Writers need pep talks, too!

Do you need someone to give you a pep talk every now and then to make sure you don’t lose confidence in yourself?

Assurance you’re on the right path. An enthusiastic voice telling you “You’re doing great!” Someone to pat you on the back and offer to go kick Imposter Syndrome in the rear for you.

I could use someone like that.

Grant Faulkner has done this for writers in the book Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. I picked up a copy nearly two years ago, but I have wound up opening it to random weeks in the middle of the year rather than starting it from the beginning. (Chaos, I know!)

For those of you who do not know, Grant Faulkner was the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes place every November. This is where people who have always wanted to write a book, people who just haven’t found the time, or those who just want a kick in the pants to get started all attempt to write the first draft of a novel in 30 days. It’s fun, stressful, productive, and addictive because of the sheer amount of motivation that surrounds the NaNoWriMo community.

So it’s safe to say that Grant Faulkner knows a thing or two about encouraging writers.  He’s boiled down his encouragement to 52 “talks” (plus a little bit of homework) so we can have weekly encouragement all year long.

Talk #1 Summary

The first pep talk focuses on the fact that you don’t need anyone else’s permission to write or be creative. You don’t need a degree, to be a professional, or to be an artist. You simply have to write. 

Faulkner’s advice is a blend of a compassionate “It’s okay,” with a pat on the back and handing you your pen and paper whilst saying, “Get writing!” Perhaps that’s why it works so well. We often want others to reassure us that we are on the right track, that everything will turn out alright. However, we also need someone to remind us to take the actual step and get to work.

Faulkner’s pep talks always end with a section called “Try This,” which functions as your homework for the week.

In this case, it’s more of telling both yourself and others a declaration or announcement.

Homework:

“First, tell yourself, ‘I am a creator.’ Then tell someone else. Tell them you write. Tell them why writing is important to you. You don’t have to tell them your story. Just be proud to call yourself a writer. Practice asserting it.”

Grant Faulkner

So here’s my declaration:

I am a writer. I write to entertain myself and others. I write because I want to see happy endings. I create stories because I always see the avenues not traveled by characters in books and movies and wonder what would happen if… I write because scenes play out in my head and I feel the need to express them in some other way.

What about you? Why do you write? Feel free to write your declaration in the comments!

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