be as specific as you can.
At the end of the month (or whatever period of time you choose) you'll have a detailed map of your writing life.
The next step is to go through your notes and journal entries, and pull out all the specific details you have about what helps and what hinders your writing. Make a list of each with your favorite writing encouragers or discouragers on top.
Once this is done, I want you to do two things:
- Keep the list of everything that helps and encourages you nearby whenever you write.
- Take the list of what gets in your way and create a "Magic Formula" for each item.
Your Personal Magic Formula for Writing Success!
Begin your Magic Formula by saying, "Whenever I think, feel, or do this (what gets in your way)... I'm going to think, feel, or do this instead (its positive opposite or whatever would help you in this situation), BECAUSE... (your experience of how the positive thought, feeling, or action helps you or what it inspires you to feel).
For instance... if you want to write, but have trouble getting yourself to sit down and start when you don't feel inspired (and you often don't feel inspired), then create a Magic Formula that looks something like this:
- Whenever I want to write, but don't feel inspired, I'm going to WRITE ANYWAY for 15 minutes because when I do, the act of writing, itself, opens the flow of inspiration within me almost every time.
The last part is what's called your "why." It's very important because just saying "when this happens, I'm going to do that instead" can feel like a rule, like something you SHOULD do, which often only inspires resistance. Adding the positive "why" changes it into something you WANT to do. It gives you a reason to feel hopeful and believe success is possible. Defining your "why" is often what makes the difference between spending your time dancing with procrastination or wrestling with writer's block, and actually writing your book.
Let me know how your Magic Formulas are working for you.