As we age, major life events and mounting priorities seem to impede on our time, ability, and motivation to write. For some, it becomes increasingly difficult to combat the self-doubt and self-criticism and to handle outside rejection. David Silverman, LMFT began to unpack these challenges when he met our writers this weekend. David is a decorated writer in his own right, having written for over thirty shows and created over five of his own. Today, in his work as a licensed therapist, David is dedicated to helping other creatives overcome writer’s block, handle career burnout, and finding a path to reinvention.
Here are some of the key strategies and techniques that were discussed during this workshop:
Overcoming Critical Self-Talk
Train yourself to “catch” those self-critical thoughts. Write them down. Identifying, monitoring, and challenging these thoughts will help combat them.
Ask yourself, “is this rational?” So many self-critical thoughts are irrational and can be tossed aside.
Try affirmations. Some people find it helpful to use a mantra. For example, “I am fine just as I am,” “I can handle this,” or “one day at a time.”
Have an accountability friend. Stay in touch after work and share with each other what you’ve accomplished and what more you need to do. Be honest.
Every night, write out a list of the three most important things you need to accomplish the next day. Don’t do anything else until you’ve finished those tasks.
If you get into a flow, don’t stop. That’s when you’ll be the most productive.
Realize that procrastination is ultimately about a fear of being judged. Instead of obsessing about the act of writing, try to write about the process of obsessing over it. Getting in the habit of writing despite your fears is key.
Complete unpleasant tasks first, and break up complex tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Try the pomodoro technique.