is the narrative serving you?

In creativity, inspiration, motivation by Jay Clouse

I was feeling a little aggressive.

A couple months ago as I was looking forward to October, I decided that I wanted to take on writing two Linkedin Learning courses concurrently to close out the year.

If I did that, it’s obviously twice as beneficial financially, and since I wouldn’t start a new cohort of the Unreal Collective Accelerator until January, I’d have the time.

So I worked through the process and got myself under contract for two courses to be completed by the end of the year. Then, I realized I really wanted to finish writing them both by the end of November, so that I wasn’t thinking about it during my 10-day silent meditation retreat the first two weeks of December.

And so here I am — concurrently writing two courses, a total of nearly 60 video scripts, to be completed by the end of November.

Early on, I began dreading writing those scripts. For context, I’ve historically setup timelines so that I’m writing 2-3 scripts per week for nearly three months. Now, I’ve ramped that delivery schedule up to 8 scripts per week for two months.

And I began telling myself, “This is going to be hard. This is going to be so hard. This writing process is already different than my emails, and it just takes longer.”

I repeated that line of thinking in my head for weeks, struggling to write 2-4 scripts in a week.

Then I decided that I needed to let go of that narrative and believe something else. Believing and telling myself that I was going to struggle, and that it wasn’t going to be enjoyable, was not serving me. But it was definitely a self-fulfilling prophecy. I dreaded the work, I had a difficult time, and the words just didn’t come.

This week, feeling the pressure of a self-imposed weekly meeting with my editor, I forced myself to change the narrative I was telling myself. Instead, I started telling myself, “I know this content backwards and forwards. If I just clear the day, and sit down, I’ll be able to knock out four in an afternoon.”

And, surprise, I was able to do that. I cleared my calendar, I sat down, and I wrote without distraction pretty easily.

I told myself the same story for the next day, and it happened again.

Now, I’m beginning to look forward to sitting down and writing them.

It all came down to realizing that the narrative I was telling myself wasn’t serving me — and it wasn’t categorically true. I just kept saying it. So every time I started to think that way, I literally called it out (even in conversation with others) that it wasn’t true, and it was a narrative I needed to let go of.

This week, I’ll write another 8 first drafts and rework 5 second drafts. It sounds like a lot, but I know I can knock it out in the first three days of this week. And I’m going to enjoy it!


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