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How to Be Unstoppable and Write Every Day — The Ultimate Guide

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Ernest Hemingway

As you stare at the blank page, your phone buzzes.

You check to see who it is, only to realize it’s your friend asking if you’re free tonight.

As you grumble and start typing out a reply, you wonder whether you’ll ever be able to write in peace again.

After all, has writing ever been this hard?

It seems like every time you sit down to write, some new obstacle comes up to prevent your words from coming out. And even when you do have the time to write, you can never find the right words to do so.

Some of these distractions can range from interruptions by family, friends, or others around you. Others arise from the constant reminders to check that new email in your inbox; others still from mobile games, television, or the endless information available online at the click of a finger.

Before too long, these constant distractions in your life will bog you down and prevent you from writing anything at all.

But only if you allow them to.

The thing is, in order to become the great writer you deserve to be, you’re going to have to fight a long war ahead.

So if you want to excel at your craft, you need to start with devising an effective battle plan to fight against the many obstacles threatening to pull you away and stop you from writing at a moment’s notice.

If you can do that, you give your words a fighting chance to make it onto the page at all.

Part 1: How to Reach Your Writing Dreams (Even if You Feel Like Quitting)

Your Writing Is a War — Will You Heed The Call?

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

The truth is, you’re fighting a war you don’t even know about.

Because every single time you choose to sit down and write, you put yourself straight onto the war-path and into harm’s way.

Even getting to the table and writing is a struggle in itself.

Then, before you even start writing, your mind becomes assailed by the self-doubt and the loathing. And before you know it, thirty minutes have gone by and all you’ve done is surf Facebook aimlessly instead of writing like you told yourself you would.

If you’re not fighting against the obstacles in your own mind, you’re battling against the endless distractions around you.

The worst part is, these constant interruptions are killing your ability to write and be creative in your work.

Most of the time, you won’t feel like writing.

On these days, you’ll feel like quitting because even writing one word down onto the screen will be enough to test your will. But these are the days you must push forward, as they’ll define your life as a writer.

If you can’t write on the hard days, you’ll never write on the good ones

 

It’s impossible to win every battle in a war. You’ll lose some no matter what you do.

The key to being an effective writing warrior, however, is setting yourself up to win as much as you can.

And that starts with moulding your mind to resemble the great writer you wish to become.

Part 1A: Master Your Mind to Become an Unstoppable Writing Warrior

Take Stock of Your Thoughts to Fuel Your Actions

Your journey to be a great writer will be a long battle.

Some of it will be easy. Sometimes the words will flow out of you and escape onto the page naturally.

But if we’re being honest, a lot of these times writing won’t be a pleasant activity. It’ll hurt like hell and feel like you have to excise the words out of your brain with a scalpel.

Even worse are the distractions that will pull you away from your writing time—and boy, do they hit hard.

However, these distractions and interruptions are just one aspect of the outside forces threatening to pull you away from your writing at any given time. Add onto that the responsibilities of work, family, relationships, and just regular life, and you’ve got a recipe for unmitigated disaster.

And if left unchecked, life will do everything in its power to guide you away from your writing. You will need to pay your rent and writing will not pay the bills at first, so how could it possibly be more important than that?

Yet it is. For you’re a writer, and writing is your soul. It’s how you breathe and form your life’s work.

The good part is you have more control over your time and environment than you think—and learning to master your writing time will be the best weapon you have against the obstacles standing in your path to becoming unstoppable.

But you gotta believe in yourself to make a difference.

In order to do that, you’re going to have to get your thoughts under control to position yourself as the great writer you desire to be.

Step #1: Analyze Your Enemies (What Tactics Are They Using to Stop You?)

 “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sun Tzu

If your writing is a war, you need to prepare if you’re going to win.

And that means knowing your enemies.

If you aren’t aware of them, they’ll sabotage you at every turn. They already are.

They come in many forms: fear, self-doubt, distractions, interruptions from others, from our devices and from the muse seemingly abandoning us at every turn.

We all have our vices: some of us doubt ourselves more than others, some of us turn to alcohol to numb the pain, others to loneliness and isolation. Truthfully, in some way we’re all suffering. Every writer that ever lived struggled with what we now call “writer’s block,” that incessant need to stop creating and stay stuck.

The good news is, you don’t have to stay stuck anymore.

Because the one thing in common with all of these things keeping you from writing is YOU.

That’s it, and that’s all there ever was stopping you from being the great writer you only dream of being.

Step #2: Be Aware That Your Writer’s Block Originates From This Ailment

“When courage dies, creativity dies with it.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

Fear. It plagues us all.

Everything we do is driven by it in some form.

  • We’re scared somebody will ridicule our writing and bring it down in some way.
  • We’re scared someone will ‘out’ us for who we truly are (that writer we’re so afraid of becoming). And why? Why are we so scared of this?
  • We’re afraid we’ll never be good enough, so we never truly try. Or even worse, we keep our work buried inside of us for nobody else to see. That way is safer, but it’s much more lethal to our creativity.

What are the root causes of your fear? What is it grounded in? If you can figure that out, it’ll make it much easier to write on a daily basis.

It’s time to stop being scared. It’s time to put the fear that’s stopping you from writing to bed.

The truth is, the secret to being a good writer is writing scared

 

Because the only way to conquer your fear is to continually move towards it.

Step #3: Stop Feeling Stuck In Your Mind

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

Maya Angelou

Your mind is the only thing stopping you from being a great writer.

Yep, that same place where all the fear comes from.

You see, it’s paralyzing to give into your fears. Because the more you do it, the more you stay stagnant; and the less you stay in motion, the easier it is to feel you’re in a funk and get stuck.

