I have a confession to make.
I don’t always know what I’m going to write you. Sometimes I wake up on my writing day and have no idea what is going to come out of my fingers at the keyboard.
And I’m a planner. I love to plan ahead. I love order, and being prepared. I was raised in a military household, and the conditioning is strong! I’m a time management ninja, which has been a huge asset for running a business.
With the exception of holidays, launches, and vacations, I have been writing weekly since I first started my blog back in the spring of 2014.
And in most cases, what I write is completely original.
So, today I wanted to pull back the curtain on my process, and invite you into why I don’t deal with writer’s block. And then I want to give you another example of a writer I deeply respect who follows these same principals and is a NY Times Bestseller.
There’s a reason I’ve been able to nurture a consistent writing practice even in the midst of loss, massive life changes, and confusion. A LOT has happened in my life since 2014, including experiencing chronic headaches for over three years.
And before I dive into my process, you may be asking, “but Nikol, I’m not a writer! What does this have to do with me?”
If you have an audience, then you are a writer.
If you have relationships (personal and professional), then you are a writer.
I’m not just talking about writing a book, blog, keynote, screenplay, or essay. I’m talking about the grand scope of writing, which includes writing your email list, marketing copy on your website, social media posts, emails, and even texts or messages.
What you write has power, and the potential to create an impact. So, if you have ever struggled with WHAT TO WRITE (writer’s block), then this is for you.
Let’s go through this scenario together.
I wake up and don’t know what to write you. Nothing is there, no bolt of lightning has come in the night through a prophetic dream. Our relationship is important to me, so I don’t want to just type anything, I want my words to have an impact, and be helpful to you.
I’m not anxious or stressed, because I have a routine that has worked every time.
After my shower, I approach my sacred seat, which is my meditation cushion, and ask myself the question, “what will I write today?” Then I let the question go and place all my attention on my breath.
As my body settles, then something pops up. Even more, the story and teaching I want to share all comes clear.
I leave my sacred seat, enjoy some breakfast, and then open my computer and write you with no writer’s block.
Now, let’s apply this to you.
You have a new project coming up. You want your audience to not only know about it, but get excited and pay for it! This means writing emails to your list and also scheduling social media posts to create buzz and engagement. Yet, you feel completely stuck. Today is the day. You have to write your email today because your whole launch schedule starts tomorrow.
You don’t know what to write, and nothing has come in the weeks prior.
So, you create a sacred “seat” for yourself. A sacred space that allows for your critic to quiet, and your mind to slow. You create a space that expands your whole being and gets the creative juices flowing. Perhaps for you this is going for a walk without your phone, journaling, yoga, meditation, or doing breath work.
And before you go into this activity, you drop the question into your heart, “what will I write today?” Then you let it go and place all your attention on your breath.
Whatever arises, you trust and translate through a pen or computer.
Now I can imagine you are saying, “easier said than done Nikol!”
And I understand. The voices that have said you are not good enough have been loud and long standing. They’ve been screaming in your ears for years, perhaps decades that you are not capable. It’s been painful!
Which is why it is SO important for you to have some kind of sacred practice that allows you to settle BEFORE you write.
Specifically, settle your body. Because the body remembers, and to come back into a place of trust again, you need to create space.
The beautiful thing is that there are so many options out there that calm the nervous system, and allow blood and breath to flow with ease. Your beautiful task is to find what works for you, and you will know it’s working when you have clarity on what to write.
Now I want to hand this over to NY Times Bestselling author Diego Perez. If you haven’t discovered him yet, I can’t recommend his writing enough under the pen name Jung Pueblo. With over 2 million followers on IG and three published books of poetry and teaching, he creates an incredible impact on his audience with life affirming words that warm your heart and give you hope that love is possible.
But Diego was not always a writer. As he shared in his recent appearance on The Today Show, he was raised by immigrant parents who worked very hard to provide for him and his family. Living in poverty created an immense amount of anxiety within him and as a teen and young adult, he became an addict.
“I couldn’t deal with any kind of tension inside of me. I would quickly hide it with smoking, drugs, and going to more parties. Right after college, I pushed my body to the edge. I took an assortment of different drugs, and I felt like my heart was going to explode. When I spoke to a doctor after, she said it sounded like I had had a heart attack. At this low moment I thought of my parents and how I was throwing away all they had created for me and realizing I was just filling myself up with drugs instead of dealing with the pain. I knew the only way out was to start telling myself the truth.”
For Diego, that was meditation.
“Meditation has given me a way to process these really tough emotions. So now when something challenging happens, I can feel my reaction, but it’s not as overwhelming as it used to be. I was never creative before meditating. When the mind becomes lighter and not as burdened from past hurt you carry, this creativity bubbles up.”
Your self doubt, the voice that criticizes you and says your writing isn’t good enough is all based in your past. It’s based in painful experiences, words, and history you carry in your body from caregivers, teachers, and ancestors. When you have a practice to settle your body, then you will be able to come into the present.
Because it is only in the present you can write.
It is only in the present you can create an impact with your audience.
If you don’t know what to say, there is no problem here, just a beautiful guide to what you need next.
This is a call for clarity.
A call to return to your natural state.
One where, as Diego so beautifully says, your “creativity bubbles up.”
Find your sacred seat and settle your body before your write.