(Transcript) Are you feeling guilty about not writing? Here’s why you should stop the guilt-trip ASAP

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Morgan MacDonald : Today we are talking about why you should not feel GUILTY about NOT writing. I’m Morgan Gist MacDonald. I’m a writing coach, editor and author, and I help you write a book, from initial idea, to first draft, to finished manuscript – the whole shebang. [We] get your message out there in clear and compelling language. I run my business and blog out of http://www.paperravenbooks.com . So just telling you a little bit about me.

 

Let’s talk about the guilt trips that we send ourselves on. We all do this, right? We have these great ideas about, “Oh, I’m going to write all of this this weekend.” Or, “This week I’m going to write [so many number of] words”, [or] whatever. [Then] something happens, [like] the kids get a stomach bug – like what happened with ME this last weekend. Or something crazy happens at work, or you get a phone call and suddenly you’re on a plane to LA. I mean, who knows. Things happen, and we need to stop feeling guilty about the fact that life happens. Because what you’re doing is creating a negative energy around your writing… Thanks for the hearts guys. Yeah. If you are new to Periscope, if something resonates with you, and you’re like, “Oh, I totally feel that! That’s awesome!” [then] tap hearts, literally on the screen. That let’s me know that you’re engaged, and that what I’m telling you is helpful….

 

David Woody ( https://twitter.com/davidwoody1 ) : Hi.  

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Hey David! Thanks for popping in… Yeah, as yáll are coming in, put your name and where you’re coming in from in the chat, and what you write.

 

So when you have those feelings of, “I SHOULD have written X number of words this weekend”, or “I HAVE to write on Wednesday morning.” and you set this like ultimatum for yourself, if you don’t achieve that then you start to judge yourself. [You may] say you’re not worthy, or good enough. It’s almost like there’s this person standing outside of you saying, “You” – like I’m not even MYSELF anymore. I’m judging MYSELF –  “YOU should have done this, and you’re not good enough.” Then immediately you have this negative reaction, and you’re like, “Oh, maybe I DON’T like this writing thing so much.” So we need to get around that. We need to ALLOW ourselves to push away from that guilt, and guilt message, because it’s not doing you any good. Right? Okay.

 

If our end goal is to write a book, or blog, or article – whatever it is that you’re writing – if your end goal is to produce this written, finished piece, that guilt is actually NOT going to help you get from point A to point B. So what IS going to help you get from Point A to Point B? [Reframing]. You’ve got to reframe… Thanks for the hearts. Yeah. If any of this resonates with you, tap hearts on the screen and it lets me know…

 

Abdo ( https://twitter.com/abdozx19 ) : What’s your name?

 

Morgan MacDonald : What’s my name?… I can do a quick – what does Alex Pettitt call it? He calls it like a “restart button”… I’m Morgan Gist MacDonald. I’m a writing coach, editor and author. I run my business out of http://www.paperravenbooks.com . I help authors write their book, from initial idea, to first draft, to finished manuscript, and ready to publish it. So that’s what I do, and I’m here to help you write whatever it is that you’re writing. Books are my specialty, but obviously I do a lot of blogging, and articles, and essays, and it’s all about getting that written word out on the page and out into the world, right?

 

So the guilt is not going to help you get from blank page to finished draft, right? What IS going to help you? When you start to feel those emotions of guilt, I recommend that you shift out of that [in two ways]… Sorry, I’m looking at my notes and I didn’t write my notes in a very cohesive way… By the way, if you don’t want to take notes, because you’re eating lunch, or whatever, I DO take notes, and I post them on my web site. So let me show you where that is, in case you have to jump.

 

[change of camera view to computer screen]

 

Just go over to http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope , and that is where you’ll see all of the notes, and replays, and transcripts later.

 

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[So] I share notes with you so that you can always come back and reference later. So [I recommend] two things to shift out of that guilt mode. One is to remind yourself, “I’m NOT writing for writing’s sake. The writing is supposed to help me DO something else.” So what IS that “something else” that you’re doing? Are you writing a book so that you can leave your nine-to-five job and live as an author? Are you writing essays so that they’ll be published in a magazine and will change someone’s life? Are you writing just to reach the world with your message and your story?

 

So what is that ultimate goal of your writing? When we focus too much on just the WORD COUNT, and how many words we are producing each day or each week, sometimes it’s easy to make the words feel, kind of, like your enemy. But the words are not your enemy. The words are just a stepping stone to your greater goal. So remind yourself what that greater goal [is]. Instead of saying, “I should write today”, say, “IF I write today, that will get me one step closer to [my] ultimate goal.”

 

So let’s say I’m writing a book, and my goal is 5,000 words in a week. I’m NOT going to tell myself, “I HAVE to write 5,000 words, or I’m a loser.” I’m going to instead reframe that, and say, “IF I write 5,000 words this week I’ll be one step CLOSER to getting more clients through my book.” Okay?  So we’re NOT putting writing as the END GOAL. We’re putting writing back to its place as the stepping stone. So starting the sentence with [something like], “If I do this writing, [and write 5,000 words this week] – it’s not a MUST, it’s a choice, [and] I recognize that it’s something that I want to do – I will be one step closer to this awesome, amazing goal that I have.”  Isn’t that a WHOLE lot better feeling? Okay. So you’re not going to put yourself on a guilt trip. You’re going to remind yourself that this writing is getting you to your next ultimate goal.