But all problems have solutions. And your writer’s block is no different.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you’re not good enough. That you need more practice, more finesse with your words, more experience and mastery of your craft.

Well, here’s the hard truth: you’re never going to feel ready. Ever.

No matter how you feel, you can choose to write in this moment here. Because you can always control your actions regardless of your feelings.

The single best way to fight imposter syndrome is to write

 

Writing is the one thing you can consistently do to make yourself a better writer. Without the practice, you’ll only be reading how to become a better writer—you’ll only be wishing you could write like the greats, rather than actually putting in the practice to master your craft and become great yourself.

Simply put, the more time you spend practicing, the better you’ll be.

There is no shortcut to success as a writer. There is only the time you spend writing and the time you do not. That’s how you go from wishing you were a writer to living your dream as one.

Step #4: Step Into Your Writing Shoes, And the Cure For Your Blocks Will Come

How we feel about ourselves determines so much of our actions, and in a way, helps to shape the results of our lives.

So if you don’t feel you’re a writer, you’ll be less likely to write.

Imagine if you wanted to ask out a potential partner. Do you think you’d be able to go on a date with them if you never asked?

No. Magical things in your life do not just fall into your lap. You miss all of the opportunities you don’t go after, be they potential partners, careers, or forward momentum in any meaningful sphere of your life (including writing— especially writing).

So if you don’t write, you’ll never become a writer. It’s as simple as that.

You may not feel like writing, and that’s okay. But you still have to write.

Because every chance you have to write you don’t take and spend on social media instead, is just another notch to add to the wasted opportunities category.

Don’t let your passion for writing fall by the wayside. Don’t be a “writer” that doesn’t actually write.

If you choose to step into the power of your new identity as a leader with meaningful words to say, you’ll be much more motivated to write when the cards are laid down on the table, and in turn you’ll become your biggest writing inspiration.

But all of this works only if you become your #1 biggest fan first—because without you, how can your writing ever work or see the light of day?

Step #5: Okay, So You’ve Created Your Unstoppable Writer Persona… Now What?

In a sense, you’re the biggest reason stopping you from writing all you can today.

However, you’re also the biggest solution to your writing problems, too.

I know it’s easy to tell someone to “just write.” After all, writers write. Yet it goes much deeper than that.

The truth is it’s really hard to be a writer.

The constant uncertainty you’ll face as you sit down to write and stare at the blank cursor will test your willpower every time because creating something out of nothing is no cake walk.

But you knew that already, didn’t you?

The good news is, even though it’s incredibly difficult to be a writer, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Remember the enemies we were talking about before? You’re going to need to develop solutions to fight back against them, too. And the next step is all about that.

Although it’s not going to be easy to sidestep the endless distractions and obstacles preventing you from reaching your goal of being a writer, it’s entirely possible to condition your environment to help you become an unstoppable writing machine once you have the proper tools to do so.

-Want to get access to some awesome tools to help you write? Download my free guide below-

7 FREE Killer Resources to Reach Your Writing Goals Today

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Part 1B: Re-Define your Circumstances to Become a Creative Powerhouse

Drop These Devastating Beliefs Holding You Back From Your Best Work Today

You start each day with the intention to be a better writer.

Sometimes, you loudly proclaim, “I will write more today than I ever have!” to the stars when no one is listening and when everybody else is asleep.

It makes you feel powerful. But as you go through the day, you notice your energy levels dwindle and you’re faced with massive amounts of doubt about your writing dream—and this uncertainty can be crippling. It can also lead you to procrastinate which is seductive in itself as you seek the immediate satisfaction that comes from distractions in place of long-term results.

How many times have you gotten to the end of the day and realized you haven’t written anything at all? Probably a lot. It happened to me multiple times trying to finish this post.

But the thing is, what you choose to do with these moments will make or break your success as a writer. Because feeling stuck is a choice; so you can either choose to be stuck and stop being in motion, or you can choose to break through your blocks and create.

Luckily, it’s possible to reframe your problems as opportunities that will actually help you overcome your struggles, rather than simply viewing them as insurmountable obstacles to your problems.

If used right, adversity can be your biggest asset in building up your writing stamina. If ignored, neglected, or misunderstood, then it stands to derail and threaten your writing genius from ever seeing the light of day—and as a writer, that will be your kryptonite to stop you from ever gaining traction with this passion of yours.

In order to start orchestrating solutions to your problems, though, you need to be able to objectively see them at any given point.

Here’s how.

Step #1: Identify Your Problems With a Microscope

If you don’t know what your ailments are, how will you cure your disease?

You’ll fall prey to different things that pull you away from your writing. You’ll get distracted. You’ll find your way down a hour-long Youtube session of clicking related videos and lose focus. You’ll binge on Netflix shows after work to avoid doing your writing work (you know, that “other” work). You’ll text with friends to avoid sitting down and being with yourself and your mind for a few moments. Or you’ll turn to coffee to get the energy to write, or quotes to gain inspiration, or you’ll watch uplifting videos to perk yourself up after a bad day.

We all have our temptations. But while you’re trying to sort out yours, it helps to ask yourself specific questions so you can help dissect what’s tripping you up.

For example, you can ask:

  • “What trips me up before writing? What is the one thing that stops me from consistently putting words onto the page?” (It could be self-doubt, distractions, or even excessive feelings of fatigue).
  • “Why am I doing this writing thing? What’s my why?” (If you can find your meaningful ‘why’ then you’ll find a great way to tap into your power as a creative).
  • “What is the end-goal I want to meet?” (Are you writing to release pain, to gain pleasure, or to get money, fame, or for something else? If you know your end destination as a writer, it’ll be easier for your writing to take you there).
  • “Is this actually my goal, or is it someone else’s?” (For example, if you want to write a book, don’t set out to write a thousand words a day. Find a system that works for you so that when you follow it, you’ll actually pursue it and implement it in your life on a daily basis, rather than hoping you’ll achieve what you want without doing anything to make it happen).

