Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't Laugh

Writing has always been hard for me.  Not that I can't write, or that I don't enjoy it, or that I don't get the stories in my head.  The hard part for me has always been in actually sitting down and writing.  The stories would go through my head, and maybe I'd actually sit down and write a little bit, but the story would either go unfinished or sit on my computer considered a complete waste because it wasn't good enough for me.  I would look back and realize I had the time and the ability to do better, but I never did.  Why was that?  I would then begin berating myself for not being good enough.  After all, if I was good enough I could find time, ability, etc.  If I really cared I would make it a priority.  If I was good at it, it wouldn't be so hard.  Does anyone else have these kinds of feelings and thought?
At first I thought it was writer's block and asked published writers about it.  Most of them said the same thing, writer's block doesn't exist.  That was discouraging.  I began to think that maybe that means I'm not really writer.  After all writer's don't get writer's block.  I would see so many of my writer friends whose words were plentiful.  It wasn't like squeezing out blood like it was for me.  The process was so hard that I began to loathe it.  WRITING!  I WAS HATING TO WRITE!  How could that be?  It had always been my solace before.  What happened?  How did I get blocked like this?  I knew it was me.  I knew I was blocking myself, but no amount of discipline, reprimanding, incintives, or punishments worked.
Despite these feelings, I continued to stay active in writer's groups and blogging.
The first time I broke through my block I had read "Becoming a Writer" by Dorothea Brande.  It really did help!  But the second time I blocked myself, it didn't work as well anymore.  I went to a writer's retreat this summer and learned so much at the classes.  But the one that was the most beneficial for me was by Carroll Morris.
She talked about shining our inner writing team.  She broke up our inner thoughts into different personalities.  Inner fears and vulnerabilities she called the inner children.  The defenses we throw up to protect the fear, she called the guardians.  The problem with the guardians is that they often hurt more than they help.  For instance, my fear of failure was protected by not trying my hardest.  If I didn't try my hardest I couldn't actually fail.  Isn't that some messed up logic?  She also talked about our inner managers.  These are the parts of us that can look at both the fears and the defenses and decide what is best for us.  The managers decide if a guardian isn't working and if it needs to be given an extended vacation.  In my case, I had to fire the guardian that thought it was best to not try.  But that doesn't make the fear go away.  So then what do I do?  Carroll is amazing!  She helped me to imagine myself with my inner child (fear of failure) sitting on my lap.  Then tell her that it's ok to be afraid.  I was able to picture one of my own children in my lap.  I imagined them telling me they were afraid to fail.  What would I tell them?  I would tell them that it's ok to fail.  We shouldn't be afraid of falling down because we can always get back up.  I did this in a relaxed state so that I was telling my whole self this so it goes to the subconscious, the part that controls my fears.  I can't tell you how amazing that experience was.  Then I visualized another part of myself, my true self.  For me that meant my spirit.  The spirit that was in the pre-existence.  The part of me that chose to follow Christ.  The part that knows this life is just a moment.  The part that knows I can do this.  I imagined her confidence.  Suddenly my fears seemed so small.  I could do this.  Writing is a talent that was given to me to develop and I'm not going to let anything get in the way, not even myself. 
So, the thing that helped me to break my blocks was talking to myself...I told you not to laugh!  But visualizing myself into different parts and giving those parts names and faces, really helped me to confront them.  It worked since I completed Nanowrimo!  Did I mention that yet?  What?  I did?  Hmmm let me mention it one more time...I wrote 50,000 words in 27 days!  Yes, I know I rock!  LOL!
I'm not writing this to really.  I'm writing it because I want those of you that feel like me to know that there is hope.  Through lots of prayer and never giving up, you will be led to what will work for you.  The Lord will put the people or the knowledge that you need in your path.  You can achieve your dreams!!


  1. Nikki I struggle just like you. My life is made up of not trying very hard because I loathe failure. It's shocking to realize what a detrimental defensive behavior this is.

    Thanks for the insight.

  2. Nikki, I love you for this! I'm going to try what you did and see if I can calm the frightened little child inside of me.

  3. I'm definitely giving this a try, Nikki. I hope I can quiet that fearful child and encourage the confident one!

  4. Nikki, I swear your inner child and guardian sound a lot like my own. I always seem to stand in my own way. Thanks for this post.



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