How a 10 day Writeathon changed my outlook on writing for my business.
On a whim, I signed up for a 10 day Shut Up and Writeathon with Stella Orange. I had never heard of her before, but I thought, it’s free, so why not? What happened over the course of 2 weeks? I’ve managed to do more writing, almost daily, which I haven’t been able to do all year!
I signed up for this writeathon as a way to get some motivation to write. I did not realize it was going to turn into an extension to the group therapy weekend I had at the Ouroboros Healing Space called Outing Our Inner Oppressors.
During the writeathon, there was an exercise that was a written dialogue with my ‘mean wolf’ or ‘inner oppressor’ to understand the value they bring me in my life. Two of them showed up! Here’s what I got so far:
1. My Fear of Boredom stops me from doing work I don’t want to do. After a dialogue, I learned that it’s not a permanent stop, but a PAUSE. During that pause, I can ground and use my creativity to find the spark that could make the work fun and use my drive to improve as well.
Anytime I feel the Resistance from doing a task, I have to stop pushing myself or guilting myself into doing it. That reaction only triggers my rebellious streak that pushes back harder and in the end, I get nothing done. Instead, if I practice Grounding and Releasing through meditation, I then find the energy to channel Creativity. This original resistance turns into an opportunity, not a block!
2. ExtremeO is abusive and doesn’t trust me. This mean wolf watches me like a hawk and pounces on me the second they find a mistake. They are locked in a constant battle with my self-esteem who is trying to feel good about my successes and wanting to learn from my failures, but instead it becomes an attack on who I am as a person.
There was no convincing ExtremeO to be less abusive, so, I hung up on them! The next day, I went back and thought: If I could harness those amazing powers of observation and meticulous attention to detail, but without all the abuse, I can call it Mindfulness…
3. And finally, a reminder of one important thing I learned in the Outing Our Inner Oppressor weekend: This is a forever job. There is always more work to do and it doesn’t mean I can’t help other people. Finding creative coping strategies and adapting to new realities is my strength and I’m up for doing this for the rest of my life.
These are up there as one of the deepest breakthroughs of my life. A big thank you to Hannah, Parneet, Stella, Coach and the SUAW team!
What are the strategies or disciplines I learned from Shut Up and Write?
Moving forward, this is what I am doing since I finished the writeathon:
First and foremost:
NO BEATING MYSELF UP – NO JUDGEMENT
GROUND AND CENTER
SET A TIMER (I use a visual timer!)
In my writing:
LEARN ONE THING
Once I’m done:
CELEBRATE ALL PROGRESS and
And all of this is going to happen daily. Why?
Because it will be based on
ROUTINE NOT MOOD
Amazingly simple strategies! I feel so encouraged that I came up with my own simple phrase to help motivate me in this whole process:
It’s GOING TO WORK
And I mean that in both senses:
1- Going to work: as in, getting up and attending a place of work every single day. The discipline of Routine not mood is going to keep me writing regularly, because it’s my job to.
2- Going to work: as in, I will succeed in my business if I focus on improving my writing and make this commitment to myself.
I have today’s featured image as my phone’s background. I created it months ago for myself, so I thought I’d share it with all you if you want to download it. It also happens to be a Stella Orange motto :