The creative journey is not a linear path. It's more like a rollercoaster. Here are some of the things I feel on almost a daily basis. Perhaps you feel the same way?
I hate writing. It's so hard to force myself to sit and type words that are a load of crap anyway.
I love writing. Some days I can get into a flow state and the words come effortlessly onto the page, and they're actually pretty good! I love creating something from just my brain. It's the best life in the world.
My mind is completely empty. I will never have another idea.
Trust emergence. Something will come out of the milieu of this crazy, buzzing world.
Write to live: I need to write something that will sell so I can pay the bills.
Live to write. I'm happy to make money with a day job so I can write the best book I can write, without fear of earning income.
I spend all my time alone, and I think I'm going a little crazy with only my weird mind for company.
I can't get away from the incessant email and social media chatter. I just need some alone time.
I love connecting with my readers and fans. I love reading reviews and getting emails from people who enjoy my books.
I'm afraid of criticism. I hate the one-star reviews. They make me want to give up every day. Sometimes I wonder if it would be best if no one even read my work because then no one would attack me.
I want to win a literary prize and be featured in literary magazines for my beautiful use of language. I don't care about commercial success.
I want to sell millions of books and be read by millions of people. I want the income that reflects that level of commercial success.
I just want to write and not have to worry about all the technical aspects of publishing and marketing.
It's so much easier to write blog posts, do podcasts and hang out on social media, than it is to just write.
I want an agent and a publisher so that I will feel validated as a writer.
Number of books sold and money in my bank account, as well as happy readers, are all the validation I need as a writer.
I want to see my book for sale in the local bookstore so that my family and friends will understand what the hell I do all day.
I want to sell ebooks in 150 countries worldwide because in that way I will reach far more people than my local bookstore ever can.
I want a movie deal and a seven-figure advance and global adoration and JK Rowling-like success.
I just want to sit in my writing hut and be quiet and stay away from the crowds, and think and write, and be happy.
I want people to like me and accept me and think I'm a nice person.
I will not self-censor. I will write my dark truth.
I pretty much go through this every day. How about you?
Being a writer is not just about typing. It’s also about surviving the roller-coaster of the creative journey.
Self-doubt, fear of failure, the need for validation, perfectionism, writer’s block, comparisonitis, overwhelm, and much more. When you’re going through these things, it can feel like you’re alone. But actually, they are part of the creative process, and every author goes through them too.
The Successful Author Mindset is out now in print, ebook, and audiobook. Also a companion workbook.
Top image: Flickr Creative Commons roller coaster by Eric Lynch