The 7 Secrets of becoming a better writer
Do you feel like you’re stuck when it comes to writing? Maybe you write variations of the same story over and over again or struggle to get out of the box, emotionally and creatively?
Here are 7 secrets to becoming a better writer - and finding your creative inspiration and flow:
Secret 1: Give yourself Permission
Writing, like all creativity, is our birthright. In order to show up to the page consistently, you must give yourself permission to write. To write what can only be expressed by and through you and your unique voice. You have the right to write.
Not only that, you must give yourself permission to show up exactly as you are — be that motivated and full of joy, or empty and with resistance. You are not going to “feel” like writing everyday. Once you can give yourself permission to write from the place you are in, you will be able to show up more consistently and allow yourself to explore new ideas and ways of writing.
Secret 2: Writing requires kindness, compassion & generosity
Writing flourishes in a climate of encouragement, kindness, compassion and generosity. Be kind to yourself, to your writing and the writing process.
Are you willing to suspend the inner critic and extend kindness towards yourself and your writing? — It is in these conditions that resistance can dissolve and we can tend to our writing with ease and flow.
Secret 3: Focus on the process, not on the result
When we focus on the process, rather than the result, we can leave our inner critic at the door. We remove the pressure to come up with something “original” or clever, and instead give ourselves the space and time we need to show up. When we focus on the process, we can drop deeply into what is present in the moment and engage with whatever writing wants to come through us. This is the place that true creative inspiration comes from.
Secret 4: Writers thrive in community!
Contrary to the myth of the lonely writer, when we write in community we can find new levels of inspiration, solace, camaraderie, support and encouragement. We can learn from one another, share experiences and hold each other accountable to show up and simply write — whatever needs or wants to be written at this moment.
Held by a group, difficult work that has been avoided for a long time (a cover letter, a particular chapter, website content etc.) can suddenly be faced and completed.
Don’t buy into the idea of the lonesome, desolate, ‘mad’ or eternally broke writer. We can, and should, grow and thrive as writers in community!
You might want to check out our beautiful WILD WRITE COMMUNITY or my 12-week Writing from the Body programme.
Secret 5: Writing requires presence, stillness and concentration
In order to write, we must first ‘hush our minds’ as creativity coach Eric Maisel reminds us. Having a ritual or container to hold your writing process, can allow you to show up and be present, while letting go of the distractions of the day.
This might look like:
Having a dedicated space that you go to write
Creating a ritual that you do each time you sit down to write, like lighting a candle or some incense
Simply taking some deep breaths and tuning into your body before you begin
Joining a writing group where you have a dedicated time and space to show up, sit down and write
By creating a habit and ritual for yourself every time you show up to write, will over time build a very strong container to hold you in the writing process.
Secret 6: Writing is an intimate act
Writing requires us to be honest with ourselves, to listen and to allow emotions to surface. This can be nerve-wracking at first, especially if we have challenges going on in our lives that are bringing up difficult emotions. But the secret is that it is exactly these emotions where true creativity and inspiration will flow from.
This is why steps 1 & 2 are so important. We need to first give ourselves permission, compassion and kindness, in order to let our true feelings surface.
How intimate can you allow yourself to be with yourself, with your writing and with others?
Can you become and stay intimate with your writing? Can you hear it out?
Can you sit in the dark, the unknown with your writing? Breathe with it?
Some writing will only reveal itself if you settle, listen and stay with it that bit longer.
Secret 7: Writing feeds our wild nature and soul
Often, in order to live a well and ‘wholesome’ life, we strive for balance. However, sometimes we can end up losing our adventurous spark, become too domestic or stuck in our comfort zone. This can happen in our writing too — it can become too controlled, domesticated or tame.
Allow yourself to venture out of your comfort zone. Ask yourself the question — what makes me feel truly alive?
This may look like getting out in nature, doing something you’ve been scared to do, or allowing yourself the time and space to feel into any emotions you might have pushed away.
One writing practice that can help release your wild nature is free-writing/ stream of consciousness writing after you have engages with something physical before: dancing, swimming, breathwork, love making…. Come to the page for a set amount of time and let your body write the words through you in flow, without thought about the content.
As creatives, we need to give our wild nature and soul space to breathe and roam free. It is important that we embrace our wild nature, to not only feed our writing, but to feed our soul.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” — Rumi