Determining Your Writing Goals through Your Values

reading an e-bookWe all have deeply held values and beliefs that carry us through our lifetimes. When we become writers, we get to decide what to write and what to focus on in our writing careers. Most of what we are interested on focusing have to do with what we value and believe in.

However, there are some writers who don’t really know what their values are. They are not really aware of what they want to write and focus on. They simply cruise from one subject and audience to the other without any rhyme or reason. Writers such as this have a difficult time sticking to projects. It would seem that sometimes they are interested in one type of writing or subject only to abandon it the next week or month.

Therefore, it is important for all writers to really get a sense of their true beliefs and values. Otherwise, they will probably not be successful in their writing careers. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself as a writer if you fall into this category.

• What are your values?
• What do you truly believe in?
• What kinds of writing do you value?
• What kinds of books do you like to read?

If you can’t answer these questions, it is time to do a bit of soul-searching and reflection. Here are a few things you could do:

1. Go to your local library and browse over the kinds of books that are in the stacks. What kinds of books and topics strike you immediately and make you pick up the book?
2. Pay attention that what you believe in. Are you religious? Do you believe that there should be justice in the world? Do you try to promote this justice? Do you enjoy helping people?
3. What kinds of work do you do? Do you have a career in teaching or nursing? This may be a clue on what you could write about too.
4. What kinds of hobbies do you have? What do you really enjoy to do? This may be something that you could write about too.

By asking yourself these questions, you will be well on your way to determining your values and beliefs. Then all you have to write in these areas and you will be most successful.

Try it!

Irene S. Roth

Developing the Right Attitude towards Your Writing

There is nothing as important as having the right attitude towards your writing career in order to get your writing done. After all, if you don’t think you could get the writing done, you definitely won’t be able to do it.

reading retreatMany times your attitude can negatively impact your writing and become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you think you can’t do something, you won’t be able to do it. Therefore, developing a positive attitude towards yourself and your writing is crucial to your success. Here are a few tips on how to do this.

1. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. There is nothing worse to build morale and self-confidence as a writer. It is better to decide what YOUR writing goals will be and pursue them.

2. Always know that you are doing the best you can with the skills you have. It always easy to second-guess yourself. But it’s a lot better to just do the best you can and accept the rest.

3. Take self-development workshops from time to time to upgrade your skills. This can work wonders to develop a positive attitude. It will also give you the confidence to keep propelling forward in your own writing career.

4. Enjoy your writing time. Relax, and take deep breaths and enjoy the journey of working on a writing project. It really is the best life that anyone can have.

5. Treat yourself like a professional writer. Get business cards. Dress the part, and tell others you are a writer. If you define yourself as a writer, chances are you won’t need to compare yourself to other writers. You will be busy developing your own skills and identity as a writer instead.

Do you have a positive attitude towards your writing? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Until Next Time,

Irene S. Roth, MA

Do you believe in yourself as a Writer?

take-your-desktop-for-a-walk-through-the-forest-nature-picture-forest-wallpaper[1]Believing in your abilities as a writer is one of the most important things that you can do as a writer. This will motivate you to get your writing done and be the best writer you can be.

It can be difficult to believe in yourself. There are so many forces telling you that you’re not good enough. Then there is the constant barrage of rejection letters and put downs by editors and other writing peers in writing groups. All of these forces can wreak havoc with your self-confidence as a writer.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you believe in yourself:

1. Be your own spokesperson. Don’t put yourself down in front of other writers or peers. There is nothing that tells others louder that you are unsure of yourself. Instead, be positive about your abilities and compliment yourself in front of others.

2. Watch who you hang around with. Try not to hang around negative, skeptical writers all the time. Instead, find positive people to develop with. There are many positive writers out there. You just have to find them.

3. Carefully choose a critique group so that you can flourish as a writer. Don’t allow others to put you down or say I know better than you. You are just as much a writer as they are! Put downs can have a cumulative on your self-esteem as a writer.

4. Watch what you say to yourself over and over. Try not to say negative things about your abilities or writing to yourself. This can be hard to do sometimes since many of the things you may tell yourself may be unconscious. To become aware of them, you may have to write down every negative thing you say to yourself over a 24 hour period in your writing journal. Then try to replace these negative statements with positive ones. This will help you believe in yourself a lot more.

By trying some or all of these tips, you will start believing in yourself a lot more as a writer. In addition, your writing life will improve and you will enjoy your time at your desk if you are motivated to write. So, it’s a win-win for you if you believe in yourself as a writer.

Do you believe in yourself as a writer? What are some negative things that you say to yourself over and over?

Irene S. Roth

Have you Mastered Creative Anxiety?

newyears-path-1024x633Are you creating a lot less often than you would like? Are you avoiding your creative work altogether? If so, anxiety may be the culprit! Anxiety regularly hampers productivity and makes a writer’s experience of writing more painful than pleasurable. It can even stop normally creative people entirely, preventing them from realizing their dreams. Anxiety is the number one problem that you have to face. Yet very few you are aware of how anxious you are when you sit down to write.