Be as honest as possible here. If you want to write to make money, that’s okay as long as you know why so you can spin it in a more compelling way. Money isn’t usually a very motivating reason to do anything, especially something as tough as writing can be, so don’t let it stand by itself (ex. don’t say “I want to write to make money so I can have more money”).

But if we turn this around and say, “I want to make money from my writing so I can live a life I love on my own terms and have the freedom to travel to where I want to,” then it becomes a more inspiring goal to pursue.

Once you find your why, though, don’t stop.

Instead, really drill your big goals down to their core and keep asking why until you either run out of things to say or come full-circle to your first point. Be like a little kid desperate to find the solution to life’s biggest problems (aka. how to reach the cookie jar at the top of the kitchen counter).

Never lose your curiosity. And don’t be afraid to grow, because sometimes the more challenging adversities we face open us up to larger, bigger, and more impactful reasons to keep going and pursue our writing dreams no matter what.

Step #2: Find Solutions to Your Problems like a Detective

“You have treasures hidden within you—extraordinary treasures… And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to be small.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

If your biggest problem right now is getting distracted from your writing so that when you sit down to write you’re not actually writing anything at all, you need to find a solution to that problem and you need it stat.

After all, it’s easy to give into little distractions that take us away from your writing like the internet rabbit holes you eagerly go through to avoid doing your work. It’s much harder to solve the larger problems at hand.

Unfortunately, as humans, we like to ignore our struggles or even accept that they’re the way things are.

If we’re introverted, we shy away from talking to others because it’s our normal. It’s safe. But if we stay in our comfort zones forever we’ll never achieve anything great, as all of the best things happen from taking little leaps into different dimensions of our lives.

As Mel Robbins recently said, “You’re not a procrastinator—you’re someone who has a habit of procrastinating. Big difference.”

So if you want to be a writer, but don’t have a habit of actually writing, you need to find ways to help yourself along to achieving that goal.

If you feel tempted to divert your writing time towards browsing Reddit, install an internet-blocker like Cold Turkey. Even better yet, turn the internet off completely (do you really need it?). Leave your phone in a different room and lock it in a cupboard on airplane mode. Find a way to trick yourself into doing the work.

Most of the time, we want to do the work especially if it’s something we love (like writing). But our minds trick us to follow different paths for immediate sensations of reward, and while that hit of dopamine from checking our social media and seeing a notification can feel rewarding at times, doing it over and over will simply feed into that bad habit even more so than it already is.

Step #3: Recondition Your Environment to Inspire You With These Simple Tips

As writers, it’s easy to feel frustrated after our focus becomes hijacked by distractions. And if we allow it to, these interruptions to our sacred writing time can wreak havoc over trying to finish our current works in progress.

Despite what you may think, you actually have more control over your environment than you believe.

If you’re frustrated with how easily distractions can pull you away from writing, here are some quick ideas to get you thinking about how you can become a champion of your writing environment today:

  • Turn off your internet before writing. Even better, disconnect the modem entirely. Do you really need it to be a creative machine?
  • Text your friends and say you can’t talk for the next hour. Tell them you can’t respond to them because you’re writing, but you’ll text them back after making some headway on your WIP (building accountability into your life this way can be a powerful way to achieve your goals and achieve boundless results in your writing life).
  • Listen to a soothing track on repeat. Calming your nerves before writing can help you write more for longer stretches.
  • Embrace the silence around you. Try sitting in silence for five minutes every day before writing without using any paper or pad or pad to collect your thoughts (choosing to take in the silence in this way around you will do wonders for your creativity, and you might be surprised at what comes up for you).
  • Optimize your sleeping conditions. Invest in a better pillow. Listen to a soothing meditation track before bed. Get the maximum amount of sleep you need to become effective but not drowsy. Setting yourself up to win with the right amount of sleep can boost your creative brain when you need it most.
  • Share your stuff with a few encouraging friends. If you’re crippled by the fear of being criticized or even ignored for your writing work, consider sharing it with a few friends before releasing it to the public world.
  • If you’re having trouble getting started, set a timer for fifteen minutes and just write. Clean off your desk and open up a blank word document on your computer or a loose leaf sheet of paper and allow your thoughts to scramble and spill out onto the paper in front of you.

-For more inspiration, check out my free guide below to get focused and easily develop the habit of writing every day-

7 FREE Killer Resources to Reach Your Writing Goals Today

Enter your email below to receive access to these 7 resources to kick-start your writing to another level today.

The thing you must realize is that doing something to push your writing forward into the world is always better than doing nothing at all.

Because until you summon the courage to bring your dreams forth into the world around you, your dreams will never see the light of day—and they deserve better than to be buried inside of you where no one can see.

Part 2: Develop Your Battle Plans to Fight Back and Reclaim Your Writing Power

Learn to Tap Into Your Creativity at a Moment’s Notice

“Writing is simple. Start with the truest word you know.”

Hemingway

Back in the day when cavemen were around, they tinkered with writing on stones.

Even if what they wrote was unintelligible, all they had to do was pick up whatever tool they could find and chisel into a stone.

That’s it—that’s all they had to do to “write”.

While it’s true we have more distractions now than we’ve ever had before, that doesn’t make the process of writing any more complicated than it needs to be.

All you have to do to write is put one step in front of the other. Start with the first word you know. Start with a preposition. Just start with something, anything.

