“I don’t think that fiction writing is for me.”
A lady at my local writers’ group said bitterly, with a hint of disappointment in her voice. She had been working on a novel for quite some time now, and upon being asked how that was going, her posture slumped and she admitted defeat.
Hearing her share with the group how challenging and not fun the whole experience was for her, I felt a really strong, clear nudge to tell her:
“Maybe it’s not that fiction writing is not for you. Maybe it’s still too soon to conclude that. It might just be that the way you’ve been writing so far doesn’t work for you and doesn’t bring you joy. Perhaps, there’s a different way. Be open to that possibility.”
She took in my suggestion, and then we all went away to do our own writing for about an hour.
When we came back for a check-in, she ran to see me and said, “Oh my god, you’re so right! I realize that the way I’ve been writing just makes it feel so difficult. I keep editing myself along the way. Then I feel that it’s just not getting anywhere. I realize I just gotta let it flow first.”
I see a glint of joy, a spark of hope in her eyes. I always love seeing this in others, or hearing it in their voice, when they’ve uncovered that there’s nothing wrong with them, and that writing is not a bad boy/ bad girl that they should stop dating.
When it’s not flowing, it’s not a sign that you should stop writing what you’ve been wanting to write. It’s just that there’s a much more enjoyable, natural, effortless way to write… a way that perhaps no one has told you, or you just didn’t think of.
This is the one thing I teach my clients and share in webinars and workshops over and over and over again. It is that there are two distinct stages to writing and you gotta know when you’re doing which. Otherwise it’ll feel exhausting and you’ll spend so much time sitting in front of the page yet feeling like your writing is not getting anywhere.
Self-editing takes all the joy out of writing. And I’m not saying that your book does not need editing I’m just saying there’s a place for everything, and when each activity is in its place, there’s tremendous flow and satisfaction.
So the next time, before you want to throw the towel in on that writing project and call it quits, before you’re attempted to conclude that writing is not for you or writing a certain genre is not for you, take a little pause. Be open to the possibility that there’s a different way to write that feels joyful, magical and effortless.
If you’re considering receiving support for writing the book of your soul and taking it all the way to completion, reach out to me at hello (at) soulofthesun.art and we’ll see how I can help you get your book written in the most soul-aligned way.