Getting unstuck in your writing habits

Today I want to talk about what it really takes to get unstuck with your writing. I’ll dig into the reality of what you need to do in order to establish a writing habit that doesn’t only get words on the page, but provides a creative transformation in your life.

If that sounds big, that’s because it is.

Each day I work with writers in my Creative Shift Mastermind. Here, we do the real work of moving ahead with writing goals. The progress of the writers in the group is amazing. I want to share just three stories of what they have been doing in the past couple of months.

Kris Verdeck shared her experience this way:
“I’ve been writing this novel for about 10 years (taking long breaks when work overtook my life – 100 hour weeks that made my life about nothing but work.) Two years ago I left the corporate event planning world and those types of hours behind, yet I seemed to fill the hours with my new work and distractions. It hasn’t been until this past month, through the inspiration of the Creative Shift Mastermind, that I have have sat down for 2+ hours each day to commit to the revisions, to finishing this book, and to pitching it again to agents.

I’ve mentioned Jeannie Ewing recently about her writing progress once she joined the Mastermind. Here is an update on how she is getting words on the page:
“I’ve been a subscriber of Dan’s newsletter for years. I knew the Creative Shift Mastermind would be beneficial for me, but it never seemed to be the right timing. This past summer, I had the gut feeling that the timing was perfect. My identity as a writer has been shifting for a while, and instead of writing the books publishers wanted me to write, I yearned to write my book, the book of my heart – my memoir. I never would have started this project or taken this risk to step outside of my typical genre if it weren’t for the clarity and community in the Mastermind. I am over halfway finished with the first draft, and I started writing two months ago. It’s the first time in my life I feel a sense of freedom in what I write and in experimenting with my style, which might not have happened if I hadn’t joined the Mastermind when I did.

Tony Bonds shares his creative progress that doesn’t just extend to his writing, but to his entire career:
“The encouragement and support I’m getting from my experience in the Creative Shift Mastermind is immensely helpful, and is truly working to enact a creative shift in my life that has been a long time coming. When I joined this group in July, forming my own business was a pipe dream. Now here I am, setting hard goals, analyzing financials, my family is on board with my plans, and it’s like I’m finally unstuck and my life is finally moving forward. This is exciting!

Each of these people are incredibly busy with responsibilities: family, work, health, and so much else. How is all of this possible in just a couple of months?

Below are the ingredients of not just of establishing solid writing habits, but for a larger creative transformation as well. Yes, in my Creative Shift Mastermind I take you through each of these. But even if you never join, I encourage you to consider how you can make each of these items a part of your life:

#1 Radical Clarity
If you want more time and energy to be able to write and create, it begins with clarity. When you know exactly what you want to create and why, you are able to better leverage your very finite resources of time and energy. In the Mastermind, I not only take you through my Clarity Card process, I extend it’s power as a decision-making tool in your life. Without radical clarity, you are just managing to-do lists, which is a recipe for creative failure.

#2 A Support System
Most writers I speak to want their books and creative work to truly connect with others. When they worry about this not happening, they grow concerned over not understanding some kind of marketing or publishing trend. But those things don’t matter if you work in total isolation. Your creative work dies not because of trends, but in darkness. To shine light on it, develop a support system of collaborators. People who know you write, who you can get advice from, who hold you accountable, who believe in your abilities.

#3 Mentorship
Consider this difference between showing up to a 20,000 square foot gym by yourself… staring out at an ocean of equipment vs a personal trainer meeting you at the door with a smile, and guiding you through the best workout of your life. That is mentorship. Someone who is available to share expertise and guide you, answer every question you have, and personalize their advice for your specific goals and situation.

#4 A Clear Step-by-Step Plan
Too many writers collect information on how to move ahead with their writing, but they never create a plan that works. They collect notes and ideas gleaned from thousands of blogs, podcasts, webinars, courses, and events. While each piece is interesting, it never comes together as a clear and useful plan. I have found this myself in a wide range of creative endeavors. In my goal to learn to play the guitar, I can sample from thousands of individual tips via YouTube. But I have found nothing works better than having an instructor who takes me through a clear step-by-step process of what to do, and when.

These are the exact things I take you through in the Creative Shift Mastermind. If anything above resonated with you, please consider joining the next session that begins October 1.

This is where I work directly with you and a small group of 10-20 other writers. These are the creative collaborators you always dreamed of having.

If the Mastermind isn’t a good fit for you right now, I would strongly encourage you to take steps to infuse your life with the items I mentioned above. If you don’t know where to begin, try this:

  1. Radical Clarity: write down one small goal for your writing that you want to accomplish by January 1. Tape it to the mirror you look at in the morning.
  2. Support System: find one person who you trust and tell them your goal. Then tell them that if you don’t achieve your goal by January 1, that you will give them $100, or if they won’t accept it, you will donate $100 to their favorite charity.
  3. Mentorship: email me your goal and ask me one question where you think my advice would be most helpful:
  4. A Plan: Take out a calendar, it could be digital or paper. On each Monday between now and the end of the year, write one intention for the week that will help lead you to your goal. Check the calendar daily. You don’t need a perfect plan to begin — but you need to set an intention and stick to it. That habit alone will change how you create for the rest of your life.