I’m now six months into the coaching program GAL (Get a Life) with my wonderful coach Jodi Nelson. We decided to work together at a point in my life (six months ago) when I finally found myself ready to say YES to doing everything in my power to make my biggest dream come true: Becoming a published writer. For years I didn’t even dare admitting my dream out loud. Things are changing. Yes, I’m gonna be a full-time writer! In hope of inspiring you, my dear readers, here are five of the insights I have gained the last six months on my way to realizing this goal.
1. Accept and embrace that the process takes time
I used to struggle accepting that the process of becoming a full-time writer is a slow one. I desperately wanted to rush towards my goal and have it NOW. I felt a deep urgency, as if it would have to be now or never – and “never” terrified me.
But being a writer and becoming a full-time writer is about enjoying the process. To me embracing the processes now means slowing down and finally accepting the natural progresses in life and my own role. Do the best you can when you can and hope for the best. There is no time stamp. What changed? The realization that my dream actually might come true. Trust that it is a very real possibility and find peace in this thought. It is okay that becoming a full-time writer takes time. This does not mean that it won’t happen. It means that our lives (and our writing!) will be better in the meantime.
When we relax in knowing that we keep working towards our dreams – dreams that will come true down the road – our creative energies start to flow!
2. Amor fati. Love your destiny.
I used to think that I must do something really useful with my life, no matter my real interests, like being a doctor, an engineer or a teacher, help people and change the world. I’ve finally realized this: Books are needed. Stories are needed. They also change the world, heart by heart.
You get to be a full-time storyteller.
When you know in your heart of hearts what your profession already is: Love your destiny and embrace it. No matter how impossible reaching your dream might seem – all you have to do is embrace it and start the journey, one step at a time.
It feels so good not fighting this inner urge of wanting to be a writer. I fought the urge because I thought that becoming a full-time writer is impossible. Then it hit me: This cannot be true, since some people already are full-time writers! I finally gave in to my heart’s wish. I kept on writing. It is the best and most liberating choice I ever made.
Love your destiny! We’ll get there!
3. Embrace the power of the Habit
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Writers write. Do you want to be a full-time writer? Write.
Establishing good habits evolves into daily time-saving rituals that help you become more efficient and waste less energy. Also every effort establishing daily writing habits will pay off and the new habits will make big improvements over time.
New habits that have improved my writing: WRITING OFTEN, an effective time-saving morning ritual, reading more often, keeping a journal (highly recommended!), blogging regularly, sleeping enough, writing ideas down immediately, use mind maps, do research on my topics regularly, thinking positively about my writing (yes! I do this on purpose!), even nourishing my body and soul with great real food and products and keeping my environment tidy and distraction-free has helped me.
It takes 21 days to change a habit. Start with a small change. In time they turn into major improvements.
4. NOW is the time
“While everyone else is talking about it, successful people are quietly doing it.” – Angel Chernoff
Our lives are a long chain of moments and the only place where you can change things and accept possibilities is in the presence. Don’t wait until you have more time to write. Life happens now and won’t wait for you.
I’ve found that I can do something for my goal of becoming a full-time writer every day.No matter how busy, I can still actively believe in it, think positive, journal, observe and try to understand odd human behavior (I do this literally all the time), write small texts, re-read the SMART-goals or stay updated on the social media channels to stay inspired – or even read a book on the way to work.
In the long run: Make time. Use the NOWS to finish that novel that will someday be published.
5. Stop giving a fuck about others’ opinions
It was such an aha-moment for me when I realized that I must STOP focusing my energy on finding the “right” way to write and the “perfect” recipe of a bestseller instead of actually writing. I put so much research into finding the perfect formula out of worry over what people might think of me when they read my books and this just sapped my creative energies. Rehearsing not giving a fuck refilled my energy tank. It was a shock and a major relief to realize that there is no absolute rights in writing – and that I will really have to plain-old put my heart and soul out there and hope for the best.
Quite frankly every writer has to face this fact: Some idiot out there will love to hate your work. Well, you didn’t write the story for this one sucker. You wrote it first and foremost for yourself out of the love of writing. Secondmost you write to those adorable souls out there who actually loved reading your book and take an interest in you as a person, who sit tight and wait for the next one. I don’t know where I read it, but I thought it was brilliantly put: Don’t even worry about writing badly – WORSE is already out there.
Write the story you would love to write (and read!) – the way you would love it to be. That (plus help from an editor etc.) is by far good enough.
The bottom line:
Find your dream. Accept it, love it, do it, NOW.
Never give up and enjoy the journey! We’ll get there!
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Have insights to add? I would love to here about it in the comments!