On being a writer: plan

I’m continuing to join in with Kate Motaung’s online discussion group On Being a Writer, which is based on Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig’s book On being a writer: 12 simple steps for a writing life that lasts.

Today’s prompt asks us to think about planning and asks us to share some of our writing goals and the dreams we have for our writing life.

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As for many, it’s not so easy for me to find time to write but I do find the time to do so (early mornings before my littles are awake). It’s important for me to write and so I made it a priority to carve this daily habit from my unrelenting schedule.

As a result of the On Being series, I’ve now made the commitment to use some of that writing time to dedicate to ‘promotion’: finding potential markets for shorter articles and making the connections necessary to try to market my writing.

For me that’s a big step and one that’s taken me years to arrive at.

I realise, as I’ve been joining in this series, that as much as I need to plan to write and to promote, I also need to plan to introduce texture in to my life.

It’s only when my life has texture, colour, stimulation that I feel ready to get in the zone and only then that I feel that my writing flows. 

If I’m feeling yuck my writing will most likely be yuck.

When I’m running on half mast, starved of visual, aesthetic, stimulation, my writing just doesn’t work, doesn’t come freely, doesn’t sound good. It’s not authentic. Its forced.

So, as much as I need to plan to do the writing, and to set goals for my writing, it’s important for me, due to my particular circumstances, to ensure that I’m doing the work on myself, for myself, so that the words come free, come freely, uninhibited.

I can’t create if I’m not in a place of plenty on a personal level.

So what does this mean in practice? It means planning to take a whole lot more care of myself and my mental state, to stimulate my mind as much as possible, to keep my body active [I was shocked the other day to realise that on the days I run, my Luminosity score increases by around 35%! How’s that for proof that exercise really does feed the mind?!]

It means considering me, making time to be my best me, as I take this journey, with myself, to realising the things I want to realise.

And what might those things be? I definitely feel called to share my personal story in book format. I’d like to give talks. [Part of my planning to be my best me also needs to deal with pushing through the vulnerability that comes with openly discussing my dreams, addressing the awkwardness that comes with sharing my (very private) hopes].

But I think that’s been the wonder and joy of this group: finding connection, finding community, finding people who understand each other, who we’re willing to be vulnerable in front of, so that we can find the support, accountability, we need.

If we don’t have that, we’re boats afloat but adrift, destination uncertain.

With a truly heartfelt thanks for your support,

Helen xxx

P.S. As I was on my walk this morning, a Nina Simone song came on shuffle, encapsulating so many emotions I’ve been feeling throughout this On Being series. I couldn’t find a version of it online but did come across Emeli Sande’s version….(I’ve a sense it’s going to become an anthem for the writer part of me)…hope you like it too!

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10 thoughts on “On being a writer: plan

  1. Gabriele says:

    I see that photography has popped up in your feeding your soul texture. Texture is a good word. Put some smooths and bumpies side by side with a little slippery to top it off. I look forward to your creations. I’m checking out OnBeing so I can understand what that is.

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Gabriele…yes, photography is definitely one of my first loves! Love your description of ‘texture’! I used the term ‘OnBeing’ as shorthand for ‘On Being a Writer’….(I realise it was confusing; sorry)….Helen xx

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  2. Carrie Ann says:

    First of all…I LOVE the new look of the blog. The header with your name is simply beautiful!! I think promoting is probably the hardest. This song definitely sang to me!! lol. I am going to find a version to add to my playlist 🙂

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia! Thanks: the header was designed by Rissa at Riss Designs (Etsy)….it’s lovely isn’t it?! Promoting is definitely the hardest….glad you liked the song…there are lots of lovely versions: the John Legend one is also fab! Helen xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. annkroeker says:

    To plan even the need for texture and variety to lift your mood and contribute to your writing life–that’s brilliant! You are thinking about the whole of your writing life, which is essential. It’s all tied together, our lives and our writing lives, our health and our creativity.

    By the way, Makes You Mom is doing a series on exercise and the brain that your Lumosity score would corroborate. This is the first one: http://makesyoumom.com/why-exercise-part-1-learning-and-the-brain/ (there are at least four in the series, if you want to google Makes You Mom Exercise Brain) 🙂

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Ann, it’s definitely where I found myself when I was reflecting on planning…I know none of its going to happen if I’m not in a ‘good place’….off to check out the link…..as I say, I was absolutely astounded when I looked at the stats….! [There’s definitely more than a few potential articles in all of this!]

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  4. carlybenson says:

    I like how you consider planning not just in terms of the writing itself but in other aspects of life that are so important it fulfilling our potential in that- exercise, pushing through vulnerability etc. You’ve definitely given me something to think about. I echo your feelings about being part of this group, and I love the song too.

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Carly, thanks so much for popping over! Yes, I can’t think of my writing in isolation (probably because of my situation; everything has to be run like clockwork or it would all come crumbling down….and clocks don’t work if all the pieces aren’t in the right places and aren’t greased and ready for work!)….Helen xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Joy Lenton says:

    Helen, I love how you’re taking your writing seriously and planning how to incorporate the writing life into the rest of life. Because it can’t exist in isolation to those things which either feed or sap our souls. I’m always amazed how words continue to come to me when I have no special place to write, no great view to muse on, sit hunched over a laptop, can’t go out for walks, exercise or have much external stimulation. Even though ascetics and beauty enliven my spirit, it seems my path to continuing to flow in the writing stream is found in retreat, making space for solitude and silence and listening with intent. Maybe God sees the way our lives differ and feeds our individual souls by various means. But oh, how I still have times when I would love the means to be active, energetic and engage more with the outside world – and with this ‘On Being A Writer’ course! You pique my curiosity each time I read a post linking to it. 🙂 Xx

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Joy, yes, it’s definitely moved from ‘back burner’ to ‘imperative’ status, which has to be a good thing. I definitely also need solitude and silence for ‘the muse’ to hit but, because of my circumstances, if I’m not in my ‘good place’ mentally, even if I’m in silence, the words don’t come, unfortunately. [Definitely agree about souls being fed differently]. Thinking of you, Joy, I feel for you so much (and, yes, how wonderful it would have been had you been able to join in, but hopefully you will be able to read the prompts in future and you’ll get a great deal out of them, as I have done). Thinking of you. Helen xx

      Liked by 1 person

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