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The Truth about Writers and Self-Deception

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Have you ever felt like you were capable of so much more – like if you could just find the right path, you could get to that magical place of happy fulfillment while you’re making a big difference in the world?

Forest dream!Have you ever wondered why, even though you’re writing and writing, you seem to make no real progress?

One of the most important posts I’ve ever written on this blog was What Noble Excuse Have You Designed to Fool Your Creative Self?

That post is key because one of the things I believe all human beings excel at is self- deception. Oh sure, we may talk a good game, how we’re doing all this cool stuff to change the world. In fact, the game we create in our heads is probably so convincing, we believe it ourselves.

First we believe it, then we live it, then we wonder why we aren’t more fulfilled, or why we’re not achieving the things we want to achieve, why the income isn’t there, why, WHY?

In short, our self-deception keeps us away from any of the “good” stuff we want and know we deserve.

For writers, the self-deception can be even more insidious because as long as you are writing something, be it a blog, or book, or letter, or journal, or…then you are doing what you are supposed to do? Right? I mean you’re writing so it’s all good.

Isn’t it?

Uh, no. So sorry.

Yes, in the beginning, there is the word. Lots of them. You write write write. That’s when the ball starts rolling.

But at some point if you desire to use your writing in a professional sense you must allow yourself to grow into phase 2.

Phase 2 begins when you first feel that inkling that, yes, you’re writing more than x number of words per day or week, or articles or posts, yet something is missing. Everyone tells you that to be a writer you must keep your butt on the chair and pound out the words. And you are! Good for you!

But the questions beg to be asked – what is the essential why of your writing? Why are you writing? What do you want your writing to do?

You have a purpose in life – even if you can’t clearly define it, it’s there. And writing likely plays a big part in that purpose (else you wouldn’t be reading this blog). So, do not let self-deception lull you into believing that just getting the words out means your job is done.

You’ll know if you are guilty of that because you’ll be doing and doing and doing, and yet, (loop back) not feeling all that goodness and satisfaction that comes from steady progress toward making that difference with your writing that you were born to make.

Maybe I’m just talking to myself. Perhaps, I’m the only one here that is guilty of writing mountains of words that aren’t leading me any place specific. But on the off chance that you have a niggling suspicion you too might be guilty of writing without purpose, read on for how to solve it.

The Easy Cure for Writer’s Self-Deception

1. Admit you are deceiving yourself no matter how noble your excuses sound.

2. Set up one goal that you will achieve with your writing. This can be anything from “make my husband cry with a love poem” to “raise my sales on product A with more targeted copy”. The point is to try and do something very specific with your writing and then keep at it until that goal is met.

3. Stop setting your writing goals up as creating a certain number of words, or posts, or articles. Rather, set your writing goals up more in terms of writing something that accomplishes a specific thing. That may be 1 sentence rather than 500 words. but it could be the one sentence that finally – FINALLY – sells your eBook or your product or your important thing. It could be the sentence that begins the ball rolling to world peace. Who knows. 

The point is, forget the “how much” approach and go for the “why” approach.

Now, go find that why.

If you unsure of your big why and would like some guidance on your creative mission in life, try my book Mindful Creativity and get started on the rest of your life today.

image: Creative Commons License Vinoth Chandar via Compfight

About the author: Karen, zencopy creator, is a top 10 bestselling amazon author, creativity coach, and an online content specialist with a masters in psychology and passion for learning and teaching new topics.

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