Here are eight simple ways to jumpstart your creativity and start writing again today.

Step #1: Set KISS Goals to Supercharge Your Productivity

Keep it simple, stupid.

You’re overthinking this whole writing game.

Here you are, wondering how to be a writer when all you ever had to do was write one word and then another, and another, and another until it resembles the structure of something complete.

That’s it. Really. That’s all you have to do to become a writer. No more and no less.

One example of integrating KISS goals in your life is a tip I picked up from Stephen Guise’s book Mini Habits. In it, he mentions a strategy to set really, really ridiculously small goals which you easily implement in your life to conquer your goals.

Basically, KISS Goals are all about setting ridiculously small goals and accomplishing them no matter what.

Stephen Guise calls these “mini habits,” and they work because they do not rely on our willpower for us to get our work done—instead, they rely on us taking steps that are so small it’d be harder to not do them than it would be to do them.

Stephen has talked about the “one push up challenge” before. Basically, if you want to exercise, do one push up. That’s it. That’s all you have to do to become someone who exercises.

If you want to be a writer, don’t set out to write a thousand words every day. Instead, write a hundred words a day and work your way up from there. If that’s too hard, write a sentence. Write one word. Write “the” and then see if that doesn’t motivate you to start.

Oddly enough, setting small goals works because:

  1. When it comes to writing, simple trumps complex (the simple act of writing every day for ninety days will result in you writing a book, rather than aiming to write a thousand words every day and burning out two weeks through).
  2. When it comes to goal setting, concrete goals beat muddy ones any day (“I want to lose weight to look sexier and attract my dream spouse” is infinitely more compelling than “I want to lose weight this year”).

When paired with the Mini Habits strategy, KISS goals can help you meet your writing goals almost effortlessly. They allowed me to write one hundred and fifty thousand words of a novel despite not having felt like I was doing much at all to get closer to my dream of being a full-time writer.

Despite how stupid they may seem, they can be very effective for your writing career if you allow them to be.

-If you’d like to learn more about KISS Goals, download my free guide below to put them into action in your life today-

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Step #2: Switch Up Your Environment to Jumpstart Your Creativity

How often does your environment completely sabotage your efforts to write?

If you’re trying to write at home, it can seem like nothing ever goes right and you never make any progress with your writing. And if you’re at the coffee shop, it can seem like the guy beside you will never stop droning on about the new Unicorn latte at Starbucks.

While writing in the same environment can help us be more productive, following the same rituals over and over again can also pull us away from doing our work because it can feel boring and stale to stare at the same wall as you’re sitting in your trusty office chair to write time and time again.

So if you feel agitated and can’t concentrate the next time you sit down to write in your favourite spot, try switching things up.

When you’re feeling stuck is the perfect time to switch up your environment and try something new

 

Maybe check out that local cafe that just opened across the street or find some peace and quiet at your local library without your headphones on. Or if you usually write in your kitchen, try writing on the couch in your living room. And, if your laptop battery can handle it, try writing with your feet on the grass.

Just do something different than you would usually do.

Who knows? By switching your environment up from time to time, you just might discover your new favourite writing spot.

Step #3: Flip Fear On Its Head to Make It Work For You

It’s no secret that we’re all afraid of something in our lives.

Usually, this fear shows up in a disguise. It shows up as we proclaim we’re “not ready” just yet to follow our dreams or pursue our interests. It can show up in the form of rationalizations and justifications for playing it safe and staying in that job we hate for ten years down the road. Most importantly, if we give into it, it can stop us from finding our voice and pursuing our greatest creative work.

Somehow, as creatives, this fear can multiply for us ten-fold. Whether it comes from people discovering and laughing at our work, or from someone giving our book a bad review or writing a nasty comment on our blogs, it can often be paralyzing as we try to move forward through the negativity and create newly written works.

However, if you can first identify it, then you can actually use it as a strategy to formulate an effective battle plan for your writing.

The question, then, is how do you acknowledge it for what it is?

Easy. Ask questions like:

  • “What am I afraid of? What are five things that really, really scare me?”
  • “Why am I afraid of these five things? What are they stopping me from achieving?”
  • “What would change in my life as a result of overcoming these fears? What would happen to my life as a writer?”

Personally, I’m terrified of nobody reading or liking my work. Subsequently, this feeds into my fear that by leaving my current job, I’d be unable to generate a similar income as a full-time writer (even though it’s entirely possible to do so).

Yet these fears keep me going even on the toughest days because I want to prove others wrong by showing them I can live this life I dream of, and as a result, if I could overcome these fears I’d be heading in a direction that would bring me so much closer to my vision of living an awesome and fulfilling life helping burgeoning writers like you.

By re-examining your relationship to your own struggles, it’ll be much easier to view them as a strength of your commitment to the craft rather than a weakness you couldn’t possibly overcome.

Surprisingly, sometimes our biggest weaknesses are our greatest gifts in life

 

And when you do overcome them, you’ll start seeing fear as an opportunity instead of a necessary evil or annoyance to avoid at all costs.

Step #4: Set Stupidly-Extreme Consequences to Motivate Yourself to Get Moving

While drafting the outline for this post, I felt my shoulders slump.

I wasn’t ready to release this post into the world. Nor was I prepared for the amount of work it would soon become.

However, instead of hiding out like the old me would do, I decided to use my fear as a weapon to get my butt into gear.

So what did I do? Like any reasonable writer trying to finish a project that feels out of their control, I started emailing back my readers with a simple statement tagged onto the end. It read something like “hey, just so you know, I’ll be uploading this post by Thursday next week and it’ll be all about building a consistent writing habit you can start implementing in your life immediately.”

