Top 5 Ways to Actually Show Up at the Page

Top 5 Ways to Actually Show Up at the Page

I've been working with writers (and writing long enough myself) to know that there are all kinds of hurdles to sitting down to write. You probably don't need me to elaborate. If you've ever struggled to make time, make use of the time you have, or create more space for writing in your life, then you know what I'm talking about.

The truth is, making time to write doesn't have to be that complicated.

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How I know you can trust the writing process and yourself to follow through.

How I know you can trust the writing process and yourself to follow through.

As a coach, I often find myself making suggestions that go against the grain of conventional writing advice.

You don't have to write every day.
Write the book you want to write, not the one you think will sell.
Write to find out what happens, not because you know what happens.


Yet as unconventional as these ideas might be, I trust them wholeheartedly.

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One of my favorite tools to write more and feel better about writing.

One of my favorite tools to write more and feel better about writing.

When I was in graduate school, I sometimes sat in front of my lap top (usually in bed because I never could write at a desk) and felt the frustration build. I didn't know what happened next and I needed to know so I could turn in my assignment!

In those days, the way I felt about my writing dictated how it went. If I felt clear and focused, I got things done without a hitch. When I wasn't so sure or doubted my abilities, the only thing that kept me going was a good deadline. 

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How I keep disappointment in perspective.

How I keep disappointment in perspective.

As a writing coach, I've seen the heartbreak of writing up close. 

I know. We don't talk about that part of the process very often, but here's what it can look like:

  • You share your manuscript with a friend and they return it, saying they couldn't get past the first three chapters and failing to offer any helpful advice

  • Your award-winning manuscript gets rejected by agents

  • You feel like you've been writing forever, and you STILL haven't finished your book or landed an assignment

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Finding your way by understanding the life cycle of a piece.

Finding your way by understanding the life cycle of a piece.

Do you ever find yourself thinking something like the following? My first draft isn't very good, and it's nothing like the story I imagined. Getting feedback to my writing, even thoughtful input, is hard to take. And what the heck am I doing, given the way I have no idea how to finish what I've started?

You're not alone.

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Feeling frustrated with your writing progress? I invite you to shift your focus.

Feeling frustrated with your writing progress? I invite you to shift your focus.

Do you ever feel disappointed or frustrated with your writing? Maybe you feel like you should be further in your writing project.

In my work as a writing coach I talk to a lot of writers who express a similar frustration. Some of them go so far as to apologize to me for not having it figured out by now, as if I would be disappointed in them.
 

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A peek inside my writing process - rough drafts and revisions

A peek inside my writing process - rough drafts and revisions

When I was home from college, I'd sit at my childhood desk with a blank piece of paper before me, trying to come up with the perfect first sentence for a story. I didn't even know what I wanted to write, but I felt like the perfect first sentence was the key to getting started.

Under that kind of pressure, I didn't get very far. Now I know better.

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Haven't been writing? One simple way to get back to the page.

Haven't been writing? One simple way to get back to the page.

Has it been awhile since you’ve shown up to the page? Do you feel like you’re circling your writing? Thinking about it more than you’re actually doing it?

I know the struggle to begin writing is real, and the longer you’ve been away from the page, the harder it is to begin.

The good news is you can make it easier. Watch my video below or at this link, or keep reading.

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Ever find it hard to trust the writing process? You're not alone.

Ever find it hard to trust the writing process? You're not alone.

There are moments in writing when you have to decide what to do next, but you don't know what kind of outcome you'll get. Will the thing you decide to do actually work?

It can make the writing process so uncomfortable. The joy and happiness of showing up at the page transform into uncertainty, doubt, or worry. I see it often in writers, and it makes me think of "hand ringing."

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