Is This The Reason WhyYou’re Not Writing?
Cindy Kochis, Pen to Paper Press Podcast host
“If you have to ask, “How do I get started,” you have no intention of being a writer. Writers, truthfully any creative soul, possess a calling from deep within. It’s a part of our DNA. A creative doesn’t ask, “How do I start.” They ask, “Where’s the best place to get supplies?” A creative soul started their journey when they were a child. It’s how they wanted to spend their time.”
– Cindy Kochis
What if one of the reasons we are not writing is because we feel we are not accomplishing something.
The script I am working off of is my fourth literal attempt for today’s podcast.
Hey there. I’m Cindy Kochis, the host of Pen to Paper Press Podcast. I sit down with best-selling authors, writers, editors, publishers and creative souls in my virtual studio to talk about the process of developing our stories to completing our works of art. From time to time, like today, I share my thoughts on creativity and bringing awareness to some of the things holding us back from sharing our artist gifts with others.
Each episode is an opportunity for us to explore mindsets, pearls of wisdom, and the experiences that began our journey as a writer from the moment we put pen to paper.
I started two different scripts focused on marketing, one on how to write. Yes. On how to write. I’ll share those in a bit.
It was while I was journalling and pouring my thoughts into a college ruled notebook, I allowed random thoughts to spew across the pages. Some of it makes sense, some reads like ramblings from a night of drunkenness involving a fifth of cheap whisky, and maybe a sentence or two Aristotle would nod in agreement that it was worth his time to read. Okay. That is a bit of an exaggeration.
So back to not accomplishing something. Ironically it also has to tie in with marketing and being an entrepreneur. It’s our addiction to approval, or the need to feel needed.
What happens to the caregiver that no longer has anyone to care for. They question their self-worth and purpose in life. What happens to the health coach who finds themselves without clients to guide. They question their value to society of people they know they can assist to feel better and be healthier. They wonder if they are any good and if they made the right choice to quit their day job when in their heart they knew, without any doubt, they were on the right path. What happens to the mother leaning against the door frame waving good-bye to their youngest child as they drive away from the home they’ll refer to as “that’s where I grew up.” Everything in her life just shifted.
Maybe I am way off here, or maybe I’ve hit the nail on the head. I should reword that. When you pound a nail in something, you close a gab between two things. In this case, I’m opening up an enlightenment. So, let’s not use the hammer and nail metaphor. Here we go; maybe I just opened Pandora’s box of possibilities.
We are taught from a young age to seek approval of other outside of Self. Whether it be our parents, siblings (wait, that one’s questionable), teachers, authorities, employers, lovers, and who ever else we can squeeze under this rather large umbrella.
An insight arose last night, at the typical space, the kitchen sink. How is it our self-worth is tied to what we do for others, yet not for Self? I’m going to repeat that: how is it our self-worth is tied to what we do for others, yet not for Self.
To feel productive, successful, useful, wanted, needed, and the whole gamut of desired feelings we seek, many of us look to others for acknowledgment and acceptance into the clan. As a social species, we yearn to be a part of the community.
I can feel myself wandering into an arena I don’t need to enter. We all get the idea. How does what I just mentioned tie into writers block or, worse, the I’ll-do-it-later mindset? You know that period of time that shifts more often than the hands of time itself. Because when we sit down to write, typically there’s no one standing over our shoulder saying, “Damn, that’s good. Keep writing,” or “Oh honey, that’s going to rock someone’s world!” The cheerleader is us. And, if the cheerleader is not feeling all-so-cheery, what happens? We lose interest in the task. We question the purpose of doing it.
I know this is not the case for everyone. I am a strong believer in each of us walks a different journey and our beliefs are our own. But, I know there’s at least one person out there who is going to say, “Yup, that sounds familiar.”
This is for you, the creative soul who thinks they are a failure or uninspired, get out of the box you put yourself in and find your people. That box could be a house, job, relationship – whatever it is you claim is holding you back. Take a drawing class, ceramics, join a writers circle, learn photography – do something that excites your creativity.
Our creativity is very much tied into how we feel about our life, situation, and, most importantly, how we feel about Self. Do we need approval from outside sources to feel good about Self and our creativity? If the answer is yes, find guidance to help you out of that hamster wheel of not being good-enough. I’m here to tell you, you are good enough. It’s taken me a lot of years to comprehend this, and I will remain a student of loving Self. Self-love is always evolving. With each discovery within Self, there’s more insight to gain.
So let’s recap: One of the reasons we avoid, ignore, do everything else beyond the to-do list stuck to the refrigerator door with a magnet we picked up at some souvenir shop, is not because we are blocked. We know what to write. We want to write. The words are looming, circling like a flock of buzzards over the carcass of the typewriter, (oh, now there’s a visual). It’s because we have a deep seeded need to do for others.
