I’ve been working on several pretty big writing projects lately. One of these projects is Love On El Camino, where Eric and I are documenting our recent two month hike across France and Spain. This project has specifically taught me that, no matter how much you love writing, or how often you write, it is always a struggle. You will face resistance throughout.
It’s easy to look at people who write often, or who are well known writers, and assume that it’s easier for them. But that’s just not the case. In fact, I just read that Elizabeth Gilbert had writers block for a full year after publishing “Eat, Pray, Love”. No one is immune to writing struggles.
No matter who you are, what you write, or how often you write, sometimes it comes naturally, and sometimes it’s like pulling teeth.
There’s no magic formula to make those struggles disappear and never return. Instead you have to make the choice to push through those blocks. Getting your writing and stories into the world is rewarding. It’s worth the pain and tears.
If you’ve found yourself struggling to write lately, here are a few of the tricks I use to tackle the struggles head on:
Turn off your distractions.
That writing is not going to happen as long as you are stalking all the friends you’ve lost contact with on Facebook. And refreshing Facebook every second, won’t lead to any ah-ah moments. My favorite tool to turn off distractions is Self-Control. Download and use it.
Block off time to write.
If you want to write on a regular basis, schedule dates/times with your laptop in your calendar. Whatever you do, don’t stand your laptop up! Write, even when you think you don’t have the words to write. Write no matter how you are feeling. One tool I love using to create a daily writing habit is Habit Forge. I especially love that you have to set a punishment for yourself if you don’t meet your goal, AND it asks you to imagine your life if you DO meet your goal. Imagine it now, writing every day = more blog posts, ebooks, newsletters, or getting the book you’ve been wanting to write for so long DONE!
Go to a coffee shop or take your laptop to a park.
Sometimes my best writing happens when I leave my house.
Get a writing buddy.
I’m currently working on an ebook for women who don’t consider themselves “outdoorsy” to get out of their comfort zone and try a new activity outside like hiking, rock climbing, skiing, etc. It all came about while I was doing my first through hike on the Camino de Santiago. I knew that it was going to be a huge undertaking, and having an accountability partner was key. That’s where my biz twin, Shannon Trindade comes in. She helps me brainstorm, expand on my ideas, and holds me accountable for the deadlines I set for myself. While I haven’t met every deadline, I’m writing a lot more with her by my side then I would without her.
Make your writing time a bit more fun by creating a playlist that you listen to while you write.
I make new playlists based on projects that I’m working on. For example, when I’m writing for Love On El Camino, I listen to the playlist that I often listened to while we were hiking. It brings me right back to how I was feeling at the time, and it makes it easier to get the words down. For my outdoor guide, I have a different playlist that pumps me up and gets me excited to write. Also, I’ve been listening to the new Angus and Julia Stone album on repeat all week while writing for other business projects I’m working on. Try listening to different genres and styles of music when you write to see how they influence you.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to writing? What have you done to try to face those struggles head on? Tell me in the comments below.
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