My days are spent talking to writers, and delving into the reality of what truly works in ensuring they:
- Find more time to write and create.
- Define their creative identity.
- Forge a meaningful connection with readers.
In those conversations, I hear a lot about what trips up writers in the process. They struggle alone, without any colleagues or support system. They bounce between different creative ideas, unsure which to focus on. They get stuck on the hamster wheel of social media trends to try to reach their audience. They wallow in impostors syndrome, unsure if their work is good enough. They feel overwhelmed by all they are told they have to do, and frustrated that nothing they try seems to work.
The challenges that many writers face is that they are drowning in too much information, presented to them in an endless series of emails, courses, webinars, Facebook Groups, podcasts, blog posts, and conferences. They get distracted by the wrong milestones, leaving them feeling bad that they don’t have “enough” followers on social media.
Writers who struggle spend a lot of time studying what works for others, instead of honing what works for themselves. They forgo actually writing and creating because they are busy looking for “best practices” and shortcuts.
In the process, they hide their work from the world, because they are waiting for someone else (an agent or publisher), or some milestone (a book launch), to magically do that work for them.
The reality? Successful authors are their own best advocates.
What Does Work
So what does work? What is missing in everything I listed above? How does someone find more time to write, feel clarity in their creative identity, and reach the their audience? In all of my years of working with thousands of writers, these are what I have found these to be essential ingredients:
- Don’t go it alone. Develop colleagues and professional collaborators that provide accountability and true guidance.
- Connect with one reader at a time instead of trying to game the system for followers. Focus on true connections with real people.
- Hone your creative process, and in doing so, develop a support system around your creative work.
- Experiment with ideas that feel authentic to you instead of copying best practices that thousands of others are also copying.
For years, I taught self-paced courses to try to help writers do these things. But I noticed something: people signed up for courses, but didn’t finish them. I’ve heard that from many others who teach online courses as well, the would report that a small fraction of students made it to the end of their courses.
I’ve had writers tell me that they signed up for a $2,000 course because they didn’t want to miss out. Yet months later, they had yet to find even a moment to open the course. They hoped to get to it at some later date, when their life magically had more free time.
I talk to writers all the time who hop from course to course, yet never seem satisfied — they are always searching.
Focus on Skills Not Just Information
I want to encourage you to develop your skills and your support system, don’t just collect information.
I have this quote on my wall from Fred Rogers:
“I am much more concerned that our society is interested in information, instead of wonder.”
I feel like it applies here as well. If you are only focused on information, you are missing out on the fulfilling experience of what it means to be a writer:
- To feel comfortable with your own clarity and creative process.
- That you have colleagues and a support system of others.
- You have a meaningful connection with real people who like your work.
In the past three years, I have been honing the system that I feel provides this. It’s a three month program called The Creative Shift Mastermind.
Here, I provide personalized guidance, welcome you into a small group of writers and creators who become your support system, and we all work together towards your creative goals.
We dig into how to find more time to write and create, define your creative identity, and forge meaningful connections with your audience.
The bottom line of what it provides:
- It runs from January 1 – March 31, 2019
- Join a small group of 9 other writers & creators who will become your creative community.
- I show up in this group every single day. You get tons of access to me for feedback, brainstorming, and guidance.
- We schedule two one-on-one phone calls with me.
- Receive a free package in the mail that includes 15+ worksheets and guides, a copy of my book, Be the Gateway, and more.
- This is a virtual group, you don’t have to show up anywhere at any specific day or time.
- Price $297 per month, with a three month commitment.
If that doesn’t work for you for any reason, then I encourage you to do this: find a collaborator in your creative work. Someone who will become your accountability partner and the start of a support system. Become a student of your own creative process. Learn what works best for you, and where you can find margin in your life to create more. Reach out to actual readers and writers to learn what engages real human beings about the types of work you create. Don’t just rely on marketing trends. Find a mentor who you trust to help guide you in the areas where you are unsure of how to proceed.
Are these steps easy to do on your own? Not always. Which is why I created the Mastermind, a support system that helps you truly succeed with your writing and creative vision.