Do you think like a writer?

Are you mentally prepared for the trials and tribulations of writing on a regular basis? Do you have the confidence, attitude and work ethic? Did you even know it was all so complicated? Aaargh!

A couple of weeks ago you might have noticed a new page added to Write for Your Life, and that shiny bar at the top of the screen. That’s because I plan to launch the Write for Your Life membership scheme in the next few weeks.
One of the exciting things that you’ll be able to get your mitts on, if you decide to become a member, is a series of video presentations and articles that I’m working on (provisionally) titled, ‘How to think like a writer’.

It’s a topic I’ve touched on a few times here on Write for Your Life, looking at things like confidence, positive thinking and dealing with the topsy-turvy emotional side of writing.

But I want to look at the psychology of being a writer in a little more detail. It seems there’s plenty of advice out there on how to get published and improve your writing, but not so much on the mental approach.

In my experience, being in the right state of mind is half the battle of being a writer, and those who lose the battle are the ones that tend to be most ill prepared. That’s not to say it’s their fault, just that they didn’t know what to expect.

Anyway, in this episode I introduce this topic and pick out three examples of what I mean by thinking like a writer. I hope it gives you a quick preview and gets your brainbox ticking about your mental approach to your work.

Watch this episode on Vimeo


Anonymous 17 February 2011 Reply

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Iain Broome, George Angus. George Angus said: RT @iainbroome: Do you think like a writer? | Write for Your Life […] 17 February 2011 Reply

Hi Iain, I loved this video and am now really looking forward to hearing more. Writing my first novel has been on a list of one of my goals for the past 3 years now, however, I have found just about every other medium via which to outpour my writing other than plain sitting down and getting on with it because as you rightly said its just so hard when you’re put on the spot. Yours is a fresh idea to me, ie looking at tackling the psychological barriers to writing as opposed to the many books Ive read on ‘how to write a novel”. 21 February 2011 Reply

Glad you liked the taster – hopefully when I go into more detail it will get more of my ideas across. Not that they’re rocket science, mind you. I just honestly believe that for many, many people, the highest hurdles (of which there are many) are psychological. Patience, persistence and time management are as tricky to master as perfect punctuation and snappy dialogue. 17 February 2011 Reply

Hey Iain,
True words. Mindset is everything, in so many ways. There are folks who could be wonderful writers but have mental roadblocks that keep them from grabbing the golden ring. Sad. Even even one of them turn the corner because of your site then you’ve done a great thing for the writing community my friend.

George 21 February 2011 Reply

Thanks George. And of course, this is all work in progress and note to self stuff for me to. Like I say, you have to be willing to improve, and having this discussion is only going to help me too in the long run. Sure, I have plenty of writing experience and have managed to complete a novel and get an agent, but the road is long, long, long. I’m learning as I go just like everyone else! 17 February 2011 Reply

Is it possible for you to post the text of the video? My laptop speakers are terrible. 21 February 2011 Reply

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to transcribe the videos myself, or the money to pay for someone else to do a transcription. However, that’s exactly the sort of thing I hope the membership fee will help cover in the future. Sorry I can’t be of more help just yet though! 18 February 2011 Reply

This is such an interesting and important idea. I am glad that you brought up the importance of making writing a priority in your life. This is something that I struggle with. I started a baking blog a few years ago and then just before the new year started a creative writing blog. Even when I have something that I want to post about it sometimes takes days (or weeks… or…) before I finally sit down and do it. It is definitely something I need to work on. On the other hand, in the fall I started the morning pages evercise from The Artist’s Way and have successfully made it a part of my daily routine (with a few blips) and it has been a rewarding practice on different levels. Now I guess I am going to have to become a member to hear what else you have to say on the subject. 🙂 Thanks for another great post. 21 February 2011 Reply

There’s no question, when you work, have children or any other perfectly normal life stuff to attend to, that must come first. However, there has to be some sacrifice if you’re to take your writing seriously. Gosh, it’s so frustrating. For me, when I know I really need to get stuck in, I tend to sacrifice a couple of hours sleep (not good, I know) and I cut down on things like TV and such. In fact, as I’ve been working on this site more seriously in the last six months, I’ve pretty much had to give up on TV all together. Turns out, it’s actually not that big a deal. Who’d have thought!
Anyway, we had a great guest post about Morning Papers last year – check it out and thanks for your comment: 1 March 2011 Reply

“11 days between posts isn’t good, “branding,” he said with a smile. 1 March 2011 Reply

Now that’s an interesting one, actually. Does that mean you consider posting schedule (mine in this example) part of a person or site’s overall brand? Is their content and how its’ delivered a big influence on how you see them?

Anonymous 7 March 2011 Reply

[…] been talking about mindset quite a lot recently, from having confidence in your work to getting through those lonely hours of […]

Anonymous 18 March 2011 Reply

Good video and I have to say, no, I don’t think like a writer. I’m just a dabbler and haven’t written seriously, though with a chronic illness that will likely leave me unemployed, eventually, I have decided to look into the possibility of trying to earn a living doing some writing. 21 March 2011 Reply

Well, writing is the kind of profession that you can do freelance from home and with some flexibility. However, it’s still very hard work, especially to get started. Certainly no harm in taking on the odd writing job and seeing how you go thoughl. Good luck!

Anonymous 2 April 2011 Reply

Iain, cheers heaps for the video; it’s buoyant with nuggets, worth ruminating over. Reckon what i appreciate the most is your pragmatic approach to writing; the reason being, I have just decided to pursue blogging seriously, and didn’t know how to get into the frame of mind… (at this point, i’m sorted.)
Thanks once again, and mega job!

Kayodé 3 April 2011 Reply

Hi Kayode – no problem at all and thank you for the kind feedback! 11 July 2012 Reply

Thanks Iain! I’m just now embarking on my first serious writing journey and– you are right!–the biggest obstacle is making it a priority in my life! Great advice.

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