Every time I see a well-considered, from-the-heart blog post that seems to further a writer’s personal and professional mission, I’m impressed. When I see such a piece during the summer of 2016, I’m in awe. There are so many forces that conspire to silence us and get us to put off this week’s blog post, video, or newsletter. Some are external forces that are rocking the nation and the world. Some of the troubles that silence you are more internal affairs.
All end up being deeply personal because these are the forces that influence the way you understand and craft your stories and how you share them with your readers and clients.
Yes, we need periods of silence and introspection to process difficult events and develop a truth-filled response rather than a knee jerk reaction. But we can’t stay in analysis paralysis.
As a professional in the transformation business, it’s part of your job to create content that speak to the worries and preoccupations of the day. It’s not about taking sides, It’s about considering what your ideal readers might be thinking and offering the healing and the insights that help them make sense of collective and personal struggles.
[tweetthis]In the transformation business? It’s your job to write content that speaks to the events of the day[/tweetthis]
And, your transformation work also includes staring your own demons in the face so you can show up to share your unique medicine with your ideal clients and readers.
So, what’s keeping you from sharing your stories and ideas?
The 5 Traps that Silence Writers
The passage from silence to speaking and sharing your truth begins with understanding. Let's take a moment to look within and figure out what’s causing the words to catch in your throat. Once you know the “why” behind your publishing slump you’ll be freed to take the steps toward healing, writing, and sharing.
Trap # 1: You’re concerned that there’s so much tragedy out there, and you have nothing to helpful to contribute
“There are no words” and “my heart is too heavy” are common statements in the summer of 2016 when we’ve watched violence erupt across America and across the world. These are perfectly human, worthy responses to Stanford, Orlando, Falcon Heights, Dallas, Baton Rouge, Nice, and other healdines.
When the shock has worn off, can you see it as part of your work to add light to the collective darkness? Whether it’s in alignment with your message to say “illegitimi non carborundum” or offer prayers or write an impassioned response to the injustices that you see before you, when you have a community built around your ideas and services, you do have something meaningful to say.
The people who trust you and your work will be grateful that you’re helping make sense of this senseless season of strife.
[tweetthis]Keep writing. Your readers will be grateful you’re making sense of this senseless season of strife[/tweetthis]
Trap #2: It feels wrong to do business as usual when so many people are suffering
In this spirit of full disclosure, this is the misconception that has silenced me for most of the summer. I couldn’t even write into the idea directly (hence this more broadly focused post!).
Thank goodness for my digital community of wise entrepreneurs and writers. With deep gratitude, I share Carrie Klassen of Pink Elephant’s brilliant response: How can we talk about our businesses when the world's on fire?
Yes, we can talk about business even when the news feeds are full of sorrow and anger and fear. In fact, as healers and world changers, we must.
Trap #3: You’re listening to the inner critic’s whispers of “not good enough”
Regardless of the state of the world, this is a perennial problem for so many of us. What can you do about that critical voice? Write more.
Yes, it’s for all the reasons you might expect. Practice will make you a more clear, efficient, effective, and engaging writer who knows herself and her readers.
But, there’s another reason.
When you commit to a regular writing practice (can you imagine writing two, three, or more times per week?) you become stronger than your inner critic. She’ll be huffing and puffing with her head between her knees while you’re conquering the next blog post with confidence and grace.
Trap #4: You’ve decided that it’s too noisy online and there are too many content creators competing to be seen
When you decide that the blogosphere or podcast ranks or Amazon top sellers lists are too saturated that doesn’t mean you’re being realistic. It means you’re letting fear take over.
Worrying over the audience that will not show up is just another manifestation of your doubt and not-good-enoughitis.
So, if you are the sort of writer who can drop into the flow of ideas but never gets the beyond the first draft journaling stage or if you’re someone who rarely writes at all because “no one is listening,” consider this:
The world - or, more specifically, your circle of ideal readers - they do need to hear from you! They need your insights, your solutions, and the magic and the medicine that only you can serve up.
Every big time author and internet famous thought leader started somewhere… they started with the belief that there are people who needed their help and their stories.
Trap # 5: There’s too much going on in your own life right now and the stories are all too in-process
Ok, so maybe there are two big reasons that I find it hard to get into the public writing flow.
Summertime is always complicated for a mother of young children, Add in those trips to the lawyer’s office and the endless charity deliveries that are part of selling my mother-in-law’s house and preparing for her to move in with us… I need to ask you, dear reader, to read between the lines and understand that many of my stories from the home front are pretty raw and unfit to print.
Be gentle with yourself when you’re living the story and trust that there will be time to write it… eventually.
If you’re in the messy middle of something and don’t dare to tell the stories you, check out these past posts:
If you’re in the sort of mood where a phrase like “If you stick around your professional online haunts even when you feel like an emotionally crippled zombie, you risk your sanity - and potentially your reputation” appeals to you, try this one.
The remedy is in the stories
When everything is beautiful, we need to tell and receive stories. When everything feels like it’s going to hell, we really need to share our stories.
[tweetthis]When everything is beautiful, we need stories. When life is hell, that's twice as true. #writing[/tweetthis]
Need help unlocking your stories? Wishing you had a concrete reason to quit planning to blog and actually start writing for the readers that need your unique message? Check out the You, Your Stories, and Your Audience course. There's a summer deal running between now and Labor Day and I would love you to save some money and get writing while the sun is still shining high in the sky!