It seems simple, but that one addition to my emails got me into gear. Because I knew if I missed my deadline again, I’d be failing not only myself; more importantly, I’d be failing my readers themselves. And if I did that, I’d feel miserable because I’d be letting them down (even though I uploaded it on the following Monday, that was an accomplishment in itself for me, especially for a post this big).

Here are some examples of stupidly-extreme consequences you can set for yourself today:

  • If you’re scared of missing an important deadline to finish your current WIP, consider asking a friend to donate $50 of your money to a charity you hate (or love—they can both be effective at getting you to write).
  • If you’re wanting to write more, try publicly announcing your goal on Facebook with some stupid consequence attached to it (ex. “if I don’t finish my book by the end of this month, I will post a video of myself eating dirt for everyone to see”).
  • If you’re under a deadline to write, try writing with your laptop unplugged to finish your post in time (if yours is bad at holding a charge like mine, this can work really well).
  • If you want to publish your work, countdown to sixty seconds and hit publish even if it’s not perfect to avoid hitting that brick wall of hesitation we all fall into from dwelling on the imperfections of our work.
  • If you find yourself getting distracted by video games or Netflix, put your TV in the closet until you finish your WIP (my desktop computer is still in there until I launch this blog and generate an income from my writing business).

No matter how extreme these consequences may seem, if you can trick yourself into being productive you’ll actually get more done. And as a writer, time will be your most valuable asset so you must protect it at all costs

I learned this strategy from Jon Morrow over at his new blog Unstoppable, and it’s easy to do for any long-term goal you set for yourself.

Because sometimes you need a deadline looming in the background to keep yourself accountable like a swift kick-in-the-pants.

Step #5: Ditch the Outline Already — You Don’t Need It Anymore

As writers, we love to do research and outline our stories to pure perfection.

However, if you’re not a born plotter it can be easy to get tripped up in the outlining process and forget to, you know, actually write.

At some point, you’re going to have to move past the planning stages and into doing the work itself.

Even the best plans change. Throughout the process, you’re going to get different ideas about your work. If you’re working on a novel, your character will say something you didn’t expect them to say. If you’re working on a blog post, you’ll write in something you didn’t originally think to touch on.

Whatever you’re working on, it’s going to inevitably change over time.

Treat your writing like a business. If you don’t ship, you’ll never get any readers

 

Start moving into the mindset of a producer, though, and everything will change.

Most good writing comes from moving through the process organically, not systematically.

So before you move any further on your work in progress, decide how much planning will be enough.

And once you hit that point, start creating it because nothing will ever perfectly align the way you want it to.

Step #6: Constantly Fill Up Your Vault of Knowledge to Never Run Out of Inspiration

 “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

Stephen King

Every day we do something, we draw on our energy banks to complete our tasks. And with enough deposits, we’ll easily go into the red.

As a writer, you’ll need constant motivation to keep going. In fact, most of the time you’re going to want to quit.

So if you can fuel yourself with the proper inspiration, you’ll be less likely to fall flat on your face.

Here are some ways you can fill up your creative tank to avoid running on empty:

  • Listen to free resources like podcasts or audiobooks on Youtube.
  • Use Pocket on the go to save a list of blogs by people who inspire you.
  • Read good books (or even bad ones sometimes).
  • Join a local meetup group to find writers just like you.
  • Join our awesome community to talk with Bulletproof Writers just like yourself.
  • Go for a walk around your local park without your phone to ground yourself and replenish your focus.
  • Download a meditation app to find your centre and tap into the power of a still and quiet mind.

-For more free resources to tap into your creativity and recharge your focus, download my guide below-

7 FREE Killer Resources to Reach Your Writing Goals Today

Enter your email below to receive access to these 7 resources to kick-start your writing to another level today.

Step #7: Find Your Flow to Write Like a Maniac

“Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Interestingly enough, it takes us about twenty-five to thirty minutes to get focused and enter the zone.

Before we enter this flow-state, it can feel easy to procrastinate and get distracted because the wall to entry seems too high to bear. But oddly enough, once we find our flow the words seem to pour out of us like water.

Fifteen minutes is usually enough for me to get over the hump of starting and switch into creation mode, but it’s different for everybody.

Try experimenting with different techniques to get comfortable with writing on command in this way. The key here is to make writing an effortless habit you can do every day no matter how you’re feeling, and finding your flow-state can be one of the most beneficial and rewarding ways to do that.

Step #8: Learn to Embrace the Process And Enjoy the Journey Along the Way

While I caution writers not to take their craft too seriously, it also pays to treat your words like a business.

Not in the sense that they’ll eventually make you money, but that if you do not go through the motions of actually writing, then your career as an artist—paid or not paid—will not survive. Worse, it won’t thrive.

So it can be helpful to take advice from a businessman when it comes to embracing how much work it’ll take to follow our dreams and embrace doing the actual work.

You can also view Gary’s words on Medium. Especially if you’re in your twenties and just starting out, this is advice you need to hear, because too many of us get trapped in the end result we want to create with our writing rather than learning to love and embrace the journey itself.

As Gary mentions, it’s important to love the process, because that’s where we’ll spend the majority of our time as human beings trying to master the crafts we wish to embody in our own lives.

Learning to love the process has been one of the greatest moves I made as a writer. This is what will make or break you as a writer in the long run, hands down.

Instead of getting consumed by making millions off my eventual bestseller, it taught me to love writing a post that might only get five comments in response, because it would remind me that success isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination.

As a writer, you’re going to face hurdles in your battle to become the writer you’re meant to be.

