Jill Badonsky's Trickyleaks : The Love and Pathology of Writing a Book
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The Muse Is In: An Owner's Guide for Your Creativity
The Love and Pathology
of Writing a Book
By Jill Badonsky
Writing a book about the creative process is crazy-making. Actually, writing any book is crazy-making, right? Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about. Yep. I can see a lot of crazy hands waving.
For me, writing The Muse is IN, An Owner’s Manual for Your Creativity was filled with love and pathology. I’d like to share both of those with you today . . . in a good way. And I’ll share them in bullet points because:
- Bullet points are easier to read.
- Bullet points are more fun to write.
Why this book is filled with Love:
- I created each page by hand. I used a graphics program (Illustrator) and no template. It took a LONG time to complete each page and I kissed them when I was finished.
- Typos were purposely left in the book to show you that you CAN indeed make mistakes and get a book published by a reputable publishing company (Running Press) and distributed to most bookstores in your country.
Many people allow their fear of making mistakes or not being perfect to stop them. Not me. Fred Astaire once said: “The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style.” I’m striving to make it up there at the top so instead of mistakes, they will be called “Jill Badonskys,” and people will want to copy them. I ask readers to say to themselves each time they see a typo in my book, “If she can write a book, so can I.” If you’ve already written one, just point at them and laugh.
- I inflicted myself with all the creative blocks I write about in the book in order that I might experience first-hand what the general population experiences and test-drive the tools I talk about so I KNOW they work. So as I wrote the book I procrastinated, became overwhelmed, was painfully resistant, brutally berated myself about not being good enough, had difficulty focusing, looked at other books out there and concluded mine wouldn’t be measure up, ate a lot of cupcakes, sabotaged myself by not doing my best, etc. etc. etc.
Why the Pathology?
- See #1 above. That’s just plain crazy and really not necessary. But since I have a mild case of OCD, not using a publishing program or a template was a good outlet for staring for hours at each page, lining up text, deciding on fonts, changing — changing-fixing-changing-admiring-criticizing-passing out-eating cupcakes and finally letting go and saying “THAT’S CLOSE ENOUGH” (one of the most effective mantras for perfectionists and those with OCD flurries to get things done).
- See #2 above. That’s a lie. I’m a pathological liar. Writers sometimes are. We make things up. That’s often called fiction. When fiction seeps into your non-fictional life it’s also called excuses, rationalizations, being out of touch with reality because it’s just too much to handle the fact that the publisher sent the SECOND to the last draft to the printer and it STILL had a bunch of typos and it’s like all your blemishes are showing and you’re embarrassed so you make things up. Often this works if you don’t divulge the truth . . . like I just did.
- See # 3 above. Nah. I had all those blocks . . . lied about that too, and I love cupcakes. But despite all my blocks, I finished the book which as those of you know who have finished a book, is monumental. So the tools I talk about in the book — work. Here are the ones that work the most:
- Making it fun. Instead of saying "I have to write," I say, "I GET to write" . . . it changes the energy from pressure to festivity.
- Doing Parallel Universe Time with other people (making a time we both work on our writing even if we are in different places; checking in at the beginning and the end).
- Tricking myself into starting by lowering the pressure, lowering my standards, giving myself permission to write crap and trusting it will turn into quality because I’m WRITING and it will evolve and because I’m not avoiding it.
- Tricking myself into starting by saying, “I’ll only write for 5 minutes,” and three hours later noticing I didn’t stop.
- JUST DOING IT . . . Forge through the resistance, I eventually had the tenacity to say “No” to all the things that lured me away from my passion. I had to be committed, dedicated, and ruthlessly protective of my creative time — which means I lose people who don’t understand.
- Loving myself by doing something I was clearly on the planet to do. Procrastination is punishment to me. I had to convince myself I deserved it — self-loathing can be inconvenient to showing up for yourself. Be there for you, the world will benefit too.
With love and pathology,
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© 2013 Jill Badonsky. All rights reserved.
Jill Badonsky is a creativity coaching pioneer, inspirational humorist, artist, and founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™. Her latest book is The Muse is IN: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity
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