The Most Confronting Thing Every Writer Learns to Face by Beth Barany

On The Most Confronting Thing Every Writer Learns to Face…

What do you need to let go of to be able to write?

Whether you write every day or almost every day or four to six days a week, or even just once a week, what do you need to let go?

Letting go isn’t easy. It can feel like grief. Something may need to die in order for your book can be born. And you may need to make some space and time for the grieving process.
But grieving is not really any kind of linear process.

There is no actual specific stages of grief that everybody goes through. No, that famous book on the stages of grief was just based on lots of observation. Then she summarized what she observed.

No two people go through grieving alike. and the only way to honor your own process of grieving is to be present to your experience and to feel your feelings.

Feelings aren’t good or bad. They’re just energies, Powers moving through your body like currents of electricity.

"Feelings aren't good or bad. They're just energies, Powers moving through your body like currents of electricity." by Beth Barany

And we just need to feel them. As soon as we do, a miraculous thing happens. They start to slowly release out of our body, but that only happens when you recognize that maybe you need to give up something.

Maybe you need to give up TV watching or the bulk of the TV watching. Or maybe you need to give up being available during certain hours so that you can write. Or maybe you need to say no to some loved ones for a certain period of time. Or maybe you need to say no to the internet or your inbox.

Giving up these habits can be hard. We are attached to these habits.

The Most Confronting Thing

As we change our habits to move into the writing habit, we are letting a certain habit die and we may have some grief around that.

When I was moving my time and focus more towards my fiction, after spending lots and lots of time mostly on my business, I really felt upset that I would be letting go of certain responsibilities at certain times of day so that I could make room for writing.

I felt I would be letting go of this sense of responsibility and this always being busy Persona that I am so good at.

Saying No

I had to learn how to say no and to slow down and to block off my lunch time for writing, which is my favorite time for writing. Which meant I had to say no to whatever else I had put in that time before. Mostly I had put in that time being busy because that was much easier to do than sitting down and facing the blank page and my muse.

So what do you need to let go of and grieve, and release so that you can spend time working on your book? Let me know if this is the most confronting thing for you. May not be. Post in the comments. I’d love to know.


Beth Barany, Creativity Coach for Writers. Start writing with your Writer Discovery course here: Barany is creativity coach for writers, a teacher, workshop facilitator, and speaker, who helps fiction writers experience clarity, so that they can write and polish their novels, and proudly publish them to the delight of their readers.

Owner of the Barany School of Fiction, an online training hub, Beth takes great interest in how humans learn, create, and grow, and includes all her students’ life experiences, including the ancestors, into the moment.

She offers a year-long group program to help novelists edit and publish their novels. See more here.

Want a course to help you prepare to write your novel? Check out the comprehensive Plan Your Novel course here.

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  • What worked for me was reframing the question from “what am I giving up” to “how can I change my habits.” I was giving up my comfortable little routine of dealing with emails and social media first. Now social media is the little treat I give myself when I’m stuck (although I do have to watch the time I spend).

  • Lani, What a wonderful reframe and touches back to my post on using HOW when asking questions. I love how you switched your routine to put writing first.

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