Energy Booster for Writers


writing (Photo credit: found_drama)

This is the final post in my current series of blogs about taking the brakes off of your personal energy and innate goodness.

Today, I am sharing ideas about why it matters for writers to understand our personal energy, and to be aware of the type of energy that we’re putting into our writing.

Nowadays, most of us are bombarded with information and writing that is packed with different kinds of energy.

Some communications are uplifting, funny and inspiring.  Others are angry, demeaning, fearful.  Of course, many pieces of writing are boring because the energy of emotion is not present in them at all!

Your writing has an energy to it that often reflects the kind of day that you’re having.  This doesn’t mean you should only write when your energy is “good”. Sometimes, the “negative” energy is just what a story needs to create drama and interest.  So, it’s not necessary that your energy becomes all sunshine and roses.  However, it’s helpful to track your energy over the course of time to notice how the type of energy you are experiencing and creating affects your writing.

south to north view of chicagoland area

south to north view of chicagoland area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Energy Boosters for Writers worksheet is something I’m putting together for my 7 Elixirs class for Writers that I’ll going to be offering this fall in the Chicago area.  It’s based on the writing coaching work that I’ve done in the last few years.

I’ve noticed that finishing projects often requires that we manage our energy for the toughest part of writing which is when we are refining our work.  This is the time when we throw out good and sometimes great ideas for the sake of a story or grant application or marketing brochure or memoir.

This worksheet may not make complete sense, because it’s out of context to the rest of the course that I’ll be giving.  Yet, I’m sharing it anyway because it’s rather self-explanatory, and shows you a different way of managing your time and energy in conjunction with your writing.

Energy Booster for Writers Worksheet

Hope you’ve enjoyed this series of blogs!  Tomorrow, we’ll be back to some literary musings.

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Mastering Your Destiny

A fortune cookie inspired me to write today’s post.  On New Year’s Eve my son received this pithy fortune:

Repetition is the mother of skill.

This idea was so perfect for him as he’s in the final stretch of getting a black belt in karate, and has much talent as an artist.  He’s also only ten years old.

Repetition also happens to be important for most of us who are trying to become a master of any skill or occupation or quality in ourselves.  If we want to be kind, we have to practice being kind.  If we want to be a great writer, we have to write.  Mastery requires repetition and practice.

Most of us, however, don’t think too much about the idea of mastering our destiny.  So much of modern western culture equates mastery of our destiny with financial success or fame.  Being a master of your destiny is more of a spiritual aspiration.

Mastering your destiny means something more to me, especially as a writer.   If I want to be a master of my destiny, I have to know my skills, my gifts and what activities and ways of being that give meaning to my life.  I also need to connect with other human beings.  There is only way to find out something that you care about, and that’s to try something and repeat.  Doing something once isn’t enough. As writers, we sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough time to become the master at our writing.  We want to create that best-selling novel or academy award-winning screenplay now.

There’s a pleasure in repetition and developing mastery if we allow ourselves to feel it. This year, I’m blogging every day simply to begin to master the wonderful opportunity that blogging presents to connect with others through my writing.  It’s a joy for me to press the like button on a post or write a comment for someone else.  It’s also wonderful to see that someone else resonated with one of my ideas.

Do you value repetition? How are you mastering your destiny this year?  I’d love to hear from you.

Focus 95% of your energy on 5% of your tasks

Yesterday, I read this idea of  looking for the 95/5  in a Martha Beck newsletter (can’t wait to get her next book in December), and it struck me as being important for me and many of us.   She was talking about how a small percentage of our efforts creates 95% of our results, and she wondered what would happen if we focused 95% of our effort on that important 5% that really matters.

I probably have focused 95% of my effort on creating a lifestyle that is meaningful to me, as a writer and a mom. 2011 has been a year of intense writing for me, and it’s felt exactly like what I needed to do.  There are other areas of my life that stayed good, some that improved and some things that were important that didn’t change. I have finally created the writing practice that eluded me for years, which is excellent.  My children are very grounded and happy.  I’ve stayed connected with friends, and my romantic relationship has been stable instead of tumultuous like it once was.  However, my finances and weight have remained in survival mode versus thriving mode.

As I contemplated the question of where do I need to focus now, I felt it was on the area where the idea of writing your destiny isn’t enough.  My intuition says keep going with the writing practice, but now it’s time to focus on honoring the body that is the container for this life.  This also makes sense since the novels, stories and next books that I’m writing now all have to do with resilience, honoring the earth and the sacredness of the physical.   I feel myself revisiting the work that I did for so many years as a sustainability advocate, with a new perspective.

I mention all of this in my blog, because  ideas are flowing through me and changing me.   Often, we think that we have to do something to improve our writing.  In my case, writing is improving me.  I’m convinced that writing calms me,  teaches me, guides me, and maybe even changes my DNA.  This morning, I was just reading about the effect of meditation and other spiritual practices in an excellent book by Steve Volk called Fringeology.  Does writing have a positive effect on our mind too?  I suspect it depends.

Do any of you find that your writing leads you to new places, rather than you leading your writing?  For me, this is one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of writing your destiny.