When we sit down to the keyboard with the intent to write, to pour our story from our creative soul onto the pages, it is one of the most intimate periods of time with me, myself, I, and the characters on our imagination. We have the ability to escape one reality and slip into another. I know there are times I wish I could bring a friend along so they, too, could witness what I see. But, until it’s on the page, it remains one of the more intimate communication connections I can have with Self. Ask any artist where they go when they are in the moment of creation. I cannot describe it. It’s something you feel. And, truth be told, it’s not for us to share where we go. It is, however, very obvious to those who get to see what it is we created, we wandered between the layers of dimensions. What a beautiful, sacred space it is.
And to go there, for someone who is a caregiver, it can be difficult place because we feel it’s selfish to spend time there, in that heart-space. We should be taking care of someone, doing chores to ensure things are done for, who else, someone outside of our self, and so we can feel the satisfaction of knowing we did something for someone else.
This podcast originally began with a focus on marketing. It started off innocently about my ability to sell other people’s stuff. However, when it comes to selling my own stuff, I, like a lot of other people, struggle.
Here’s a bit of what I wrote:
Self-promotion. Yeah. It’s not easy. The actual task of promoting isn’t the hard part. It’s the fact we are promoting Self.
When I was an advertising sales representative for a local radio station and then for a newspaper, I could sell the heck out of other people’s stuff. Often times I had to wait for my client to finish up with their client and a customer would approach me, assuming I worked there and ask me question about the service or products. Because a part of my job was to know my client’s products, ironically I would, on rare occasions, assist the client’s customer. I sold a living room set, clothing, toys, jewelry, and what ever else. The point I’m trying to make is: I can sell other people’s stuff. As a committee chair for several local chamber of commerces, they loved it when I offered to collect donations for their silent auctions. The key element, I believed in their products, services, and, in the case of the chambers offices, their fundraising events. How many of you can relate to this? Sounds familiar (in generic terms), doesn’t it?
Why can’t we promote, much less sell our own products?
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of being seen.
Fear of rejection.
No matter how you attempt to slap a layer of lipstick on it and dress it pretty – it is fear. Plain and simple.
There’s an army of self-proclaimed gurus eager, actually drooling over our insecurities and vulnerability. They, my dear, have no issues with self-promotion. We could —should— seriously learn a thing or two from them. If we had the courage to emulate their techniques, how they get out there and sell, sell, sell, what could we accomplish? But… is that how we actually want to do it? No. Maybe. No. It’s not comfortable to us.
I’m not a psychologist, nor do I have the answers, or the quick fix that even I would love to find. Instead I would like to share what I do know.
If we don’t stand up for ourselves, and promote our products and services, who will? Some of us awkwardly posts something on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the rest of the social media platforms, and hope like heck, at least one, of our followers buys our product or service. We are literally hoping and praying the friends, family members, high school classmates, and the various other relationships we’ve established through social media groups will click the thumbs up or heart icon, share our post, or better yet, buy the item from us so we don’t have to put ourselves out there any further? You know, it’s hard to sell to strangers, right?
Of course this is not the case with everyone. Some people love to share what they are working on and what they have created. Interestingly enough, if it doesn’t involve money…
… and then I got distracted and never went back to that statement. That’s a lie. I did. I just couldn’t add to the content without it sounding like horse pooh.
Then I whittled out:
The conversation I would like to share with you began with a social media direct message. Since I do not know this individual and she’s not a follower of the social media platform, I’m assuming she’s responding to a post I boosted on Facebook. “I’m interested. Can you tell me more?” Hers is the second of these lifeless conversation starters that have, to me, no direction.
Immediately the sarcasm perks up, and wants to ask, “That’s nice. What’d you like to know more about? The weather, how to make kombucha, or what’s my favorite cookie?” The more rational personality, responded with a generic, “Please be more specific.”
Their response: “How to become a writer and how do I get started?” The intuition’s reaction to this reply was this is a spammer. One of those individuals who seeks to waste people’s time and energy.
My response was generic to which I did not receive a message worth mentioning.
The idea for this podcast script was to answer their question. How do I become a writer? How do I get started? The unimpressed side of me wants to tell you, Pick up a pen, slightly press it on the paper until it makes a mark, and write some words. Wa-la. You’re a writer. Another element of my unimpressed mind thought, If you have to ask, “How do I get started,” you have no intention of being a writer. Writers, truthfully any creative soul, possess a calling from deep within. It’s a part of our DNA. A creative doesn’t ask, “How do I start.” They ask, “Where’s the best place to get supplies?” “Will you teach me?” “Who taught you how to do it this way?” “What inspired you to do XYZ?” A creative soul started their journey when they were a child. It’s how they wanted to spend their time.
A writer who doesn’t consider them self as a writer is more than likely keeping a journal, taking notes when listening to talks about topics that interest them for that thing they will write one day when they are a writer, and detailing accomplished or tracking data. Writers are writing. It’s their preferred method of communication.
So what is it that is holding us back from writing that novel we dream of handing to a loved one? What prevents us from marketing our business, our books, our services? What is it that prevents us from claiming I am a writer?
In the mindset I am currently stewing in on low heat: we don’t feel we are accomplishing something for someone else. It’s all about us. That intimate connection with Self that many of us avoid like the plaque. It’s human nature to want someone’s approval, to know we have done a job well done for someone outside of Self.
