[Tipster] Manifesting a Productive Writing LifeJan 05, 2024
By: Melissa Parks
I’ve always hated the word “manifest.” It seemed like hocus-pocus New Age mumbo-jumbo. Passive. Like rubbing a genie bottle.
Recently, I’ve wondered, though, if it’s more active than passive. And if I need more manifesting in my life.
Manifesting is about actively aligning your thoughts and emotions with what you want to achieve, hence attracting those desires. The messages you send to your subconscious over time influence what you do.
Action always starts with disciplined, ongoing thinking. I’m not good at “discipline” or “ongoing.”
But it’s what I need more of in my writing life.
The Failures of My 2023 Writing Life
Last year, I finally launched a website and proudly declared I would blog regularly to germinate ideas that might lead to a book. That lasted four consecutive weeks.
I haven’t blogged since last March. I haven’t thought about a new topic in months.
Then in March, I spoke with a literary agent who was interested in my book idea. She asked me to do comp research and in one statement summarize “why me, why this book, why now.”
I thought about my answer for a couple months. But, nine months later, I still haven’t responded to her.
Nor do I regularly think about the answers to those questions. They’re hard. Maybe I don’t really want to write a book. Somebody saying, “You should write a book” isn’t enough.
And while my following on IG continued to incrementally grow—which I always want it to—I stopped posting regularly. I resisted the algorithms’ push to do pithy Reels that were insincere and formulaic.
I also thought about my platform less. When I did think about it, I wondered if having a following really mattered.
The Whys Behind My Writing Life
My thoughts about my writing life are a mess. Which means my writing life is a mess.
And maybe that’s because I don’t know the deeper “whys” undergirding it all.
Why do I want to blog regularly? It’s hard, yes. But I enjoy crafting sentences and communicating ideas in a fresh way that move people. Fundamentally, I believe ideas, expressed beautifully, matter.
Why do I want to write a book? Honestly, I’m still wrestling with if I want to write a book. I hear echoes of the advice I’ve offered other writers: It will demand giving up some wonderful things to make room for it.
More importantly, I need to identify what my ultimate goal is for writing a book. To grow my side hustle? Maybe. To inspire people? Maybe. To put beauty into the world? Maybe.
Maybe it’s all of those things. But I’m not certain.
Why do I want to continue posting on social media? It’s where I grow as a creative. And it’s how I stay connected to the people who pose questions I want to wrestle with and help answer. It’s also a place where I can write in bite-sizes, so I keep up my writing.
Maybe you stand in a similar position, with fizzling thoughts about your writing life that didn’t manifest to much of anything in 2023.
Writing this post helped me focus my thoughts, so I know better what I want to achieve—and why. And it reminded me that anything worth achieving demands disciplined, ongoing thinking that forces action.
Now, buckle up and manifest.