Episode 76 – Introduction to Self-Sabotage

Episode 76 introduces a series about self-sabotage, which appears to plague most humans. It has many faces, and Mariëlle and Lucinda share theirs in the following episodes. First, they take a closer look at their limiting beliefs. What do they mean to the individual? How do they impact writing lives?

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’

(Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A COURSE IN MIRACLES, pp. 190–191).Mariëlle gives her coaching clients an exercise when they are struggling with limiting beliefs. It is available as part of the, Get Out of Your Own Way Starter Kit, which is available on subscribing to Mariëlle’s newsletter.

Step 1: Uncovering your beliefs about writing

The first step is to write down every belief you have about writing. Grab a notebook, print this page, or open a new document on your computer. Set your timer to fifteen minutes, and start with: ‘Something I believe about writing is….’

Write down whatever comes up. Don’t think about it too much. Just let your thoughts flow onto the paper or screen. Even if the next thought contradicts one of the other beliefs you’ve already written down or seems too small to have an impact on your life. Try not to judge or censor any of your beliefs, and don’t argue with them either.

Adapted from Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman’s book. Creating on Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting through the Chakras.

Episode 75 – Structuring Your Time

Applying structure to your time is not just about writing. It is about ensuring that you get everything done. It is about looking at the bigger picture of what you want to achieve and making it happen. Anything worthwhile requires a level of commitment, and writing is no different. However, the process is not set in stone. It is dynamic and constantly changing.

It is not easy, and even the most successful writers struggle sometimes.

It can be hard to accept that you are allowed to do something just for yourself, and you do not need to become a successful author to say, ‘this is my writing time.’

Mariëlle and Lucinda consider ways of using habits to get writing done.

QUESTION
On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being chaos and ten being getting everything done that you want, where do you score structuring your time?

JOURNALING PROMPT
For many writers, the act of writing is like coming home to themselves. It connects them to their core and feeds their souls, yet it is hard to set apart and prioritise our writing time.

This week try to prioritise your writing over everything else you’ve got going on, even if it means getting a mere 5 minutes of writing done before the rest of your life beckons. Make it your number one priority and at the end of the week, reflect on how hard or easy was it to prioritise your writing time. How did you feel throughout the week, and how are you feeling about it now?

 

Episode 74 – Boundaries Part 2

Mariëlle and Lucinda needed a second episode to continue the theme of boundaries and recognise their importance in establishing a healthy writing practice. In this episode, they consider what distracted them in the previous week as they reflect on improving their response in the future.

Boundaries are essential in all aspects of personal and professional relationships. Without them or when people cross them, it can make us feel unsafe or angry.

Firm personal boundaries are an expression of self-love as they communicate our expectations to ourselves and others. However, there are dangers if they become too fixed. We want or need to do things beyond writing, commitments to family, work, or even hobbies, and need to find a way for the boundaries in different aspects of our lives to work together.

Writing practice needs healthy boundaries so the people around us can know and respect our routines. Honour your boundaries. Make it easier for your family and friends to recognise that you value your writing by committing time and energy to the practice.


EXERCISE

Prentice Hemphill said, “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.”

Write this quote out and place it where you can see it.

 

 

Episode 73 – The Importance of Boundaries for Writers

In this episode, Mariëlle and Lucinda talk about establishing boundaries that allow them to write regularly.

Boundaries are not fixed and need to adapt and change, sometimes becoming the new normal. Boundaries are more membrane-like than a drawbridge where aspects of life can pass through while others need keeping out. Only you can decide what to allow inside and what to push out.

Anger can signify that someone is attempting to compromise one of your boundaries and demonstrates why it is vital to be conscious about where your boundaries lie. A strong sense of self-awareness supports conscious choice rather than mindless reaction.

EXERCISES

Boundaries are vital for any writer, but no writer is an island. We all have things we have or want to do beyond our writing.

Set your timer to ten minutes, grab your journal or open a new document on your computer, and make a list. What have you allowed to distract you from writing over the past week? Month? Year?

Take a good look at last week’s list of things you’ve allowed to distract you from writing. Of all the distractions you’ve written down, which are perfectly acceptable to you? Which aren’t?

Now write a new list only containing the distractions you’re more than willing to accommodate in your life. Pin it to the wall or keep it in another place where you get to see it regularly.

 

Episode 72 – Sacrifice and the Writing Life

In this episode, Mariëlle and Lucinda talk about fitting writing into their lives. They identify areas that they have consciously and unconsciously given up to write fiction.