So why not embrace the process by learning how to consistently sit down at the desk and write, rather than worry about where your words will take you or who will listen to you as a result?

Part 3: Become the Unstoppable Writer of Your Dreams (Prepare For Battle)

The Keys You’ll Need to Succeed as a Writer in Today’s World

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Chinese Proverb

It’s time to rock this journey and start becoming the awesome writer you’re meant to be.

And that all starts with taking what you just learned and putting it into action now, rather than later.

No more waiting, my writing friend.

You’ve done enough of that.

It’s time to get moving and show us what you got.

Step #1: Stop Setting Arbitrary Goals to Work On (Instead, Make Them Personal)

If you’re in a fight, it can be tempting to drop your own strategy and start copying your opponent.

But without your own style, you’ll be knocked out by your enemy faster than you can say “ouch”.

Your writing is no different. You’ll need your own voice and tactics to bring forth the talents buried within you. And that begins with setting a goal that inspires you rather than filling your whole body with dread.

Again, while it can be tempting to set huge daily goals like “write a thousand words” because that’s what Stephen King does, it’s much better to set a personalized goal that you can actually achieve every day regardless of how full your plate might be.

Being able to write anything on your hardest days is the #1 way to set yourself up for success

 

If you can write every day no matter what, you’d be surprised at how much you’re capable of creating in a seemingly short span of time.

Step #2: Be Prepared to Ignore Your Feelings (They Don’t Matter)

We’ve talked about how writing is a battle that will continually wear down your body and mind. But most days, the biggest thing that will stop you from acting on the impulse to write will be your day-to-day feelings.

Put another way, if you don’t feel like writing it’s going to be much harder to write.

Unfortunately, wanting something is not the same as doing it. And while you can will yourself to feel positive and usher yourself into your happy place where you best create, you could do this until you’re blue in the face and you still wouldn’t have created anything great.

In fact, you may never feel like writing.

As Robin Sharma said, “The activity you’re most avoiding contains your biggest opportunity.”

For you as a writer, that’s probably writing or something to do with helping your writing along (ex. pitching it to a blog or reaching our to a local writing group you admire).

But take a moment right now and think about what might happen if you actually went ahead and did the thing you most dread doing. Think about the awesomely positive results it would make in your life. Think about how much closer it would get you to your biggest dreams and goals.

The longer you stay stuck thinking about doing something, the less time you’ll actually spend doing it. And when you eventually feel like doing it, it’ll be much harder to follow through because the mountain between doing and not-doing will seem higher than it’s ever been.

Fortunately, it’s entirely possible for you to set a small amount of time aside today to write. That’s something we can all do, no matter where we’re at in our lives.

Step #3: Use a Timer to Effortlessly Make Writing a Habit

As a writer, time will be your most valuable asset.

While it’s easy to squander it, if you want to succeed in your writing then you better learn to protect it at all costs.

To me, there’s something motivating about setting a timer and watching it click down to zero. You can use the Pomodoro method and set aside batches of twenty-five minutes to create, or you can do an hour or two-hour long sessions (I personally like fifteen-minute sessions as they feel like a much lower barrier to cross from writing nothing to producing something on the page in front of me).

However, be aware that you may never find your optimal time to write. Instead, experiment; try writing at different times in the day and see what works for you. If you write in the mornings, great—if not, that’s fine too.

Pursuing whatever strategies work for you will be your greatest asset as a writer.

Learning to enjoy that flexibility in the realm of possibility will launch you from being an aspiring writer or a would-be creator and help you step into the shoes of the writer you desperately crave to be.

Step #4: Step Into Your Identity to Become the Writer You’re Meant to Be

People have talked about how long it takes to form a habit. Some say twenty-one days, others a few months, others up to and over ninety days… others say it depends on your willpower or how simple or complex the habit you want to build is.

For instance, drinking a glass of water when you wake up is easy. It’ll probably only take a week of doing that to form that habit (same with making your bed).

But drinking a glass of green juice every day will take you thirty days at the very minimum, as there’s a lot more prep work that goes into that. Even if you’re buying it from the store, you still have to drive down there and walk in to grab it so it’s much easier to miss a day here and there.

Here’s the thing about your writing, though: it really doesn’t matter how long it will take to make writing a habit in your life.

In the long run, it doesn’t matter how big your word count was today. It doesn’t matter how long it’s going to take to write that book or post you’re working on. It doesn’t even really matter how many checks on the calendar you can mark up or how much you can write at once.

What matters is that you can show up often enough and write.

 

You just have to find fifteen minutes today and write. That’s how you will make progress towards that distant novel you dream of finishing one day.

If you can’t do that every day, you need to reevaluate if being a writer is only a hobby or something you really want to do.

Step #5: Never Back Down (Be Prepared to Give This Writing Thing All You’ve Got)

If you really, really want to be a writer, you better be prepared to face adversity. A lot of it.

Nothing sums this up more powerfully than a couple of passages from the work of Charles Bukowski.

The first passage in the video is from a poem Charles Bukowski wrote called Laughing Heart, and it’s quoted here:

“your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.”

-Charles Bukowski, The Laughing Heart

Sometimes we think we want something, but we don’t realize how much work it takes. And when we’re standing at the edge of the tunnel looking in, it becomes harder to keep going after those first steps.

But we must if we’re going to make a difference in this world.

Even more powerful is the second passage, which is a passage taken directly from a novel Bukowski wrote called Factotum.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery — isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

-Charles Bukowski, Factotum

Perhaps nothing is more powerful than finally breaking through adversity and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Perhaps nothing is more powerful than stepping into your power and finally doing it.

You’re almost there. Just four more steps left.

