As summer draws to a close, you are likely returning to a familiar schedule. It may be that you have taken a break from your creative projects. Perhaps you are feeling disconnected from your vision, the spark of inspiration that got you started in the first place. If this is happening to you, there are three steps to sustain creative routines to get back on track.
Step One: Return to your Big Why. Recall the inspiration that prompted you to begin, the reasons you started your project. Take time to review and respond to these guiding questions as your first step to get back on track:
- What prompted you to being writing your [memoir] [blog] [essay]?
- What important life lessons do you want to share with a specific audience?
- What personal growth will accompany your manuscript development?
No matter who your audience is, or what genre, keep returning to your Why and dig deeper each time. One of my writing mentors teaches, “When you know your Big Why, the How will always arrive with ease.” So, if you find that you are stuck on “how will I ever get this done”, the answers will arrive when you’re deeply connected to your Why.
Step Two: Reverse Engineer your manuscript. Fall time is perfect for reviewing our calendars for the rest of the year. Is there a course you want to take? A subject you want to study? A group you would like to join? A manuscript you want to complete? Take time to make decisions about how you will allocate your time and resources. One practical suggestion for completing creative projects is to “reverse engineer.” This means looking ahead to your completion date and working backwards, blocking time on your calendar for each stage towards getting to “The End.” Detailed calendar work in late summer/ early September is a great way to align your energy, to sustain your desire to complete a body of work by the end of the year.
Step Three: Consider connecting with other writers for support. Not everyone works best in isolation. For example, when I spend too much time on my own, the volume of my inner critic gets louder, and critical messages are harder to ignore. My critical voice likes to say things like: “You don’t have anything important to say,” “Who will ever read this drivel?,” or my most recent version, “Why bother?” I suspect you have experienced some version of critical messages that stop your creative flow in its tracks. Perhaps you are feeling stalled out as you read this. Keep reading! There are ways to counteract the critic!
Many creatives have benefitted from my small group writing programs, where we write together and share our words within a respectful setting. Knowing that you have a writing group waiting to hear samples of your latest writing is motivating and builds accountability. Group members support every stage of the process, including times when no new writing is being produced. Within the circle, deep friendships form, and we celebrate every small step that brings you closer to your desired goal. When it is time for a book launch, the author has established a network that can help get the word out. Everyone wins.
Whatever writing project you have underway, you can get things done more quickly, with more ease and fun, by joining one of my writing groups. Here are some ways to reshape your creative routine with me in the fall:
- Creative Focus Sessions (free hour-long drop-in sessions where everyone works on projects independently; very energizing and supportive). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive our monthly schedule.
- Building Your First Draft (new group starts October 4)
- 1-1 mentoring support – technical support, document reviews, suggestions for next steps, and taming the inner critic. To set up a free discovery session with Marie click here.
As I wrote about in my previous post, we’re hosting a special 2-part series about Indie Publishing with special guest teacher, Sarah Kades Graham. Start preparing for your publishing journey now!
Indie Publishing 101: How to Successfully Publish Your Book – Best-selling hybrid author Sarah Kades Graham unpacks indie publishing in this two-part series. If you’re getting ready to share your writing with your audience, this is the place to receive practical industry advice and determine your next steps to publishing success. If you’ve been wondering how to best use your resources to get your book into the right hands for publishing, join us and find out!