Not More Writers Block?
Well, I don’t know it is writer’s block, it is something, and it was eating me up.
We’ll call it Writers Block or I’ll never get started!
First, I’ll share with you the two books that got me going again.
One is by Tim Grahl, and it is called ‘Running Down A Dream‘ and the other one is Start Finishing by Charlie Gilkey.
The other thing to help you is, of course, to welcome you to one of our weekly Write Clubs here in London.
Write Club is free, fair and alive:
RSVP for Thursday in Mile End here
RSVP for Friday in Old Street here
And of course, like I said last week a year from now, you’ll wish you started today!
What Went Wrong?
Like a lot of you in Write Club, I am motivated to write and think about it all the time.
But often I do so little actual work the writing part is a fantasy life I have when I’m not doing something else in the rest of my life.
And in the last few weeks, I’d got to the point, again, where I was going mad.
And I don’t mean silly chirpy mad; I mean puking in the bathroom anxiety type mad.
Before you get too concerned I’ve been here before and know how to navigate out of it, these days it is something that happens when I whip myself into a frenzy and overthink things.
What does harm me is that my thinking grinds to a halt and the enjoyment of making connections between things and hammering a keyboard to make stuff happens evaporates.
Interestingly I’ve noticed this is the time I start looking for new project tools or looking up ex-partners or ‘could have been’ on facebook – luckily I’ve got Rescue Time set at full lockdown for times like this.
I get stopped and worry that I’ve got stopped and as a fully self-propelled freelancer if I stop the money stops too.
How Do Those Books Help You?
I found Tim Grahl, and ‘Running Down A Dream‘ because I was reading his other book ‘Selling Your First 1000 Copies’ after I’d been pulled into a project by a team I’m part of to help market a book.
And, as you are reading this you probably will want to market a book I’d recommend flicking through ‘Your First 1000 Copies’ to get going early, the key idea is to have an email list, then it goes into more detail.
Tim’s clients are people like Dan Pink, Hugh MacLeod, Chip and Dan Heath, Pamela Slim and around eighty other authors and his book ‘Running Down A Dream‘ is about how he got so stuck writing a book even after he’d worked with all of these people marketing their books!
So back to the chase.
I’d read Tim’s book before, I love reading books about writing, and Tim’s popped up in my audiable.com feed after I’d devoured all of the Steven Priestfield ones. But reading it this time was different, I deeply connected with his despair, depression and self-hatred of being stuck both writing and working for himself.
He used a tool like Rescue Time to track the work on his computer and was flawed at what it reported, time spent on facebook, time spent playing computer games and so forth.
Where does time go every day? Later in the book, it all goes wrong again! And this time the cruel part is he is doing everything right!
And this is where I pulled in a little closer to listen; this is what most of 2019 has been like for me, doing it all right and not quite getting there.
Not Quite Getting There
Look, my life is trickly, but I love it. What I don’t like is being stuck, and Tim’s book somehow made my life off the lid of Bernie and looked more in-depth than I had before.
There are places in my creative pursuits where I am lying to myself every day, where I am hoping it will work or, even worse, hoping the work will get done by magic.
Then by magic, Charlie Gilkey showed up on my radar. I’ve been following Charlie on and off for five years now, he taught webinars for Copyblogger.com and also has an insanely useful downloadable planner PDF planner that encourages you to write out your goals, projects and tasks every day.
The best part about this planner is after a few days you realise how much complete crap you are doing concerning your stated goals!
I knew Charlie’s book was on the way, and it arrived just in time! Charlie has a knack of explaining the creative process, the drab practical reality and the pain and emotion of the journey all in one hit without making you want to leap off a cliff.
I sat down in my kitchen and very first thing in the morning and walked around my home when everyone was asleep listening intently.
The headline is this:
I was trying to do too much and was pulling myself in too many directions, and worst of all I’d chosen this life! It was all self-inflicted!