And how to avoid writer's block
Fellow human, I am eternally grateful for your opening of this email. Most of you are close friends, family, coworkers, collaborators or people that I admire who have heeded the call to join this gumption-seeking adventure.
It is safe to say that I love you.
Thanks for allowing us to drop into your inbox every week (and sometimes twice a week) to share updates and shenanigans as the novel continues to take shape.
I’ll keep this one short and sweet, I promise.
Over the last two Sundays, I shared with you Part I and Part II of novel excerpts that took us deep into Maskat’s struggle with himself. As I revealed, those were journal entries from my own actual fight with my inner psyche over the years.
Ironically, publishing Part II led me into a downward spiral last week, because it wasn’t polished. It had some grammatical mistakes and I forgot to edit the last bit.
“How can you send an email in that state?” My inner voice told me. “No real writer can send such an email. You have disgraced yourself.”
This was tough. I have taken so many writing courses on Masterclass, read several books on writing, expanded my writing practice to be a daily ritual, and I have been also reading more novels to expand my repertoire of style. How can I put something out that did not reflect all of that learning this past year?!
And then I spoke to Paul about it.
“Where is the shame coming from dude?”
“I feel committed to the audience, and I feel out of integrity for sending something that is not in tip top shape.”
“You can’t be out of integrity without there being a contract in the first place. So who do you feel this misalignment towards? The audience or yourself?”
“Shit man. You’re right. Myself. I think I am growing. I have been writing everyday for the past six months, and I guess this is me ready to up my game.”
All I needed was to see that I am being restrained by shame, and sometimes it takes a trusty friend to do so.
[Shame-less Plugin : Check out our previous content pieces on shame.]
I believe that shame is also the culprit behind the infamous writer’s block. We judge ourselves and our writing/creation for not being good enough, and we think that the ideas in our heads are not worth coming out. Shame paralyzes our creativity, and talking to others releases it.
It may seem like a convoluted question, but the answer to any creative block is: Just create! Worry about quality later. Write, express, dance, let it out!
What I have learned over the past year is that the creative mind is different than the editing mind. One thing that was helpful is that I separate the two in time and space now.
I write in the mornings in one place on one old laptop, and I edit in the evening on the desktop that I use for work. This allows me to write freely without judgement in the mornings.
Now, I just need to give more time to editing and polishing!
I mustered the gumption to fix the errors in Part II and repost it. If you have not read these two journal entries, you can find them below.
This brings me to my actual commitments. Aka Big Announcements!
I am committed to finishing the novel and releasing the final, edited, and polished version on my 35th birthday: Jan 1st 2023! More about how it will be published later.
I am committed to grow this project with Paul and others, whether they are collaborators, guests, or the audience. Expect guest authors soon!
I am committed to sending you an update every week on behalf of the project, to keep improving our content as we grow, and to surprise you with new formats!
Above all, I am committed to writing everyday, and healing myself through its magic regardless of how busy life gets.
What are you committed for towards yourself? Let me know in the comments if you made it this far.
Much love for you, for Paul and for myself!
❤️ Click on the love button if you enjoy this to let me know, and 📝 please leave a comment if this resonates. Or event better, share this post with someone you care about.
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The types of posts you can expect every Sunday:
📖 Excerpts from the novel in progress and updates on how it is shaping.
🔍 Commentaries, essays and resources from the creators on our own healing journeys and what we have tried. (see themes above)
🧵 Threads for discussion.
✍️ Short Stories of gumption that inspire you for your busy week.
🦸♂️ New authors and commentators on the topics we discuss.
🎙️ More audio (The Gumpcast) and 🎥 video (Lamu Diaries) content coming your way when we have enough gumption to give them the attention they deserve.
How to support, join, and collaborate with us:
❤️🔥. If you enjoy a post, click on the love button to let us know we did a good job.
📝 If a post resonates with you, leave a comment and use the Wednesday threads to let us get to know you more.
✉️ If you know someone who can benefit please share this project with them.
✋ If you want to share your story on the podcast, in an anonymous short story, or in a blog post. Send us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org
🤝🏿 If you want to collaborate, cross promote us, or host us to speak at your events. Also email us, we want to collaborate. email@example.com