Can I Help You Climb Your Writing Wall?

This is me, reaching out a helping hand

Melinda Crow
Feb 11 · 4 min read
Photo by Fionn Claydon on Unsplash

Every last one of us woke up on Monday, January 4, 2021, full of hope and eager to rock the world with our powerful words. New opportunities came flying out of nowhere. Dollar bills floated through our daydreams and kept our fingers moving at a fevered pace. We could do this. We had the world right where we wanted it.

And then along came February. The weather turned colder. Some of the anticipated paychecks evaporated into thin air. A virus still rules the world. We’re still stuck in the grind we swore we were on the verge of escaping on that first hopeful Monday of the year.

We’ve hit a wall.

Here’s the shove on your behind you need to hoist yourself up and over a February slump.

First, forgive yourself

January is a month of optimism. We wake up and think there’s this giant do-over about to take place. That’s a great way to look at things, but if you didn’t do anything better than before, forget about it. Don’t beat yourself up over things not accomplished. I read a friend’s post yesterday lamenting that she wished she’d had been a first adopter of Clubhouse. What the? That is truly beating yourself up. It’s a platform so new you have to be invited by someone else to get in. She hasn’t missed anything; she simply believes she did.

Looking backward at January is pointless now that we’ve reached February. The only thing you truly have control over is right now this minute. Forgive yourself for whatever you think your failures were, pick yourself up, then turn and face the wall.

Consider February forward momentum month

Okay, you’ve packed away January with all its excitement, it’s time to take a step forward — on any damn thing you want. You decide the what, but my advice is to keep the first steps small. Picture yourself harnessed and dangling from the side of a mountain by ropes. You don’t have to be a mountain climber to understand the principle that you are not making it to the top of that rock wall all at once. You get there inch by inch, carefully figuring out each new hand placement, then each new foot placement.

Start an idea list. Outline one article. Start a title list. Craft one tweet. Write one short-form post. Read one how-to story. Move slowly and deliberately forward. That’s what February is about.

Build on what you’ve already accomplished

You have done something. Even if it was nothing more than making a decision. Find one tiny (atomic) particle that fits into your plan of climbing this damn mountain and make an intentional effort to build on that.

Example: Say you recently wrote something that got the attention of a handful of people. It doesn’t matter if it was a full-length article, a tweet, or a rant on Facebook. If even one person paid attention, do that thing again — maybe on a different platform or in a longer post.

By doing that you are feeding your successes. Start looking around for other accomplishments and build on each of them, one tiny piece at a time.

Ask for a helping hand

Find a community where you feel safe and ask for help. Whether it’s a social media group, a virtual mastermind group, or maybe even on Clubhouse. Use the comments of an article that moved you to ask the writer question. Consider taking a course where you can get feedback on your work. The key is to find like-minded people willing to help. You are probably surrounded by people willing to help, but neither of you can get started until you recognize and reach out to those who can guide you to where you want to go.

Don’t look up too often

Do you want to know what happens when mountain climbers spend too much time looking up at their goal? They get stiff necks. It also slows their progress. The focus should always be on what is right in front of you. You know there’s a big damn wall of rock standing in your way, but stash that in the back of your mind. Staring up at it does not get you any closer to the top. Find your next fingerhold; take the next step.

Don’t look down unless it’s to pull someone else up with you

I am a firm believer in the buddy system. I’m a scuba diver and your dive buddy is literally there to save your life if something goes wrong. The same thing applies to mountain climbers. You want to know what happens when you stop your forward progress to help someone else get to the same spot on the mountain where you are? Not only do you gain someone to share the view with, but the very act of climbing becomes easier.

Got a question? I’m happy to answer. Please let me know how I can help. In the meantime, I’ve got a free eBook for you.

Live Happy: 10 Simple Questions to Help You See the Happiness You Already Have is yours for the asking. Do that here.

Breakout Writing

If you want to improve your ability to reach your dreams…

Melinda Crow

Written by

30-year freelancer. Found on: Newsweek, Cruise Critic, MSN Travel. Writer’s Toolkit weekly series on The Writing Cooperative https://melindacrow.substack.com/

Breakout Writing

If you want to improve your ability to reach your dreams then you must write well — no matter what your dreams are.

Melinda Crow

Written by

30-year freelancer. Found on: Newsweek, Cruise Critic, MSN Travel. Writer’s Toolkit weekly series on The Writing Cooperative https://melindacrow.substack.com/

Breakout Writing

If you want to improve your ability to reach your dreams then you must write well — no matter what your dreams are.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store