I’ve got a quickie shine-your-light reminder for you today. This morning, while recording a podcast, the interviewer asked how I stave off writer’s block.
I took a beat and blurted out the first thought that popped into my head; that whenever the words aren’t flowin’, it’s because I’m identifying too strongly with myself . . . my Linda needs. But it’s not about me. When I pan out and connect to what I hope to share with readers–my greater WHY (my desire to help my industry go greener in its paper sourcing, for starters), I move through my blocks more quickly. Resistance, drama, and I’ll-do-it-tomorrows make way for ease, energy, and excitement.
Everyone gets blocked. As Robert McKee, the Award-winning author of Story, Dialogue, and Character, and USC professor (whose students have earned over seventy Academy Awards and three hundred nominations) told me on my podcast and for the pages of Beautiful Writers:
“I wrote the foreword to [Steven Pressfield’s] The War of Art, where I talked about how I’m the ultimate procrastinator and was once as blocked as a Calcutta sewer. I tried every single piece of clothing I owned on and then categorized everything. Resistance still plagues me the same way. You just have to fight your way through it. I’m working on the book for Storynomics right now, and this past week, I spent three days on one paragraph. It’s really a good paragraph now, but yeah. And the only thing you can do is not get out of the chair. If you stay in the chair, sooner or later, it will get written.”
We’re all scared. That’s what interviewing these luminaries has taught me. Cheryl Strayed, Tom Hanks, Steven Pressfield, Terry McMillan. No matter how accomplished we are, there are days, often many, when our small selves barely hang on. But when we feel that our work makes the world a lighter, brighter, better place—when we believe in our own magic—it’s as if our possibilities and capabilities know no bounds. Wonderfully woo-woo stuff. To quote Liz Gilbert, a two-time podcast guest, and contributor to the book:
“You had best keep some room in yourself for magical thinking, or else you’re not going to have much of a motive to do the work because there isn’t a rational reason to do all those things. There has to be a magical reason to do it.”
I believe in a world where sustainably managed forests give birth to books that sustain our hearts and minds. I believe in a world where dreams come true.
Here’s to warm fingers and shining your light. Here’s to making magic.
Write on. xo
PS. – Beautiful Writers is published on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper—talk about dreams coming true! If you, too, are a tree-hugging book lover, look for the FSC logo when buying all your paper products. Ahhh.