It’s time for me to wrap this up. I don’t have the answers. No one does. Our journey is for us to live and experience. I would like to leave you with a few things to ponder, to enter into your journal and answer for yourself: For one, what are you thoughts about why you’re not sitting down to the keyboard? What is holding you back from writing or putting yourself out there? What is one action step you can do for Self that will help you on your journey?
How is it our self-worth is tied to what we do for others, yet not for Self?
As they say, we know our own answers. We simply have to be willing to ponder the wisdom we receive from Self. Be easy on yourself. You may get insight immediately, or on some random day years from now you may get that AHA! moment. Allow it to come to you without brute force.
Okay. Before I sign off, I’d like to say thank you for listening. Thank you for being here and for your time. Let me know what you thought of this podcast by leaving a comment on the show notes page at PentoPaperPress.com. Take a moment to subscribe, rate, and review each podcast you hear.
Take care. Until next time, know that your words have power and your story matters.
Bye for now.
Book Mentioned in Podcast:
Get A Compass Not A Clock
UnLeash Your Story: A Journal Writer’s Guidebook
21-Day Writing Intensive
Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine Archives
Meet Your Characters Guided Meditation
Meet Your Characters: Get to Know Their Secrets Guided Meditation
Pen to Paper Writers Circle
CK Kochis, INHC, is writer and multi-passionate entrepreneur. She is currently focusing her energies on hosting the Pen to Paper Press Podcast and guiding writers on their journey of developing the storylines and characters of the books they are writing.
Pen to Paper Press Podcast was created to help writers give voice to their books, writing process, backstory, and share their journey. She has recorded conversations with authors getting ready to publish their first book to a gentleman with his name on thirty-plus book covers to a memoirist to a digital magazine publisher and editor. Each of us has a unique story; an important story. She reminds listeners, “Your words have power. Our story matters.”
Following her heart and intuitive guidance, Cindy published the first issue of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine, a digital publication focusing on the various elements of experiencing balance in on our life, in May 2016. Explore the magazine archives at elementsforahealthierlife.com/the-archives.
She shares her sass and transformational journey, along with pearls of wisdom, in her blog at ckkochis.com.
“Life is an amazing adventure; it was never intended to be lived in gray-scale.” – CK Kochis
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Podcast music by Joseph McDade
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What a great q, Cindy: How is it our self-worth is tied to what we do for others, yet not for Self? I found this piece to be most insightful and personally, will give this some deeper thought. I’m a writer, a caretaker, and improving on my desires to get myself “out there” in a bigger way. I like being bold and putting myself out there with my creativity and work toward that always, but now that I’ve read this, I wonder what this means in terms of my procrastinating and making excuses for why certain things are not getting done. Asking what one action step you can do for Self to help you on your journey is a great place to begin. There’s a lot to ponder here!
You’re right, Barb. There is a lot to ponder in this episode. I’m still pondering various elements of it. Do I have answers for myself. Nope. I believe the question, How is it our self-worth is tied to what we do for others, yet not for Self?, will be a process of unfolding. There is no simple answer. Well, at least I don’t have it.
May your Self discovery move you in the direction you desire. Blessings on your journey within.
Right on, Cindy. I have the same questions and the same issues. Working on them, but I’d rather be writing or doing art work. When we take care of ourselves, we are more available for others. When we put ourselves first, not out of ego, but out of love for ourselves and for our lives, we create more art and it’s so much easier, and others get to benefit – we share more. I love the new, more feminine, healing, more creative energy coming in with the New Age. Old habits die hard, but they do die if we let them.
How appropriate: out of love for ourselves and for our lives, we create more art and it’s so much easier, and others get to benefit – we share more. I couldn’t agree more.
Thank you, Nancy.
Although I’m not (currently) feeling inadequate or stuck, I really like your paragraph about getting out of the box. Trying other creative endeavors, learning something new, going some place I’ve not seen before are all things that keep the creativity flowing. Today it was making time for my dog’s fancy obedience class — so much of the time I feel as if I have two left feet. Then my teamate and I “click” and it feels amazing. (And somehow for me that fits.) Thanks for posting this.
You are welcome, Andrea. Sounds like you had a fun day!
I’m not currently feelign stuck but I especially appreciated your paragraph about getting outside of the box. It seems that when I make a point of dabbling in other creative arenas or learn something new, I’m rewarded with a steady flow of magic. Thanks!
Yes! The issue of self-worth and self-doubt is something I have struggled with for many years, not just in writing but in all areas of my life. I have found the more I focus on taking care of myself, doing what I love and what makes me happy, and healing wounds of the past, I am better able to show up confidently in whatever I am doing. I still don’t like selling my own stuff, but I am feeling better about doing it. One step at a time…it is a journey not a destination. Thanks Cindy!
You and I could discuss this topic for hours, Kris. I agree, self-exploration is a journey not a destination. It’s the willingness to unravel the mysteries.