View this email in your browser

Hello writing friend 👋

Last week, a writer on our bootcamp came to me with a concern. "I'm beginning to think I'm wasting my time on this project," he said. "Should I start a different one? Maybe this one will never be good enough." 

It struck me that it's this - the not knowing - that makes writing, or in fact any creative endeavour, challenging. Our brains crave certainty but the creative process with all its false starts, wrong turns and blind alleys is the complete antithesis of this. Writers find writing hard because it's a hard thing to do.

You might have noticed that we've given our newsletter a new name: Breakthroughs & Blocks. We've called it this because every writing journey involves both of them. Highs and lows. It's these things taken together that makes writing hard, and also fulfilling.

The more you accept that the creative process is uncertain, and that your writing process will inevitably involve ups and downs, the better prepared you'll be to manage the blocks when they occur. 

After all, there's only one sure thing you can do to find out whether the thing you're writing will be a masterpiece or a hot mess - and that's to write it. 

Keep going  ❤️ Chris and Bec

🏃🏽‍♀️ A summer of writing sprints

We've just fired the starting pistol on July's sprint but if you missed out or want another go, we have sprints lined up for August and September. 

Our writing sprints are completely free and have been designed by us to help you push forward a piece of writing over 7 days. Race at a pace that works for you in a friendly, supportive community. 

Find out more about sprinting and sign up

🎮  Stop ‘doing the writing’ – it’s playtime!

Sometimes, going back to the writing can feel like stressy, angst-written task laden with pressure and expectation. But how would it feel if instead of 'doing the writing' you have a bit of a play? Stop staring at your screen – it's time shake things up.
  • Do some freewriting. Start with some journaling or organising. Start scribbling and see what flows. 
  • Change your environment. Go to a cafe, get outside. Get away from your desk. 
  • Step away from the writing altogether – try dictating your ideas.
  • Write it in a different format. Write an email to a friend (or yourself) explaining your ideas.
  • If you don’t know how to write about something – how would you explain it to a toddler? To an octogenarian?
  • Could you condense it into five bullet points? Write it as a PowerPoint. Write it as a Tweet.
Whatever you do, change the context and lower the stakes.

Read more: Shake up your writing life to stop your routine becoming a rut

“We are always falling in love or quarrelling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.”

- CS Lewis, from the lecture Learning in War-Time

👀 What we're watching... 

I’m a sucker for a writer biopic and Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story is an absolute corker. I laughed, I cried, I hankered for leopard print and shoulder pads as I watched the untold story of a literary powerhouse.
Collins’ 32 novels have sold more than 500 million copies - every single one hitting The New York Times bestsellers list. Oscar-winning documentary makers Passion Pictures tell the struggles of this 1980s icon, narrated by family and friends, with unseen footage.
I went on premier night in London and watched the live Q&A with Mariella Frostrup and a panel including the director Laura Fairrie and writers Yomi Adegoke, Daisy Buchanan and Julie Cohen. They debated sex and sexism, women writers, success, power and whether Collins is ‘smut or feminism’ (it’s feminism obvs).

😍 3 things we love 

#1. Agony Auntie: Therapist Philippa Perry offers some counsel to a struggling writer in her advice column. Read her wisdom here. 

#2. All or nothing: Author Brené Brown is a binge writer and proud of it. "Once I start, I fall completely in. I can’t write for two hours a day. This is how I’ve done it for as long as I’ve been writing." Instagram post.

#3. Your daily fix: It might make us more energetic and efficient, but is coffee harming your creativity? Writer Michael Pollan investigates what happens when you give up caffeine. Get a hit here.

🙏 Enjoying Breakthroughs & Blocks? Please share

If you enjoy our newsletter, we'd be grateful if you would consider sharing it with someone else or on social media. If newsletters aren't your thing, you can find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Thank you. 

🤷 Reading this for the first time?

Breakthroughs & Blocks is an email newsletter from writing productivity coaches Bec Evans and Chris Smith, co-founders of Prolifiko.

Subscribe to get fortnightly coaching tips and advice and news of our latest coaching plans and courses. Find out more about Prolifiko.

Copyright © 2021 Prolifiko, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp