I’ve been stalling on writing this blog post for about two weeks.
Don’t worry, it’s not bad news or anything. I just couldn’t write it.
You know the feeling, right? You want to work on a project, but every time you sit down, something is wrong. You can’t find your way into the story, or you are seized with a sudden urge to research the perfect lamp for your desk…
My Favorite Productivity Hack
To get this post going, I used one of my favorite, sure-fire tricks:
If you’ve never “sprinted” here’s how it works: you hook up with some other writers and someone sets a timer. Everyone works on whatever they’re trying to write, for 15 minutes (or another time you agree upon). The rule is: focused work. No distractions.
Then you take a break and chit-chat, before sprinting again.
Usually this results in everyone getting tons of work done, getting into that elusive flow state, making progress.
Only it wasn’t working for this post.
What Did I Do Next?
In our five minute, between-sprint breaks, I confessed to my writing buddies that this beautifully-outlined blog post I had intended to write just wasn’t coming.
And because they were writers, they thought. And they asked me questions. Question like:
- What are you trying to say?
- Why do you think it’s not coming?
- Is now not the right time, or is it something else?
- What does your heart tell you?
Answering their questions helped me formulate my thoughts, my objections to my outline, and the root problem with the post (which was, in case you’re interested, that I was trying to be clever, instead of simply Telling You A Thing)
The Point Of This Post
I have been experimenting with leaning on other writers for support, over the past year, and it has been transformative.
I formed the StoryADay Superstars group to try to help YOU write more, and be more fulfilled by your writing.
In the process, I had my own eyes opened to the power of a posse.
Ironic, huh? A writing group helped me figure out why I was having problems writing a post about writing groups!
We Don’t Have To Do This Alone
- Yes, we need solitude at some point in the creative process.
- Yes, we have to make ourselves do the work.
- But it is good to connect with other people.
Writing Is All About Connection.
Every story we tell is influenced by every story we’ve heard, every person we’ve met.
So shouldn’t the act of writing allow some room for connection too?
If you’ve been struggling to write, all alone, I’m here to give you permission to reach out.
If you think that you can’t have a posse because you’re an introvert, let me assure you that some of the best parties I’ve been to have been the ones where everyone slunk in reluctantly, nursing their inner introvert. But because we were all writers, somehow it was all ok.
Ways To Find Your Posse
- You can start by lurking around writing blogs like StoryADay, commenting on other people’s comments, asking open-ended questions, asking for favors (fun fact: when someone does you one favor, they are more likely to help you out in future too. By helping out once, people feel personally invested in your success!)
- You can search online for “#writingsprints” and join in with real-time writing sprints.
- Go to a local writing group that meets in person (gasp! I know, really I do!). Remember that everyone there feels a little awkward, but that the best groups are full of people who are looking to raise each other up.
- Seek out groups online.
In fact, why not come and experience a StoryADay Superstars video hangout and writing sprint this coming Monday, Feb 4? Sorry this event is passed
(This is part of the Superstars program. We sign in to Zoom, a video chat platform, chat for a few minutes, then do a few 15 minute writing sprints broken up by 5 minute chatting-and-stretching breaks, for about 90 minutes in total.)
I open up the Superstars program twice a year, in April and August, just in time for StoryADay May and StoryADay September. Superstars not only get you lifetime access to the Superstars Deep Content, but weekly video hangouts during the challenge, monthly video hangouts throughout the year, a private Slack group, and discounts on other programs like the critique groups and workshops.
But I wanted to invite everyone to experience a hangout, no strings attached, right now to keep those New Year’s resolutions on track. Pick a project you want to get some traction on, and register for the hangout (so I can send you a reminder when we’re about to start).
Sorry this event is passed.
Where Do You Get Your Writing Support?
I’m really interested in hearing your experience with writing: alone or with groups. Have you ever been part of a writers’ group? What did you love/hate about it?
Drop me a line here below and join the conversation.