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Do You Need to Embrace Profanity to Protect Your Writing Time?

2 March 2018
 March 2, 2018
Category: Uncategorized

In a word, yes.


Sorry if you’re offended by my favorite teacup (above,) but I’m using it to make a point.


The dictionary definition of profanity is “blasphemous or obscene language.” For our intents and purposes as writers, let’s just call it “strong language.” And I believe that we need to use strong language (with ourselves and others) to create time that is sacrosanct and dedicated to our work.


You don’t necessarily need to swear at people to set these boundaries, but you do need to make it clear that this is your WORK TIME. And just as you wouldn’t take a bunch of personal calls, or schlep your kids around, or watch HBO during your corporate work hours, you need to give your writing time the same kind of protection.


So how can you do this, when you have a full time job, a family, and other commitments?


Here are my 5 tips for embracing “strong language” to protect your writing time.


  1. Imagine a Villain Boss who will shout, “You’re f***ing fired!” if you don’t show up. You don’t want to deal with him, do you? Create a firm writing schedule. Make it consistent.
  2. When someone asks you to do something that conflicts with your writing time, here’s your appropriate inner mantra–  HELL NO! Here’s what you say to them, “I’m so sorry, I have to work during that time.”
  3. No means yes. When you say no to things you don’t want to do, you’re saying yes to the thing that you do– your writing. When you are saying no, you are saying HELL YES! to yourself.
  4. Goodbye monkey voice. Your monkey voice says stuff like, “This sucks.” “You will never sell this.” “These pages are embarrassing.” Whip out your china tea cup that says “Kindly f**ck off.” Listen to your true intuitive voice that says, “This is important.” “This is beautiful.” “I love doing this!”
  5. YOLFO! You Only Live F**cking Once. Are you really going to waste your life NOT writing your book or screenplay? Is your deathbed scene going to involve looking back on the one thing you really wanted to do, and saying, “Oh sh**! I forgot to write my book?”


Whew. That’s the most swearing I’ve done (on paper) in years.


Take Action! Create a clear and consistent writing schedule for yourself. Use strong language with yourself and others to protect this work time. Cut the guilt. Tune out your monkey voice with some choice expletives, and pay deeper attention to your true intuitive voice, which often whispers. Saying no to others, means saying “yes” to yourself. Don’t write yourself a deathbed scene full of regrets and what ifs.


What I love about my favorite teacup is that it’s pretty and nice, and yet very clear.


Kindly F**ck Off so I can do my work!


Happy Writing.


xo pv

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