Wouldn’t it be nice to find joy in writing?
I remember I was sitting in school at the back in the corner close to the windows and I was trying so hard to write a nice essay for my German teacher. I didn’t succeed.
Does this resonate with you?
My teacher was never happy with what I wrote. She was criticizing me that I didn’t put a personal touch into my essay. I used to stick too much to general statements.
No wonder, I was so afraid of opening up and showing what I was thinking.
Writing has a lot to do with mindset. Self-doubts and fear are the biggest blocks in writing.
When I got the chance to write my first article for one of the biggest Swiss Newspaper, “Die Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, I was so afraid of failure. As I had studied French literature, I received a French detective story to write a review about it and the author. It took my days, weeks, probably a whole month to finish this article. I always re-wrote it.
When I sent it to the editor, I was so surprised that she didn’t answer me, but just published the article, without changing much. What a surprise! But I felt so miserable, because I didn’t want to spend again weeks on writing one article. I wanted to be more effective.
The thing was that with every article, I got more self-confident. And that was exactly what I needed to be able to write apace. And I also discovered joy in writing for the first time in my life.
My dream and also my goal were to get a job as an editor at a daily newspaper. But these jobs were rather rare and the journalists, who got a job at the largest newspapers, stayed for their lifetime. I figured out that I had to work very hard. I applied for an internship at all Swiss German newspapers. Luckily, I got a chance at two different newspapers for three months. And this was my breakthrough in writing.
Writing one or even two big articles a day helped me to get into the flow.
And the most important thing I learnt was to write the whole story without reading back and editing. Once, I had all written to the end, I started editing.
This is also the method I always teach my book writing clients.
If you start writing and you read back, your inner critical voice pops up. You start criticizing your sentences. You re-edit, you fix three sentences, you add one or two and you never come to an end.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Whenever you have to write something, you remember your last writing experience and how big your suffering has been. That’s why it never changes. You already start with your negative state of mind, and it’s so logical that your mindset is always blocking you from having fun and feeling joy when writing.
Can you imagine that I feel when someone wrote something while staying in a flow or the way I described it before? You may not believe it, but I can. and I beg that my German teacher definitely did as well, when she was correcting my essays. I remember I was maybe writing five sentences and deleting three and I never succeeded in filling more than one and a half pages in two hours.
Although, I loved reading since I was a child. I was about ten years old and I had almost read all the books from my library except the special detective stories for boys. When I was asking my school librarian, what else she would recommend to me, she realized as well that there were not many books left, and she told me to ask my parents to take me to the big library in town.
Do you have similar memories?
My first writing client was my younger boy, now 14 years old. He didn’t like reading and writing at all, when he was younger. Whenever he had to write a summary for school, he was suffering so much, and myself as well sitting at his side. I tried different techniques with him.
I asked him to tell me the story before he started it putting into words. This helped already a bit.
Then, we worked on getting into the flow. What he used to do, was to write one sentence and then read again from the top. He spent hours on writing half a page. I was desperate. I told him not to read what he had written already. He wouldn’t believe me at the beginning. Slowly, but steadily, he got the point. I was so happy.
Last year, I realized what I have been able to teach him. Every Thursday, he had to write a short summary of his week for his teacher, and he allowed me to read it as well. There, I found long and funny reflections about his school week put together in a nice and definitely entertaining manner. I was so proud of him. He himself loved to write it and his teacher loved to read it as she told him.
So, if you were convinced that the joy of writing is something you were born with or it needs a special talent, I could help you in discovering the opposite.
Check out my new Group Coaching Program “Finding Joy in Writing”.
Watch my video series on YouTube how my writing journey started with a diary and how I overcame my self-doubts and how I published my first children’s book.
If you always dreamt of writing amazing texts or even your book, stick to it. You will get there, too. Believe me!