Step #6: Accept That It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Nearly two years ago when I decided I’d become a full-time writer no matter what, I wasn’t in the best headspace.

In fact, I was struggling with a mild case of depression. As a result, it was hard to do anything. It was hard to socialize or come out of my shell. Even worse, it was difficult to get myself moving and be active.

Mostly, I just sat around and wished for things to get better. This came in the form of a couple outcomes I’m not proud to admit:

  • I wanted a toned body, but I wasn’t willing to put in the work to get one (I exercised maybe thirty minutes a week).
  • I desperately wanted a girlfriend, but I had close to zero social life and no social skills (worse, I never asked anyone I was interested in out).
  • I craved being a writer, but I hadn’t written anything worth reading (even worse, it had been years since I picked up a book).

I told myself that my problems were out of my hands. For one, I was an introvert and it was hard to talk to people. Even worse, I convinced myself I was lazy instead of a person with a habit of being lazy, so I never exercised and dreaded every single time I pushed myself to do it.

But the thing is, those moments of pain were the biggest points of growth for me. And the more I moved towards the “uncomfort” zone, the more growth and fulfillment I experienced in my life.

When it came to my writing dreams, the second I decided to be a writer everything changed. At the time it was November and I decided to go all-in on my writing, so I started to create a novel for Nanowrimo and tinker around with my voice.

Little did I know, that practice soon grew into something useful. And with that commitment, writing had successfully morphed from a hobby into something I knew I’d been destined to do.

Imagine if I’d continued to beat myself up every little mistake I made and continued to dwell in the past. What good would that have done?

In the end, dwelling on my past inaction only increased my chances of never being the writer I desperately wanted to be. And it will do the exact same for you if you allow it to.

Step #7: Enlist the Help of Your Friends to “Just Ship It”

“Nobody has enough self-discipline to work in a vacuum forever. Without feedback or evidence of progress, you’ll eventually run out of energy, get distracted, or even quit altogether.”

Jon Morrow

It can be easy to think of writing as a solo journey as if it’s something you must do alone.

In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

You need cheerleaders in your life. And you need feedback on your work to help it grow.

Trying to be a lone wolf in your writing won’t get you anywhere. Because without the proper help, you’ll never become the writer you deserve.

Writing is tough, and if you don’t have a support group, you’re dooming yourself to fail

 

You need to know it’s more than okay to ask for help no matter where you are in life.

By learning to accept that you need others to come along with you in your journey, you will catapult yourself to success ten times faster than you ever could by yourself.

I’m learning to pull myself out of that slowly, and it’s been hard, but I’ve learned to accept my limitations and ask for help when I need it.

Same goes for sharing your work with the world. Because once you stop buying into the myth that writers are hermits and put your work out there for others to see and share in, you stop affirming you will fail and instead push yourself towards your eventual success.

Nobody creates in a vacuum. And if you don’t share your art with the world, it will never grow. It will only stagnate and stay where it is and you’ll never reach the next level you want to attain.

Start by sharing it with a few friends or maybe just your mom. Just take one step to get it out there today.

If you don’t, it will forever remain as a memory only to yourself.

Step #8: Implement the “Never Miss Twice” Rule to Build a Chain of Good Habits

When things get hard, you’re more likely to quit.

Especially when you’re trying to do something as difficult as writing every day.

This is where the “never miss twice” rule coined by James Clear comes in. It’s based on a simple proposition: if you miss a day, that’s okay. Just don’t let one day become two or more because that’s when you’ll fall into the habit of missing even more, where weeks or months can go by without you writing a single word.

It’s okay to slip up. It’s okay to miss a day. Just make a habit of writing more days than you don’t.

When combined with KISS goals, this rule becomes particularly powerful for me because it completely destroys any attempts I have to make excuses for not doing my work.

If you can forgive yourself for missing one day instead of beating yourself up about it, you’re much more likely to keep going even when the going gets really, really tough (and it will).

Step #9: Teleport Yourself To Your Dream World and Destroy Your Fears

Several months ago, I got off a coaching call with a friend and was mesmerized at the way he made me feel during the call.

After moving through my writing struggles, he told me to envision a place where everything was rosy and okay; in this place, I would be way past conquering my biggest problems and living my dream life with ease.

So, desperately wanting to get better at dealing with my problems, I closed my eyes and embraced the visualization process. I thought of everything I wanted to do and the writer I wanted to become.

When I shut my eyes, I began to see myself sitting at a marble desk in the corner of a giant office. In it, my kids sat huddled on the floor and my wife stood beside me, her hair reflecting off of the bright light spilling through the giant window encompassing the wall on the side. And I was sitting in front of my computer, smiling because I knew I’d finally found my peace in this world.

Slightly after that, I started tapping away on the computer. In a way, it was like I was watching the person I could become as I floated from afar, and I watched in amazement as the words spilt out of the computer in front of me like waves of fire.

And then I suddenly started to float into the air above me where I began walking on clouds like stairs up to a place of wonder before finally coming crashing back down to my office; except, after I floated back down, I was now a Hulk-like giant stomping around crushing my fears as they became like little words surrounding the room.

The dream ended as I went back into my body, still feeling the fear resting there, but now knowing I had a battle plan to lay it to rest.

Truthfully, I have never felt more empowered in my life than I did at that moment in time. But when I opened my eyes, I could feel that power I once had escaping outside of me as my worries and fears began to drag me down and down again to where I was before.

While it’s impossible to feel good all the time, it is possible to imagine what it would feel like to be strong and conquer your greatest fears. And that starts with asking what your own dream world is like.