 

All right. So that’s step #1. Step #2 is [to] celebrate the progress that you have MADE.This is really hard for us sometimes. I know that I am not good at celebrating progress [laughter]. I am always on the go, type A, [and] I’m like, “I’m getting to my next step. I’m climbing the ladder, and have got progress and things to check off.” Okay? But sometimes we’ve got to stop and say, “Okay. I have DONE some good things. Let’s review.” So write down – and I think writing is really important when you are doing some mental processing – so I always recommend writing lists. Even if you don’t DO anything with the list, you [can] write out the list and then throw it away, or whatever, But actually WRITING it, or typing it out, helps you to process it better. So write down FIVE ways that you have made progress in your writing project so far.

 

So let’s say you’re writing a book. Your five ways of celebrating could be : number ONE, “I started.” [laughter]  You know? That is a celebration, to say that ‘[you’ve] actually started putting words down on paper. Celebration number TWO, “I have written 3,000 words.” That is NOT a lot of words, but that’s OKAY [as] it is a great start, and that is something to celebrate. Number THREE, “I have an IDEA of where this book is going.” [laughter]. This is ALSO a celebration. Number FOUR, “I am now writing on a REGULAR basis.” Maybe it’s not every day, but that’s totally fine. I am writing on a regular basis. Then number FIVE, “I TOLD someone about the book.” That’s a HUGE step for a LOT of us; telling someone about the book. So that’s an example of five ways that you can celebrate your writing progress. I wrote down five of my own.

 

I have actually just FINISHED writing my book… Thank you. Thanks for the hearts…It’s on Amazon now, so I’m, kind of, gear-shifting and a bit confused [as I’m] writing multiple long project right now, and need to focus. So here are some things that I wrote as MY celebration. They’re a little bit scattered, because honestly, right now, I’M a bit scattered. But I’m working on focusing in, so we’re going to celebrate [laughter], and then move forward.

 

So my five celebrations are : ONE, I have systematized writing for my blog. So blogging used to take hours every week, [but] now it takes a few hours every month. That’s a HUGE celebration for me. Number TWO, I’m free writing EVERY WEEK. I sit down – not every day – several times a week for twenty minutes and just write, because I FEEL like it. That’s really fun, and worth celebrating. Number THREE, I am brainstorming my next book. Yup. I have NOT really written anything yet, but I have notes [that] are somewhere in the world. I don’t know where they are, but there are notes out there [that] exist [laughter], and so that’s a start [which] counts, and I’m going to celebrate that. Number FOUR, I have started writing my COURSE. I’m writing a course about how to write a book, because that’s what I do. I help authors write their books. So now, instead of [just] one-on-one coaching, I will have courses too. So I will celebrate that I have written “Module 1 : Part 1” [laughter]. Not a lot, but we’re getting there. We’re making progress. Then number FIVE,  I’m using webinars to help me get further along in my writing course. So actually I’m having one this week.

 

So those are just like small celebrations. I haven’t written an entire course, or a whole book, BUT i have made progress. So what I would like for you guys to walk away with today is that anytime you feel that guilt, that guilt is NOT going to help you put more words on the page. That guilt is going to create a BARRIER between you and putting words on the page. So stop looking at words on the page as something that you HAVE to do, because it’s not the WRITING that will get you [to] your next step in life. There’s something MORE important.

 

Miguel Rubio ( https://twitter.com/migg300 ) : Progress is important.

 

Morgan MacDonald : …Yes, exactly. Progress is important… What’s your name ‘Migg“? Maybe it’s Miguel. It IS Miguel. I guessed right. Hey Miguel. I’ve seen you around here before. Thank you…  Exactly, so progress is important, and CELEBRATING that progress is important [laughter]. I love these little emoticons on Periscope. They crack me up.

 

So when you start to feel that guilt for not having written, work around it [and] reframe. Say, “IF I write 5,000 words this week I will be closer to my ultimate goal.” Then celebrate five ways that you HAVE made progress in your writing.

 

That’s it for today guys. That’s our lunchtime Periscope on writing. Actually it’s, kind of, late, isn’t it? It’s like 12:45 Central Time. It was a slow start, [because] we were sick all weekend. It’s like I’m not going to feel guilty about Periscoping late. It’s all good. It’s fine. Who knows what time YOU guys are [on]. It might be like midnight, for all I know. But wherever you are I appreciate you tuning in. I appreciate you spending a little time listening with me.

 

If you like to listen to people – especially me – talk about writing – because I love to talk about writing – I Periscope every day, around lunchtime Central Time…

 

Miguel Rubio ( https://twitter.com/migg300 ) : Awesome. Thanks.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Thanks Miguel. Yeah. You’re welcome… So hit the little “Peri Buddy”, follow me, and we’ll talk about writing some more. So last week was all about writing tools, so geeking out on Google Docs, and Scrivener, and apps, and stuff like that. So if you want to see more of that go to http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope . THIS week is going to be all about motivation. So this is how you get your mind in gear for really putting the words out on the page. So that’s what we’re talking about.

 

And I DO have a webinar on Wednesday. It’s going to be AWESOME. Let me give you the link really quick in case you want to hop on.

 

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http://www.paperravenbooks.com/5habits . The webinar is about the five essential habits you need to be a successful author. These are the five habits that I ALWAYS talk about with authors when I first sign them on, and when we start writing their book. These are FOUNDATIONAL to kicking procrastination and getting going on your word count. So it’s going to be super fun. This is honestly some of the best advice I have for authors, so I’m glad to be giving it away for your guys.

 

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And I will see you tomorrow, if not SOONER. So go do some writing. Don’t feel guilty. Remind yourself [that] progress is good, celebrate that progress, and remind yourself of that goal that you’re really reaching for.I will talk to you guys later. Goodbye.   

 

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