Anxiety is as much a part of the creative life as it is part of the human condition. Yet, most of you don’t realize how anxiety can negatively impact your overall writing productivity. You avoid experiencing anxiety or even becoming aware of it because of your human defensiveness towards it. Most times, you try to deny that you are anxious. And unless you deal with anxiety directly, sadly it won’t just go away.

To determine whether or not anxiety negatively impacts your overall productivity, answer the following questions.

• Do you procrastinate when you write?
• Do you resist getting to your writing or marketing your work?
• Do you have trouble deciding which creative project to tackle?
• Do you find completing your writing projects hard?

If you struggle with any one of these things, you are probably an anxious writer. Over the next few weeks I will be discussing some of the different anxieties that you face as a writer so that you could become aware of which type of anxiety you suffer from. Tune in next Tuesday for more about this.

But for now, reflect on which of the above things you struggle with right now? Let me know below and let’s get to the bottom of your anxieties together!

Until Next time!
Irene S. Roth

How to Manifest Excellence in Your Writing Career

0__IMG_6135[1]There are many ways to manifest excellence in your writing career. Many writers know of a few ways to do so.
In this segment, I will list all the ways that writers could take steps to manifest excellence.

Some of the tips that I mention below will be different, such as the one of not tolerating put-downs or hanging around negative people. The idea behind these tips is that if we hang around people who are negative and lack excellence, you will have a difficult time to be your best too and to manifest excellence in different aspects of your life. So, read the tips with an open mind, and highlight a few that you would like to work on in the near future to start manifesting excellence.

Here are some ways to manifest excellence in your writing life:

• Write every day—otherwise you won’t experience continuity as a writer.

• Permit yourself to write—without anyone’s permission.

• Have a comfortable and inspiring environment in which to write.

• Don’t compare yourself to others—this is such a waste of time and energy because no two writers are ever the same.

• Don’t criticize yourself with harsh negative statements—this gives others the message that you lack self-confidence and excellence.

• Don’t hang around negative people—they will emotionally derail you and your efforts to be your best.

• Don’t tolerate put-downs from others—they make you feel inadequate and to ultimately lack self-confidence in your abilities.

• Take pride in your writing.

• Honour yourself as a writer.

• Grow as a writer—take courses, read, upgrade, do things differently.

• Don’t push yourself to write too much.

• Don’t write bad quality manuscripts.

• Self-promote yourself on social media.

• Build a solid identity as a writer.

• Proofread your blogs thoroughly.

• Be intentional about your writing.

• Dare to be your best.

• Write, with pride.

• Believe in your writing.

• Believe in yourself as a writer.

• Identify yourself as a writer.

So, highlight a few of the above tips to feeling like an excellent writer, and get on the path towards excellence.

Try it!

Irene S. Roth

Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear

Blogging in your underwear .jpegFreedom is Blogging in Your Underwear
By: Hugh MacLeod
Penguin Group, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-59184-485-3

This is a unique book for writers about blogging. Writing is a wonderful career in which we could write in the comforts of our home office in our PJ’s or yes, even our underwear, if we wish.

Writers have freedom that most other professions don’t have. Each writer gets to discover what their freedom is for herself. This freedom can make the world better.

Having a blog is an important part of a writer’s life. Your life won’t be dependent on the approval of others. Also, through your blog, you can have direct contact with your audience and your audience can also have contact with you.

The internet gave writers great freedom, the freedom to find our own life. Used properly, our blog can help us gain contracts and get writing jobs. We can also inspire others to be their best through our blogs.

We each have this capacity to inspire others through our blog. We can share our knowledge, expertise and insights to the greater audience. So, the internet is central to get our work out there for everyone.

What I love about this book is the way it is written. Hugh MacLeod is a cartoonist and he brings he message to writers through his cartoons and his insights. He also has thorough introductions to each of the sections in his book.

This is a book every writer should read to appreciate the freedom that comes with being a writer.

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

About Irene S. Roth

You are a Writer (So start acting like one)

You are a writer. coverYou are a Writer (So start acting like one)
By: Jeff Goins
Tribe Press, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9903785-0-1

This is great book for writers. It covers a lot of different important topics, converging on one main theme: If you write, you are a writer.

Writers are always looking for people to regard them as writers. This is the ultimate compliment. Yet, for many of us, we could wait a very long time for someone to acknowledge us in this way. Most agents and editors don’t have the time to send complements to writers, much less tell them that they are writers.

For many writers, the invisibility and lack of acknowledgement can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety and a lack of self-confidence. If you are such a writer, and are looking for approval from the outside, this book is for you!

Jeff Goins encourages writers that they should spend more time writing than looking for approval from others. Instead, they should try to produce their best work by writing. And as long as we’re writing, we are writers!

You can start acting as a writer by writing every day. Also, you need to get read by others. The internet makes this possible and relatively easy to develop. To be a writer, you need a blog, platform and brand as well as channels of connection. Goins spends one chapter on each of these important aspects of a writer’s career to dispel the mysteries of how to set up these public arenas.

What I love about this book is the upbeat and inspiring message that is contained in this book. Writers cannot afford not to read it.

Reviewed by Irene S. Roth

About Irene S. Roth