Sunday, March 01, 2020

Who Do You Think You Are? Getting Past the Accuser to Dare Creatively

You might not think daring creatively is something you can accomplish in 6 easy steps. And while the daring itself requires bravery; the steps can be tackled even before you feel ready to do so. Which is good news for any writer feeling afflicted by Imposter Syndrome (the worrying that you are not worthy of this thing you feel called to do). Know that it is not uncommon and you can work through it. Here’s how:

1.       Think big
What is the thing that if you were brave, you would do? Don’t dissect why it is you’re not doing it. Or shame yourself for not being closer to it. Or compare yourself to someone else who seems to be farther along than you. Just start moving toward it. Tell yourself you’re going to do it. And commit. Whether it’s X amount of words per day, or scenes per week; make those happen.
2.       Scale up
Either from where you’ve just started or from where you’ve been working; scale up to the next level. What would that look like? You might talk to a group of young writers about what you’ve learned so far, host a writing sprint, or offer a guest post to a newsletter or newspaper you have the contact for. If you don’t have the contact, look it up and cold call. Yes, it’s supposed to be terrifying. That’s why not everyone will do it. But you will.
3.       Accelerate
Instead of being satisfied with your current pace, give yourself a tight deadline for a component of your project. Hit it and then set the next deadline. It doesn’t have to be dramatically bigger or faster, just enough that it is moving the momentum along. With progress comes another level of enthusiasm than can get you past doubts and excuses that occur to you.
4.       Take action
Sending the email, having your website go live, promoting your upcoming event, booking your upcoming event –these all qualify. The key is to make a list of the things that will move your project farther and then go in that direction.  A movement that you can’t take back and have no choice but to move towards is the one that will take you farther than you dare to go.
5.       Bring in Others
Building a community around your efforts, whether it’s getting creative with others or offering to cross promote is scary, but pays off in spades. It multiplies your audience and the chances others will discover your work. If you think of it in terms of service, and helping others by sharing what you know, it helps to get ego out of the way and reduce the accuser’s voice.
6.       Persist
Simply carrying on is an act of daring creatively. Persisting in going after your dreams is an applaudable act in a world where a few dream and even fewer act on those dreams. Keep on and you will be glad you did. Your projects which are now mock-up covers on your vision boards will be real stories you share down the road.

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