“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.”
– Neil Gaiman
“Wow, that sounds great,” someone might say. “It must be so cool to just write all day.”
But the reality is, there are very few writers who write all day. Not because they don’t want to, but because they have other aspects of their lives to tend to: Jobs, families, friends, chores, reading, fun.
You know, regular life stuff.
And honestly, the writers I have met who do consider authorship to be their full-time gig don’t write all day, either. They put a few hours in and then head to the gym, go for a run, walk the dog, binge on Netflix – you get the gist.
For years, I’ve openly advocated for a much-needed discussion around writing and work. Because there are so many misconceptions out there about writing as a feasible, full-time gig. People think you get one book published and boom! That’s it – you’re on someone’s payroll for life.
Well, the fact is that it rarely happens that way. Of course, there are a lot of people out there who want you to think otherwise, because they want to look more successful than they are. (Even though you can absolutely have a successful book without the financial status to show for it – trust me on that. Many writers out there hit it big in other ways.)
But that’s not what I had so much trouble admitting to.
No. The thing that I have struggled with opening about it the most as a writer was how tired I was.
When I first started writing books, everything was new and exciting. I was working as a freelance writer during my first book, and that schedule gave me enough flexibility that writing my own projects on the side felt fluid.
When I later started working in PR at a small ad agency, I started to feel constrained. “I’m just adjusting to a new routine,” I told myself.
I changed jobs a few more times over the years and found new rhythms and routines along the way. I wrote my first novel by getting up early every day and writing before work.
But those routines were also wearing on me. There was already so much to do, and writing felt like something that was hanging over my head all the time.
Creating has always been a love of mine. I need to make things, and my creativity has always come through strongest in words.
Yet there I was, feeling drained and resentful by the very thing that had kept me alive and excited for so many years.
When people used to ask, “What are you working on next?” I would tell them about my latest project or idea, when wanted to say was, “I really want to take a break.”
I was starting to feel like there was a fight within me. There was a part of myself that was just trying to survive, and another that was trying to create. They had once been together, and now they were apart and at each other’s throats.
Instead of taking the break I wanted, I kept pushing through, thinking that, eventually, it all balance out. Instead of reaching out to other writers or friends and asking if anyone had ever felt the same as I did, I went on as though everything was fine.
Writing is work, but it should feel life-affirming, not draining. I was not working in a sustainable way anymore.
That was when I started to centre myself in other ways. I started using tarot to help guide me as a writer. I started visualizing, meditating, and smudging.
I created small, personal creative rituals for myself so that writing could feel the way it used to for me: Creative, sacred, and special.
What are you afraid to admit to when it comes to your writing?
Maybe you know, without question, that you want to write a novel, but you’re afraid of running out of ideas: “How will I fill those pages? What if I can’t figure out what happens next?”
Maybe you feel isolated by writing. That can be a challenge with this particular creative process. It’s such a solitary act, and such a long process: “How can I feel less alone? What kind of community is out there for me?”
Maybe you’re uncertain about which idea to choose: “Is it the right one? Will I still like it when I’m 50 pages in?”
Maybe my story resonated with you, and you feel tired and drained, unsure of how to reconnect with your writing in a way that makes your work feel meaningful, invigorating, and life-affirming.
Maybe you’re doing great, but you want to up your game, gain insights into your path and purpose as a writer, and enhance your creativity.
Maybe you’re questioning your abilities as a writer. Maybe you have accomplished something incredible already with your work, and now you’re wondering if you can do it again. Maybe you have always dreamed of being a writer, but when it comes time to work on your book, you can’t find your confidence.
Even bestselling author Neil Gaiman has talked about struggling with this, questioning whether everything he’s done has just been a fluke. Impostor Syndrome is alive and well, and affects many of us throughout our lives.
So what do you think might be holding you back in your writing? What’s keeping you from finishing that manuscript, committing to an idea, or feeling connected to your creativity?
If you’re ready to write, I want to hear from you.
By now, you’ve heard me talk about my writing program, the Call of the Word, that starts on March 9 – less than three weeks away.
As an author and a tarot reader, I’ve combined all of the magic I can into this program. Just as I helped tarot guide me in my writing, we’ll connect with the cards each week to help you gain insights into your creative path, any blocks or challenges, and more.
Plus, you’ll get a completely customized, personal experience throughout the program. All of your assignments will be created just for you, which is why there is no course outline – I tailor the whole experience to each writer’s unique needs and goals.
Whether you need a special, guided visualization made just for you, or a loving but firm motivational butt-kicking, when you work with me, I focus everything I have on helping you move forward.
The Call of the Word is a commitment and an investment for every writer who participates, and you might be wondering if it’s right for you.
Or if I’m the right mentor for you. Because the success of this program relies on trust, connection, and a willingness to show up week after week.
Which is why I’m offering phone and Skype consultations from February 22 to 26. I want to hear about where you’re at with your writing, what you need help with, what kind of support I can offer, and what your questions are about the Call of the Word.
Here are some FAQs from other writers who’ve already signed up for the Call of the Word:
Q: How much time will I need to commit to this program each week?
A: We’ll meet once a week, for one hour. Outside of that, the assignments I give you are all intended to support your writing, not take away from it. We’ll get you set up on a writing schedule that works with the rest of your life. If you need help with that, that can be our first goal together.
Q: How much one-on-one attention will I get?
A: It’s all one-on-one. You have access to me during our weekly coaching sessions, and you’ll also have access to me via email between sessions for any other questions or support.
Q: Will you give me feedback on my writing?
A: The Call of the Word is primarily focused on providing guidance and mentorship, rather than editorial support, but I will look at up to five pages of your writing.
Q: What if I’m not sure I can fit it into my schedule?
A: If you don’t see a suitable time for you on my calendar, let me know. We might be able to work something out.
Q: What if I need a different payment plan than the one offered?
A: Absolutely come and talk to me about it. We might be able to work something out.
Q: What will the outcome be for me?
A: My aim is to have the Call of the Word be as transformative and inspiring as possible. I do want you to come out of this feeling renewed, excited, and motivated. I do want you to come out feeling like a different writer than when you went in. And I do want you to come out of this feeling like you have a clear plan and path ahead that supports your writing.
The learnings and tools you receive in this program can be drawn on for years to come. Plus, you get recordings of all of your coaching sessions, and all of your assignments are emailed to you, so you can refer back to them later.
And as an added bonus, all Call of the Word participants will receive a discount on future coaching and tarot sessions with me for up to a year after completing the program.
Want to connect with me with more questions? I would love to hear from you. Email me to set up a consultation, or to let me know how I might be able to help you with your writing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Because of the intimate nature of this program, I have a very tight enrollment cap of just 10 writers and some spots have already sold. This cap is to ensure I can give you the attention you deserve throughout this course. So if you see yourself in Call of the Word, definitely get in touch about enrollment soon.
Ready to dive in and sign up? You can do that here.
“Call of the Word is long-lasting, slow-acting medicine that stays in your blood stream long after the work is done. Weeks after the readings and the wisdom, they are still at work in my psyche and imagination. Call of the Word is powerful stuff. Do yourself and your work the honour of answering the Call.”
– Janette Platana, author of A Token of My Affliction, janetteplatana.com