Jackee's Five Favourite Tips For A Writing Life

You’d love to write or start a blog, draft the content for your website or even write a book someday? But how can you do this with your busy, demanding sometimes overwhelming life? One writer shares how she does it.

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You’d love to write or start a blog, draft the content for your website or even write a book someday? But perhaps you just can’t seem to find your groove? Well nothing happens without doing the work, as Steven Pressfield would say, rolling up your sleeves and getting on with the practice. With more than four books published I’ve had over twenty years of writing practice under my belt. So today I’m sharing the five things I do on a regular basis that are guaranteed to get me to the page and to keep me there.

Remember these are my personal tips and whilst some might work for you others might not. Writers and creative’s (yes that does include you) are as different as we are the similar. What works for you are bound to be a No, No for someone else? So I invite you to borrow some or all of the tips below and add ones that make more sense for you. Your job, find what works and do more of it.

Writing Tip Number 1

Walk often and as regularly as you can. That’s right take a walk (ideally first thing in your day as often as you can). Walking clears your head and stimulates creative ideas. I’ve never returned from a walk thinking, 'Gosh I wish I hadn't gone for a walk,' in fact more than not the opposite happens. As soon as I’m back home or arriving my destination without fail I always find myself heading for the pages of my notebook to get my ideas down as fast as I can.

Writing Tip Number 2

Write as early as you can in the day (after or before your walk. I know this may take a little bit of organising). I know this tip might not work for everyone especially if you like your sleep but this is one that really does it for me. I’m someone whose easily distracted, so the moment I open my laptop the vices of social media lure me in and within nano seconds I’m hooked and the writing goes from centre stage to back stage. Writing first thing in the morning guarantees fewer distractions and means that before the day is underway I’ve met my writing objectives for the day. Now how good is that?

Writing Tip Number 3

Writing first thing not only sets up my day it also boosts my confidence and well being. Now when I say writing I don’t mean a perfectly published piece ready to be published. No what I’m talking about here anything from your to do list, a journal entry to the first draft of a blog post, a handout for training, a work report or a chapter for a new book. By the way I consider all of the above and more as writing. It is not a matter of what you write. It matters most that you write. Summed up perfectly by writer Dorothy West, ‘I love writing. I hate not having written.’

Writing Tip Number 4

I never turn up to write an article and expect it to come out polished first time. In fact most articles start out pretty much the way writer Anne Lamott describes them as, ‘shitty first drafts.’ When writing a first draft concentrate on laying down the bones of your idea then go back and add the meat. I do this sometimes a good few times before I hit send. What you are doing it getting into the habit to build and refine, build and refine. I visualise building up from this base line and it turns out to be a very satisfying feeling.

Confidence grows from knowing that you don't have to be perfect the first time, the second or even the third. Actually you need never be perfect. That's the reality there will always be more to edit on anything you write. Your job is to know when good enough is enough, which is often for you recovering perfectionists a good few steps before you considered it was good enough in the first place to go public. Cut your self some slack. Think completion not perfection. As one of my former coaches wisely put it, ‘Confidence comes after the act not before www.lyndafield.com)

Writing Tip Number 5

Less really is more. This has been one of my steepest learning curve balls of my writing life. I prided myself on providing both quantity and quality. On the surface these were great values to have but they carried a shadow side. They weighed me down with the levels and degrees of high standards and expectations, which were rarely met, and which resulted in me really holding myself back.

The breakthrough came with the realisation that I don't need to cram everything into one post, article, feature or book. Have you seen the attention span of modern society? It isn’t long. Instead it’s wise to spread your content over a series of posts. Instead of writing one book ask yourself is there enough content for two or even three? Think of how impressive four posts look compared to one?

These are my five favourite tips that support and grow my writing life.

·Which tips do you relate to?

·What tips would you add to your own lists that are more on your wavelength?

If removing distractions is on your list so you can get on with the business of writing then why not join me at the end of May 2015 (May 29th-June 5th 2015) for the second annual Inside Out Writers Retreat in Greece? In the idyllic surroundings of sea and mountains you'll have plenty of time and space to write, learn and craft your writing during scheduled classes with me, gain valuable feedback on your writing and generate publishable content.

Click here for more details:


Join Psychologies and NOW Live Events for a wonderful writing workshop with coach and speaker Jackee Holder in London this May: Writing to heal your life with Jackee Holder.

Jackee Holder

Professional & Personal Coach, Author, Speaker & Journal Coach, Life Is A Work In Progress!

I am energised and come alive when I am writing and journaling and over the years I have filled the pages of over one hundred journals. I am a bookaholic and see writers of all genres as part of my natural tribe. I am qualified in many areas of personal development and well-being including a Masters degree in creative writing and personal development from Sussex University and in the completion stages of training as a psychosynthesis counsellor. But by far life and it many bumps, bruises and triumphs continues to be my greatest teacher. Life has been a series of adventures and challenges but creativity has remained a mainstream force of my life. This means that over a period of twenty years I have authored four published books, 49 Ways To Write Yourself Well, Be Your Own Best Life Coach, The Journal Journey Guidebook and Soul Purpose along with numerous workbooks, e-books, free journaling products and articles for a range of journals and magazines. I have recently launched The Inner and Outer Nature Self Discovery deck of cards which brings together my love of journaling and nature. In my professional vocation I work as a corporate coach, coach supervisor and leadership facilitator. I love what I do, no two days are the same and I love how I can bring so much of what brings me alive into this work. I care about our environment and have a deep reverance for trees and nature. I hold nature and journaling as my go to sources of well being and write regularly around the therapeutic benefits of forest bathing, connecting with nature and journaling. Twice a year I open the doors to my online well being journaling class, Paper Therapy. Over five weeks you are immersed in a world of journaling prompts and exercises that empower you to creatively and mindfully grow a daily or weekly journaling practice. You will learn about the therapeutic benefits of journaling and how journaling can help you thrive even when you are challenged and stretched. Paper Therapy http://www.jackeeholder.com/events/paper-therapy-online-journal-writing-course/ I journal regularly, love listening to an eclectic range of podcasts interviews which challenge me to think outside the box. I am an early morning urban city walker and love the quiet hum of the mornings when most of the rest of the world is asleep. I have a real curiosity about trees and tree mythology and love the way trees beautify our and resource the environment. London is my home and for now I feel so lucky to live in the city with the most green parks and spaces in the world. You can find Jackee here: http://www.jackeeholder.com Follow me on my urban walkabouts at Instagram:@jackeeholderinspires @girlabouttown Twitter: @jackeeholder


Go to the profile of Diane Boaden
over 6 years ago
Thank you Jackee. I can relate easily to exercise helping the writing flow but most helpful is your point about perfection: adjusting my fifth or sixth draft I berate myself as 'every other writer' will have arrived at their polished piece within two or three attempts - I'm so oooo ooo glad to believe now that this is not the case. Thank you.