Spend five minutes now and close your eyes. Imagine what it looks like to you:

  • How does it smell?
  • What are your surroundings? What do they look like?
  • How does it make you feel? Are your worries still there, or can you feel them floating away from you like clouds?
  • If perfection existed, would your world look like this, or something else?

If you can draw on this sensation by closing your eyes, you gain the ability to empower yourself to focus on your end-goal and be inspired within minutes, if not seconds.

We can easily forget about the beauty of our lives as we get swept up in the monotony of day-to-day life.

So taking a couple minutes to remind yourself of the power of your life and the gifts you have can be all you need to start moving towards the life you crave.

Part 4: Stop Dreaming, Start Doing (The Final Call to Action)

Harness Everything You’ve Learned to Take Massive Action Today

“If one felt successful, there’d be so little incentive to be successful.”

Alain de Botton

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed after seeing all the work you have to do to become a writer today.

But remember, keeping it simple is the one thing you can always come back to when you’re struggling to create.

Carving out fifteen minutes to write will bring you closer to your dreams than you think

 

If you build this habit into your life, your success will be guaranteed (whether you make money off your work or not). Because the simple act of writing every day will be the one thing you can always do to further your writing career and become better at your craft.

With enough practice, you’ll get better, and the better you get the more clear your words will become.

And the clearer your words become, the easier it will be to get your message around and find new readers to join you and encourage you along to become the great writer you dream of being.

Bonus Tip: Learn to Constantly Adapt to Your Circumstances to Control the Outcomes of Your Life

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out”

Stephen Covey

Many of us act as if we don’t have control over our lives when in reality we do.

We want to be writers; hell, we dream of being writers. We’re obsessed with the idea of the thing.

Yet we forget that we are the agents of change for our lives, and in the end, only we can make the decision to become better at anything in life.

Always remember this: “If you want to be, do.”

If you want to be a writer, write.

If you want to become a bestselling writer, write.

Stop trying to network and market your way there. Instead, focus on the writing first and stop putting the cart in front of the horse.

If you’re not writing every day, your dream to be a great writer will forever remain a fantasy

 

Your writing should always be the first thing you do, way before you go off to build your Twitter following or start reaching out to agents in your target niche.

After the curtain closes and the smoke fades, you need to realize that you’re the only obstacle standing in the way of your writing dreams.

Because if you don’t write out your legacy, nobody else will in your place.

If you’d like a printable report to refer to, I’ve gone ahead and summarized the whole post into a handy little 2-page checklist. Enter your email below to grab it 🙂

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You’re a Writer – Act Like One (Charge!)

Go Conquer the Blank Page Right Now

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

Jim Rohn

Your hesitations, doubts, and misgivings about your gifts all boil down to one thing: they are rooted in fear.

And if you give into these distractions, you will only strengthen the power they hold over you.

Whether you’re a screenwriter, a blogger, a novelist, or a poet, your only job as a writer is to create amazing worlds for others to effortlessly slip into and see.

You’ll need to fight like hell to make your dreams come true, but you can never back down because you were born for this.

It’s time to embrace your gifts and step into your power as a storyteller. And building a daily writing habit will be the best way you can become the great writer you so desperately want to be.

Becoming a writer will be hard. It’ll test your patience and grind away at your soul. Truthfully, most of the time you’ll want to stop the pain and quit.

But your job as a writer isn’t over yet. It won’t be until you leave this earth.

So shed your demons, young warrior, and step into the light.

As the Gunslinger says in The Dark Tower,

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”

And if you choose to harness your power and share it with others, you might be surprised at what you’ll help them see.

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Blake Powell
 

Blake is an author, dreamer, and avid Netflix watcher. He enjoys drinking metric tons of coffee daily and helping writers unleash their greatness upon the world. If you're ready to go on this journey with him, let him know how he can best support you by leaving a comment below.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Robert - May 1, 2017

This obviously took you a bit of time. The daily postings on facebook pointed to this, and you echo what all the other “writer/bloggers” say. These principles are clear and obvious (well, some not so much) and if followed, will promote much better writing habits – and hopefully, better writers. This is a bold start. Looking forward to your additions to the conversation.

Reply
    Blake Powell - May 1, 2017

    Hey Robert,

    Oh, it certainly did. My goal was to provide a guide that writers of any kind could come back to and reference at a moment’s notice. It was a long labour of love and I’m really happy that it helped you.

    Thank you for your kind words and looking forward to helping you along in your writing journey as much as I can. But I think I need a little break from writing for the time being… 😉

    Reply
Anthony Metivier - May 1, 2017

Great post!

You’re right about it taking time to get into the flow – but I’ve found that you can speed up the process by training yourself to write with certain albums on. It can take a while to find one that has just the characteristics.

But the sooner you do, the sooner the “entrainment” can begin. You’ll find that you fall into the so-called “zone” a lot quicker and can stay there.

Then find an album just for revising. 🙂

Reply
    Blake Powell - May 2, 2017

    Hey Anthony,

    Good to see you here 🙂 Awesome suggestion. I usually listen to the same 2-3 playlists when writing, but tend to switch it up so I don’t get bored. I’ll try alternating one for writing and one for editing and see how that goes.

    Thanks for your comment!

    Reply
Kasey Luck - May 5, 2017

Wow, this is a MASSIVE post! Lots of value here.

I would recommend making the text column more narrow, so it’s easier to read.

PS. still working through the post, there is a lot 🙂 But great job, this is an amazing start! Good job on including multiple lead magnets.

Reply
    Blake Powell - May 5, 2017

    Hey Kasey,

    Glad you think so. Thanks for reading it.

    That’s a great point about the width of the content. I opted for no sidebar to start, so it’s something I haven’t considered. Let me know what you think of the rest of the post 😉

    Reply

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