Writing can be like a great relationship, which is perfect because I plan on having a very long and stimulating relationship with writing; one that involves a lot of challenges, a lot of hard work, and most importantly, a lot of rewarding experiences.
But in order to achieve this it’s necessary to work out how to overcome the obstacles and make the most of the journey. Here are my tips for working through some common challenges that writers (and relationships) often face:
Probably the biggest and ugliest challenge we face in life, not just as writers, but as individuals. Trusting your creative ability is the first step to becoming a brilliant writer. If you don't believe it, who will?
Use creative visualisation to build up a solid wall of positivity and only leave gaps for constructive advice that will help you improve your relationship with writing.
On any adventure, whether it be with your pen and paper or significant other, it's important not to judge yourself too harshly or compare your journey to someone else's. A particularly inspirational quote is:
Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20..."
Have confidence that the path you're travelling is right for you, because what makes you happy is what matters the most.
The easiest way to maintain a healthy and happy relationship is to communicate openly and honestly. If you're having doubts or issues about something write down what's worrying you. Then either reflect on it, throw it out and start fresh, or talk it out until you reach a better solution. Either way, expressing yourself is better than keeping your worries locked away.
When it comes to love and life, one of my favourite sayings is ‘timing is everything'. I learnt this from my very first relationship. I was seventeen years old and thought I had found my first true love. Unfortunately, after being together for two years he had to return to his home country, South Africa.
I now understand that you can't control time and you can't control love, just like you can’t control creativity or inspiration. Sometimes you just need to let go and surrender to the universe, because most of the time it brings great things when you least expect them.
Put aside time for each area of your life that you want to focus on: for me, that's health, wealth, love and creativity. Make sure you allow equal time for each area and do something every day that will help meet your goals.
Motivation is the key to being successful in any endeavour. In my mind, ‘you only get out what you put in’, which applies to my relationship with writing, myself, and my partner. I'm passionate about each of these areas in my life and work hard to keep a healthy balance. However there are times when not everything levels out.
Achieving life balance is a very challenging goal, and maintaining motivation to keep that balance is even more challenging. But, there's nothing more rewarding than accomplishing something you set out to do!
The best way to way to attain constant motivation in a relationship is to create a routine. I'm aware that the word routine may seem synonymous with the term 'rut', however in this case it's about enjoying every aspect of your life in moderation. That way you're always looking forward to what's next.
If you're climbing an uphill battle right now and you can't see the top, try not to worry too much. Trust that everything will work out as it's supposed to and you just might get that extra push that you need to make it to the end.
You might believe that some challenges need to be faced alone, giving you the opportunity to become a stronger and more independent person. Maybe you're already a strong and independent person and feel that bringing someone else on your journey will weigh you down. Or you might be too afraid to consider asking for help or support and end up not moving forward at all.
In any case, I can safely say that a journey is lot more rewarding when you experience it with someone else. Having a person to share your adventure with makes the difficult parts easier and the easy parts more fun.
That's one of the reasons that I'm so grateful to be sharing my tips for overcoming writing obstacles with you. There are so many talented contributors out there who are willing to share their stories and advice. So my suggestion is to join them and offer support where you can, while also gaining support when you need it most.
Very rarely is overcoming a challenge and achieving your ultimate goal easy. It involves work, commitment, and trust. So regardless of where you are in your career at this point in time, it’s important to listen and learn from those with more experience and acknowledge any advice you receive.
Start small and make your goals achievable. Writer's Edit is a perfect example of a great platform that can be used to get your work published. Take any opportunity that you can to develop your talents, and try not to get too disheartened if you don't reach your goal in one leap. Stumbles and rejections are inevitable, and though it can be really tough it also builds character.
Like they say, 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger', and although this may seem incredibly annoying when you're in the middle of facing something traumatic, it's actually true. So take any and all of your learnings and channel them into creating something remarkable. Believe in yourself, believe in your work, and don’t give up until someone appreciates you and your writing as much as you do.