Support to Overcome Writer's Resistance

Today, a special post about getting writing done rather than marketing your writing. To begin, tell me a little about yourself. As a writer, how many of these have you experienced in the past two years? You can use the checkboxes to keep track. They're not storing anything anywhere.

Never finding the time to write
Making the time but not writing
Dreaming of writing but never getting started
Starting but never finishing
Starting but never finishing that one particular piece
Thinking you can do it without help
Thinking you're beyond help
A love/hate relationship with your writing
Focusing on unhelpful negative feedback and ignoring positive feedback
Focusing on positive feedback and ignoring helpful negative feedback
Wanting to write deep but writing shallow
Writing for others instead of yourself
Writing for money but not treating it like a business
Reading about writing instead of writing
Seeking out feedback before you're ready
Seeking out the wrong level of feedback
Ongoing health challenges like
    Unexplained fatigue (physical or mental)
    Mysterious illness (a neverending or recurring cold or flu)
    Injuries (constant little accidents)
    Addiction of any kind (substance, activities, self-destructive habits)

How many did you check?

Is it more than zero? (If it's zero, I'd love to hear about that.)

Otherwise, that's Resistance.

In the past 11 years I've written 20 books and 200 songs. I checked 17 boxes. SEVENTEEN.

I'm facing Resistance.

You're facing Resistance.

Resistance? What's That?

According to Steven Pressfield in his seminal work The War of Art Resistance is the mental and emotional pushback we feel when we expose ourselves by creating something. It is our unconscious mind protecting us from the "danger" of emotional vulnerability. It manifests in all the ways in that checklist above, and more.

Resistance is a bully. It will stand in your way and stop you. It will knock you down and hurt you, emotionally, even physically.

Resistance strikes nonfiction and fiction authors alike. (Memoirists, are you hearing me?) Writing a business book is still a creative endeavor and will expose you to fear.

It will stop you from writing using the tools you checked off in that list above.

It's Not Just You & I

“I was ashamed. I have spent a good many years since—too many, I think—being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who as ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent.”

“. . . in my heart I stayed ashamed. I kept hearing Miss Hisler asking why I wanted to waste my talent, why I wanted to waste my time, why I wanted to write junk.”

Who was this loser?

Stephen King. Stephen 350 million books sold King.

This is a quote from his On Writing which, although not precisely instructional, is the most inspiring book I’ve read when it comes to staying the course as a writer.

This is the quote that gave me my writing life back. (Ask me about that story someday.)

Our innate desire to have our work accepted can lead to problems if we put what others believe about our "God-given talent" ahead of what we need to write. It's one of many ways Resistance twists natural feelings into quicksand.

What's a Writer to Do?

You cannot defeat Resistance once and move on. It's part of our mental and emotional makeup. You can, though, make it irrelevant. Note that I don’t say ignore it because you can’t ignore a bully. But if you defuse them, do things to take away their power, they are no longer a threat. Like the bully at school (or, frankly, in the office) they still show up every day. But we don't have to keep giving them our lunch money.

Being a writer is hard. You don’t have to do this alone.

Too many writers are facing the emotional struggle to write without the support they need. After years of writing about it, I’ve created a forum to help writers and artists deal with writer’s Resistance.

It’s not going to be a collective moan-fest or even chat-fest. Instead, it's a guided learning environment, a community of writers making a safe place for some “you’re not alone” emotional support. It will also cover practical and actionable tools and processes to get you writing and keep you writing.

Membership is $5 per month or only $25 for the whole year. Questions? Comments? Shout 'em out below and I'll answer every one.

Best Times to Post on Social Media: Rules vs Principles vs Reality

There is no "best time to post" on any social media.

Any study that claims to reveal the perfect time to post on any social media platform is, instead, revealing the mathematical results of an algorithm they used to calculate certain (possibly beneficial) outcomes at one particular moment in time, for some general group of posters.

No one can possibly tell you when the bulk of your followers and potential followers will be ready to receive your message. There is no calculation to allow one post to be carefully planned to accomplish more than some other post.

Here's what works: consistent persistent personal relevant content.

Always has. Always will. No trickery or algorithms needed.

Update

An article by the social media management tool company Buffer makes the same point with more specifics.

How Do You Get the Conversation Started in Social Media Networks?

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Ask engaging questions
  • Use humor
  • Ask for tips

How do you get the conversation going on social media?

 

How Do You Get the Conversation Started in Social Media Networks?

Tips for Using Google+

Google logoOne of the main social media networks is Google+. Google+ has 300 million monthly active users. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of using Google+ for your social media marketing and your virtual assistant business.

  • Use hashtags. They can be used the same way you use them in Twitter and will help your posts get found and notice. Google+ is now automatically adding a hashtag to many posts but you want to choose appropriate ones for your posts as well.
  • Format text in your posts. I just learned you can add an asterisk (*) before and after a word or phrase to make it bold. You can use an underscore (_) before and after a word or phrase to make it italic. And you can use a dash (-)  before and after a word or phrase to strike through text. In other words, *this* become this, and _this_ becomes this and -this- becomes this!
  • Create a great cover image. There is a lot of real estate available in the cover image area to promote you and your business. Don't just use the default image. Create something visually appealing that tells visitors what you can do for them.
  • Use photos. Be sure to use photos in your posts. You can also add video and create  events. Photos catch people's eyes and increase the chances of your post being noticed.
  • Add more connections. You want to grow your circle of influence by adding more connections. Go to People and search for people you may know. If you are a Gmail user, click on Gmail contacts. Suggestions will come up based on your Gmail contacts. Just click add and add these connections to the appropriate list.
  • Check out What's hot. Click on What's hot and you'll be taken to a page showing you what the current popular posts and topics are. There will also be suggestions on Communities you may want to join and other people you may want to follow.

Do you have any tips to share on using Google+? Please share them here! You can also connect with me on Google+ here. 

8 Tips for Your Facebook Fan Page

8 Tips for Your Facebook Fan Page1. Interaction with fans will increase the likelihood of your posts showing up in that fan’s newsfeed.

2. Encourage people to:

  •  Like your posts
  •  Comment on your posts
  •  Share your posts

3. End your post asking your readers to comment and share with their network.

4. Ask fans to “Tell me how you feel…”

5. Share something about yourself and ask your fans to share something about themselves as well.

6. Encourage fans to ask questions and then be sure to answer them.

7. Ask your fans questions. Questions that ask ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘should’ are more successful at engaging readers than asking ‘why.’

8. Use images to attract your reader’s eye and compel them to read your post.