There might be obvious areas. Perhaps you spend too much time on social media or watching TV, but sometimes it’s about spending less time with family and friends. It might even involve changing your job alterations to a lifestyle. Whatever it is, it is worth spending some time identifying what you want and what you are prepared to sacrifice.

What have you given up to dedicate yourself to your writing?

What will you give up?

Episode 71 – Are you as dedicated to writing as you think you are?

Virginia Woolf noted, many people who write want to do nothing else. 

What are the most disagreeable aspects of being a writer for you? Are you passionate enough to endure these in the long term?

Imagine dedication as a gauge. If you are honest with yourself, how do you score?

What would dedication to your writing look like for you?

Before measuring your dedication, you need to know precisely what you want from your writing.

It could be putting a couple of hours a week aside to clear your head and write. It could be buying a writing course AND setting aside time to practise what you learnt.

If you’re crazy, maybe you’ll pack in work for a year, move into a caravan in the corner of a field and spend every day for a whole year reading about writing, practising, getting it wrong and trying again.

Choose what you want and dedicate some time and effort to take the actions required to achieve it. The hardest part is making up your mind if this is a ‘want to’ or a ‘going to.’

What might help?

• Connecting with fellow writers for accountability, community and encouragement to keep going. 

• Daily writing sessions to get unblocked and make progress on your writing projects.

• Attending events in person and online.

• Reading fiction and writing craft books.

Episode 70 – How Dedicated Do You Want to Be in Your Writing?

In this episode, Mariëlle and Lucinda talk about dedicating themselves to writing. Many people struggle to find the time and commitment to write a novel but knowing where you are and where you are going improves your chance of success.

It is vital to discover what is realistically achievable so you don’t constantly feel you are failing or if you are, you can identify what needs to change. A part of this is knowing and setting your priorities to ensure you are in the right place and heading in the right direction. Boundaries protect your time from other commitments, enabling you to write. However, first, you need to be honest with yourself. Try these exercises.

List your priorities. You might be surprised by what comes ahead of writing.

Rank those priorities in order of importance, with one the most important. You can have as many as you can fit in your life.

Can you identify anything that you have given up to fit writing into your life?

Episode 69 – From Goal Setter to Dedicated Writer

Dedicating yourself to writing or a writing career starts with goals. Those goals might include publishing a novel, entering competition or just finishing a piece of work.

In order to move forward, you will probably experience a mindset shift. It might be moving from writing as a hobby to writing as a career or perhaps you aren’t there yet. Maybe you never will be.

Sometimes, it is because something triggers a change. We talk about how sharing our writing with someone else causes us to grow and move up a level.

Dedicating yourself to writing is a choice. Perhaps like me you decide that you want others to read what you have written. Accepting and making use of critiques is a skill. To find out more join  us for this new series.

What does it mean to you to become a dedicated writer?

When did you decide to dedicate yourself to writing?

Episode 68 – Perfectionism and Goal Setting

“Research shows that perfectionism hampers success” (Brene Brown).

Perfectionism can show up in many aspects of your life. It can stop a writer from getting past the first page or prevent them from pressing publish.

In this episode, Mariëlle and I talk about overcoming our tendencies to lean towards perfectionism.

In striving to be perfect, we focus on the wrong things. This has never been more obvious than when writing a novel. Some people become stuck on rewriting the same line over and over, and for others, it’s the need for just one more draft.

Perfectionism can even stop you from setting specific goals because of the fear that you can never achieve what you want, and if you do manage to set a goal, it can keep you perfecting the detail instead of moving forwards to the finish line.

Do you feel that perfectionism gets in the way of your success?

In what way does perfectionism stop you from achieving your goals?

Episode 67 – How Comparisonitis Affects Goals

In this episode, we continue our theme of setting effective goals to turn you into a successful author.

There are times when it is natural to compare ourselves to others. Having a role model who inspires us can help us to identify what we want to achieve.

Comparisonitis can be dangerous because it is about comparing what someone else has, or you perceive them to have, with what you’d like to have. Nowhere is this more prevalent than on social media, where individuals portray themselves as happy, success and fortunate. They show a side of themselves that they want others to see, and it is often not the whole picture. You and your situation are unique, and other people’s goals might not fit your situation.

It can be helpful to compare what you have achieved this year against what you achieved last, but this also has dangers. Judgement needs to go to allow you to examine the circumstances with curiosity.

Do you suffer from comparisonitis? For the next 24 hours, count the number of times you compare yourself to others. How do you think this affects you?