Are you a creative writer struggling to overcome writer’s block? Perhaps trying, and failing, to get your stories on the page – even when following advice from the experts? It’s not your fault. In this video, I am breaking down the top three myths I had to unlearn to go from ‘struggling to write’ to writing powerful stories with ease and flow.
When I first started writing personal essays, I struggled so much I felt like a failure. I often felt stuck, and advice for overcoming writer’s block didn’t help. Once I understood the problem wasn’t me – it was my approach – I was finally able to write with flow.
Listen in as I talk about why many gifted, highly creative, and intuitive writers struggle way harder than they need to. I also talk about how they can make the entire writing process easier on themselves and their creativity.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The top three writing myths.
- Why a formulaic approach to writing may not be great for you.
- Discipline as a creative writer – what it really looks like.
- How to get unstuck as a writer.
- Catching snowflakes (I promise you it’s useful!)
Resources Featured In This Episode For Struggling Writers:
- Find out your personality type: The 16 personalities quiz.
- The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World’s Rarest Type by author and writing coach, Lauren Sapala.
- Follow me on Instagram!
- Free Training
- Email me!
- Sign up for my email list!
- Learn how to write about trauma, grief, and loss.
Your key takeaways from ‘Struggling to Write? The 3 Truths No One Talks About.
If you are struggling to write, the first step you need to take is to understand what’s blocking you. When I first started writing personal essays, I was struggling, too. And these were the three main writing myths holding me back from becoming a successful writer.
Writing Myth #1: Storytelling as A-B-C
From the time we can hold a pencil, we’re taught to write in a linear step by step way.
This logical, formulaic approach is great for persuasive writing, making an argument, or explaining our thinking. But it can create problems when we switch gears into CREATIVE writing where imagination and intuition are our best allies.
If you’re a highly creative, intuitive writer trying to start at the beginning and work chronologically until the end, you’re firing up the WRONG part of your brain – where logic is in charge, not your imagination.
Ironically, this makes gifted writers struggle way harder than they need to, making it easy to feel like a failure. Once they learn how to work with their own creative process, everything becomes easier.
Writing Myth #2: You struggle to write because you’re not disciplined.
We live in a society that teaches us the key to success is to work HARDER with more DISCIPLINE. You might be thinking, well… isn’t that how productive writers get it done?
I want to call out the idea that what separates the wannabes from the real writers are productivity hacks and rule-based routines.
Have you ever been told when you’re stuck to just keep writing – to just keep pushing so you feel productive? In other words, do more of what isn’t working.
How does that work for you?
Here are a few other rules that haven’t helped me get unstuck.
Making a schedule. I’m a busy person like you, and I happen to be a mom. If something has to take priority, I just end up feeling bad about it – for me, it turns writing into a chore like washing the dishes after dinner, and I want my writing time to be fun! Knowing I’m supposed to do something creative at a certain time each day is setting me up to fail.
For me, schedules fall into the same category as other linear approaches like formulas, outlines and templates. These tools might work great for some writers but planning too much gets in the way of my creativity.
My high school art teacher used to tell us NOT to talk about our works in progress because it drains energy from your project. I think it’s the same with overplanning – it takes away the element of surprise and the joy of discovery when I’m in the creative process. It drains my enthusiasm and makes me struggle to write.
If schedules, outlines, templates, and formulas don’t work for you either, don’t feel bad about it.
There is another way.
Writing Myth #3: The creative process is one size fits all
The idea that there’s a common trajectory for the creative process doesn’t acknowledge the fact that highly creative, sensitive, and intuitive people process information, think and write differently.
Author and writing coach, Lauren Sapala, has a lot to say on the subject of writers who are “intuitive feeler” personality types, specifically INFJs and INFPs. If you aren’t sure of your personality type, take the 16 personalities quiz, and if you are an INFJ, I highly recommend Lauren’s book The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World’s Rarest Type.
I’m an INFP, and when I read Lauren’s book, I felt deeply seen and validated. I felt like she was describing the exact approach to writing that works for my creative, divergent, intuitive brain.
Here’s a metaphor for you: the difference between the two approaches – a logical one and a creative one – is like the difference between driving a truck to get from one point to its ultimate destination and standing outside on a snowy day holding a cup.
When you’re in a receptive state and are working WITH your creativity, you’re just there to catch snowflakes. Snowflakes are those bits of dialogue you heard at a café, a dream you had last night that you feel relates to your story (but you’re not sure how), an image that keeps popping up for you (and you’re sure it means something)… but you have to write about it to understand how.
Here’s what I want you to take away from this video: Creativity is all about breaking the rules and trusting your OWN process.
If you’re ready to stop doing things that aren’t working for you – and go from struggling to write to writing with ease and flow – let me know with an ALL CAPS YES! in the comments.
Ready to write powerful stories with 1:1 feedback on your work? Get on the waitlist for the Spark Your Story Intensive!
I want in!