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The Writer's Journey – According to my Psychic
I thought I'd be making a big splash this week with my new project, but sadly, I'm just not ready yet. My other life as a marketing guy has taken over and I've had to commit all my bandwidth to a project that just won't wait.
Lucky for you (and me), my adorable sister has stepped into the breach once again with a fabulous story about her journey as a writer, as seen through the eyes of a psychic. Enjoy!
My writing comes in bursts of creativity and that's just fine. I know it's fine because a physic medium told me it's fine and I need to stop stressing about it.
Considering what else she told me about my writing, my burgeoning books and other aspects of my life, I'm inclined to take her seriously. She didn't know me from Eve, but she sure knew a lot about me. So if she says it's fine that my writing happens the way it does, then I'm fine with that as well.
Back in the early nineties, I was writing freelance, sending articles to publications around the world and making sales. I didn't become rich, but as a single parent on benefits, the irregular cheques that arrived in the mail made a real difference to my life. The creative flow was very strong in me then, and writing came easily. My son was still a toddler who went down for two-hour naps in the afternoon and that's when I did my first draft. Over those two hours, I'd put my ideas down on paper, and then flesh them out until I had the makings of an article.
The subjects were close to my heart, which is always the best way when writing non-fiction. They were about single parenthood, humorous pieces about raising a child, that sort of thing. When Rickie went back down for the night, I'd type up the article on my computer and it would be a finished thing. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
I fell out of writing when I married for the second time and a harder life, sadly, began. I kept hoping that I would find the magic key to fix the relationship but it only got worse and worse until finally, I found out why. The great reveal was a huge relief to me because I could accept that I couldn't fix it and that it was over. Sadly though, my writing stopped due to the confusion and pain, and nothing happened for more than a decade.
Then I hit my fifties.
With the big Five-O came the realisation that I might only have another forty years on this planet. How the hell was I going to retire comfortably? My superannuation was only activated when I turned 40 and I couldn't salary sacrifice, so I'd be lucky to end up with $80,000 by the time I retired.
I have a mortgage to pay off and the costs just keep going up. Also, I refuse to count on an inheritance from my parents. Either of them could become very sick or decide to go on year-long cruises around the world, so counting on receiving anything in the future is pointless. In the end, I can only rely on myself.
Over the last few decades, I've tried to put books together but I lacked the ability to focus on a theme. So I sat down and made a list of book subjects I could write about and was rather impressed with myself when I realised I'd written down fourteen book ideas. It became clear to me that a steady income future might/could/will come from book writing!
Now, I'm not an idiot and I don't expect overnight success, spending my later years in luxury with hot and cold running prawns. I know how tough the writing industry is to get into. Even when I wrote articles, my rejection folder was five times the thickness of my acceptance folder. I am aware of how hard it is to get a book deal or find a literary agent when millions of books are out there looking for a buyer. But I know I can write and I know that what I write is entertaining and enjoyable.
I'm currently knee-deep in the editing and expansion of the second book in my series, and it's bloody hard work objectively criticizing my work. I'm very fortunate to have the wonderful experienced help of two women in the book industry, Suzie and Kimmy, but in the end, it's up to me to make the best of the advice given.
But I can do this.
The only thing I've felt bad about was my lack of ability to create a writing space on a regular time frame, where I would park myself at the computer and write. The creative flow often didn't appear, or what I wrote sounded pedestrian and self-serving. On occasion, I even felt a blind panic and found it impossible to conjure up words and images and commit them to paper.
Stephen King's book “On Writing” is one of the most helpful and amazing books to read as a burgeoning writer. He talks about other writers throughout the ages – some of whom sat down in the morning, wrote through to the evening and did the same every day, pumping out book after book. Others despaired at even a single sentence committed to paper, rejecting it day after day. Reading about other writers and their regimes only made me feel like I was failing myself somehow, not creating a routine space that I could write in.
Then I had a reading done for me at a Lightworker gathering in March. I'd never met the psychic medium before, but Erica told me details about my life that only I knew. She picked up straight away that I was putting together a series of books. She also knew this wasn't the first time I'd written, and that I'd been published in the past through articles in magazines.
And that's when she passed on the advice from my late Papa – that my creativity comes in bursts and that it's okay. She said that I'm trying to force myself to push the envelope when writing and that it's working against me. She said I must accept that it comes in bursts and not push it. Get up, go and have a cuppa, take a walk and come back when the flow picks up again.
She went on to say that whilst I'm at a point in my life where I must deal with issues like a mortgage, a job, kids and bills, there will soon come a time when I can escape more into the cocoon of creativity; when my writing will flow better and that it will lead to pure abundance. What an amazing reading!
I printed this part of the reading and I keep it tucked in my purse to take out and remind me when I feel I'm falling behind as an author. Whilst publishing books is a business venture and in the end, must be treated as such, nothing will be there to publish if I don't relax and let the creative flow take me where it will, WHEN it will.
And I have to say, it seems to be working. I've stopped making myself set aside time to sit down and write. Instead, I retreat to the comfort of the couch and my quilting, watching tv, and keeping a psychic ear open to that feeling that bubbles in my mind. When a thought comes, or a sentence composes itself, I set the quilting hoop aside and park myself in front of the computer and type until that burst has done its work. Then it's back to the couch until the next round. Sometimes I find myself typing for over an hour without stopping and other times, only a paragraph appears. But that's okay.
A modern smartphone is also a wonderful tool for keeping notes, and I use it often. Sitting at the bus stop in the morning or evening, memories come to me – thoughts and sentences – and I make notes on my phone to transcribe later. In this way, I've made real headway on my third book, including structure and content, and my confidence in my writing abilities has soared.
Some days, I'm filled with such joy and anticipation as ideas bubble away that I can barely sit still. I know this is my future and I know I can do this. I no longer live with the fear that I will have to live a frugal life in my retirement, worrying about bills and food. And I am feeling so confident about my future that I have invited a dear long-standing friend to live with me from here on in, knowing that her contribution to the household can only be a positive.
On Mother's Day this year, I made out like a bandit. My kids gave me flowers and chocolates and a beautiful book on country quilts. My son also gave me a mug, which I think sums up his confidence in my future books and my attitude.
Emblazoned with sparkly hearts, it says in bold letters “Mum – You Got This”.
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