How to Draw on Your Future Top Writer Self for Inspiration
Perhaps the activity that gives me the most joy in my writing career is reaching out to new writers, connecting with them and encouraging them.
It isn’t easy in the beginning. You spend hours finding exactly the right words to tell your story. You edit relentlessly, cutting out every word that isn’t essential to the telling of your story, just as writing veterans advise.
Finally, satisfied that you can do no more, you hit Publish and let it go. Just like the old-timers tell you, you vow not to look at your stats for a few days.
Then, unable to resist anymore, you take a peek, thinking you’ve given it enough time for the earnings spigot to open wide.
Depressing, isn’t it? But you should actually be encouraged by this development. Embedded in that penny is a lesson that you should keep going.
In this article, I will show you how to build the mindset of a top writer, so that you can have access to the future best version of yourself right now.
Remember high school, when the teacher would wheel in the TV and the video player? A feeling of celebration came over the class — no lecture, no slaving away at an assignment. Just sit back and watch and coast as the minutes go by.
Your assignment today is to go watch a nature documentary about crocodiles. Here, I’ve even got the YouTube search ready to go for you. There are plenty to choose from. For best results, pick one that covers the entire life cycle.
Most likely, the video starts off with the majesty of a fully-grown crocodile. 16 feet long and nearly 1200 pounds, this throwback to the Mesozoic Era waits patiently in the Nile River. When the time is right, it strikes, taking down wildebeest, antelope, and zebra. Not even The King of the Jungle is safe when he feels the need to cross croc-infested waters.
The massive reptile makes it all look so simple. A sudden lunge, the iron-clad grasp of those enormously powerful jaws, a few death rolls, and… dinner is served. That’s the way it’s been done for 70 million years.
Things weren’t always this easy, though.
Crocodile hatchlings start their lives only a few inches in length. Once they escape their eggshells, Mama Croc scoops the babies up into a pouch in her mouth. She then delivers them to the river where they will spend most of the rest of their lives.
There, the babies have to learn quickly how to survive in the murky waters of the Nile. Not only do they have to avoid predators, but they have to learn how to feed on their own. They have to learn how to hold their mouths open, wait for a dragonfly to land, and then — SNAP! — at exactly the right time.
The majority of baby crocodiles never get this motion down, just as the majority of new writers never develop a rhythm and get into the habit of writing every day. The babies that figure it out, however, are well on their way to becoming the monsters that take down zebras, ostriches, and buffalo.
Just as the baby croc has within itself the blueprint to become the apex predator of the Nile River, you have within yourself the blueprint to become a top writer. Take a minute to reach out to that probable future self, to connect mentally and spiritually to that self, to draw that self to you and ask it to guide you.
The next time you look at your Partner Program results and find that your writing has earned a penny, don’t look at that amount with that despair. Smile proudly, take a moment to connect with your future writer self, and think, “I got my dragonfly.”
Let’s keep in touch! Feel free to sign up for my newsletter. Here are a couple of other articles I wrote for new writers: