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Do you wish you could write? Or you'd like to get back into writing? You've landed in the right place! I'm Kim Duke, your writing coach based in Canada. I help women start writing for the sheer joy of it!

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A Writer’s Worst Enemy

Filed in: Get Inspired

This gorgeous painting by Ramon Casas, After The Prom, 1899, certainly captures how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve been dealing with a writer’s worst enemy.

But my husband expressed it best a few days ago.

“I’m not motivated to go to my karate class today,” he said as he poured our morning coffees.

“I’ve been so busy with work these past few months and I’ve only been able to attend a few classes every few weeks. The monthly fee is expensive. And I feel like everyone else is forging ahead and I’m the absentee student.”

He had a clenched look of guilt on his face: for not doing something he absolutely loves to do; for being too busy; for spending money. Guilt for feeling like he was letting his instructor, fellow students, and more importantly, himself, down.

I looked at him over my cup of coffee.

“Listen. You love karate. It’s your life sport! You became a second-degree black belt in another form of karate and then you willingly decided to start all over as a white belt in a whole new style of karate. Who does that?? It doesn’t matter you’ve had a few months where you couldn’t go as often as you wanted. Just go to the class. Do what you can. And soon things will loosen up and you’ll be able to attend more. Because if you cancel your membership and quit? It becomes that much harder to start again. And you’ll feel even worse.”

I grinned at him. “So there.”

He laughed and said, “Okay. I’ll go to the noon class. You’re right. I do love my karate. And I am a lifer.”

Later, I was thinking about our conversation and suddenly realized:

OMG, Kim! You need to take your own damn advice! Substitute the word writing for karate and you just described yourself!

And then I had the biggest laugh at myself.

Have you been feeling guilty about not writing?

You’re not alone.

I’ll confess first: I’ve been terrible at getting my blog posts and newsletters done over the summer. I’ve been busy creating Scribbly issues; coaching all of my book clients and launching their books; driving my 90-year-old mother-in-law around; visiting with my parents and family; volunteering; going to the cottage; travelling to Europe and then coming down with a two-week stint of Covid. Oh, and don’t forget about good ‘ol procrastination.

But I love writing for myself! I love it more than I love lemon pie and that’s saying a lot. (Don’t you love this lemon pie illustration by my illustrator Rosario Solely?)

Here’s A Little Gentle Dare

Please take the advice I gave to my husband (and myself).

Just do one thing. Today. Don’t quit. Don’t give up on yourself.

Who cares if you’ve been busy? That’s life. So what if you haven’t been writing regularly! You love writing and it is part of your soul and so you’re a “writing lifer” just as I am. Just as my husband is a “karate lifer”.

First, just do one thing.

Don’t feel guilty. You’re committed to writing as one of your life’s joys. But even life’s joys take detours sometimes due to other commitments. Life happens and things can pile up…or slip away.

Secondly? Let’s balance the guilt out with some writing goodness. Let’s make a little space of 15 minutes for you to write.

Your assignment? Write about a conversation you’ve had with someone in the past twenty-four hours.

That’s it. WOOT!

See? You can do it! You can kiss the writer’s worst enemy goodbye and break through your dry spell. Bye-bye, GUILT! Have a nice trip!

You’ll be off to the writing races again. I promise you that, my writing-lifer.

P.S. And now I don’t feel guilty anymore, either! I wrote this post in bed with my coffee and bad hair and now I really wish I had a piece of lemon pie!

*Did you love this? Then check out Scribbly – my quirky and gentle writing program that we snail-mail right to your home. Each issue has a theme, so all you have to do is follow the path! We make it easy and fun for you. We’re nice like that.

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