Writing Process: Trust Your Creative Self (It’s Not Easy)

Every writer develops their own writing process. Its foundation is trust. You need to trust your intuition (your instinct, or creative self) to develop a process which works for you, but it’s not easy.

When you first begin your writing journey, you will confuse your intuition with your inner editor — your ego.

A few weeks back, a coaching student and I chatted about listening to your intuition if it tells you to refuse a writing gig.

She’d just had a bad experience with a client. “Something told me that I shouldn’t accept the gig,” she mourned. “But how do I tell the difference between my intuition and my ego?”

It’s a brilliant question.

Your writing process: trust your creative self

When you receive a nudge from your creative self, there’s usually no particular emotion attached to it. It’s a “still, small voice” within. Over 20 years ago, my intuition/ creative self nudged me to create a blog, for example.

However, that small voice may be followed by fear — either mild, or intense. Most of us have had experience of that still small voice as a gut instinct nudging us away from danger. If something tells you: run, obey the instinct.

From a Mamamia article:

A rabbit would run. A dog would bark. But human cognition means we are inclined to challenge and often dismiss our intuition, despite it being one of our most important survival signals protecting us from danger.

Trusting your creative self is HARD. It may be the hardest thing you ever do.

Let’s look at a couple of tips to help.

1. When you create goals, expect chaos

Often, when you set a goal — “I will get fit” or “I will write every day” — it’s suddenly as if everyone and everything is conspiring to prevent you from achieving that goal.

Over time, you’ll learn that as soon as you commit to change, chaos ensues. That chaos shows you that you’re on the right track.

It’s a nuisance. You may feel that forces beyond your control are playing with you. Be patient. Remember your goal. Things will calm down. When they do, get back to working toward your goal.

2.Train that “still, small voice” within

Your creative self communicates via your intuition.

From bestselling mystery author Sue Grafton:

Train yourself to listen to that small voice that tells us what’s important and what’s not.

Excellent advice from actress Ingrid Bergman:

You must train your intuition — you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.

You need to train yourself to listen to your intuition, and train your intuition how to communicate effectively as well.

Your writing process: listen to your intuition

I’m fond of saying that your writing is your best guide. That’s why I’m so fond of free writing.

Free writing is the best tool for developing your connection with your creative self — all you have to do is ask yourself questions, and write.

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