Writer RX for 5 Common Complaints



Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just open your medicine cabinet and find a quick fix for Fear, Low Self-Esteem, Rejection, Time Wasting, and Writer’s Block?


Keep in mind that I am not a doctor, but I am a writing muse, which grants me an automatic “license” to share what has worked for me:


Fear

Like writing good stories, courage is an ability that all writers must develop. It takes courage to study the world and write what you see and hear. It takes courage to follow your heart and write your truth. You need courage every single time you pick up that pen or sit at that computer, braving the possibility of anger or retaliation for whatever you wish to express. These are the risks we must accept if our intention is to write to be read.


Prescription: Write a plan to take positive action when you receive negative reviews and critiques.


Low Self-Esteem

How many times have you thrown up your hands in defeat because you didn't believe in yourself?


Whenever I've needed a dose of self-confidence, I'll grab my yellow color therapy glasses for some instant empowerment. The color helps me keep my sunny side up—no matter what!


Prescription: Write a letter to yourself from the future that encourages you to never give up.


Rejection

You see rejections as big, red signs that scream, Stop! I’m a failure, but they’re not. Rejections are merely temporary roadblocks, so observe them but don’t let them deter you from reaching your destination.


Prescription: Write a plan to take positive action when you receive negative reviews and critiques.


Time Wasting

Once you’ve made the commitment to stop wasting time, I suggest you keep a daily writing schedule. A time log is simply a chart where you write the starting time and ending time of each activity you do throughout the day, including your writing.


But maybe you’re sitting there thinking of 101 reasons why a writing schedule won’t work in your particular case. What if you have a houseful of kids? A demanding spouse? Or a friend or family member who’s always calling? Well, these are certainly distractions, but if you don’t set up some very firm and realistic boundaries, I guarantee your writing will suffer.


You are a writer. You need to make the time to write, whether it’s for 10 minutes a day or 10 hours a week. So unless there is a dire emergency, ignore the distractions—no matter who or what they are—and keep that pen moving!


Prescription: Write affirmations to remind you to establish a time log and keep your boundaries.


Writer's Block

So maybe you’re stuck. Maybe you’re not in the mood to write or maybe you don’t think you have anything worthwhile to say.


Whenever you're faced with a blank mind, simply get up from your chair and go observe something. Not just a glance but a thorough examination, as if you're seeing it for the first time.


Study a painting. Your cats. A fir tree. The inside of your refrigerator. The Oriental rug in your living room.


Reading a book or watching a news report can help stimulate ideas, too. And so can listening, like listening to music. Listen to your heartbeat. Listen to the conversations of others.


Prescription: Take a walk, then write about something you heard, smelled or tasted.


* * *


Should all else fail, there is an “over-the-counter” method you might try and you won’t even need a pen or paper. Can you guess what it is?


Laugh and play.


Life is way too serious, so put on your “clown nose” and devote some time each day to having fun. Your Inner Child — and your writing self— will thank you.



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