Psychology of Writing 1: Fix Writer's Block & Write Boldly

The Psychology of Writing Confidently, Writing Successfully, Writing Happily & Curing Your Self-Defeating Perfectionism
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  • Lectures 31
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2015 English

Course Description

This course originally cost $29.
The price has been adjusted to fit Udemy's new pricing guidelines.

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Become a more productive, more confident, more successful, happier writer than you’ve ever been before!

Lots of courses teach you how to improve your writing skills, but nearly all of them miss a critical issue writers must master if they want to succeed: the unique mental challenges that are at play when we write.

From writer’s block and critical self-talk to distractions and time management, from feeling too close to our words in the editing process to insecurities beginning freelancers and new authors face in getting published, writing is full of emotional and psychological hurdles that can drag down our success and our happiness, no matter how skillful we are at crafting our words.

They can also stifle our ability to write and become better writers. They can riddle us with self-doubt and trick us into believing a story we tell ourselves: “My writing isn’t good enough, and it’s never going to be good enough” – when that story simply isn’t true.

Welcome to “Writers’ Therapy 1” – the first in a new, groundbreaking series of workshops on the psychology of writing, and the mental and emotional challenges writers face.

Taught by writing coach, bestselling author, and professional travel writer Dave Fox, this particular workshop – part one in our series – focuses on writer’s block, self-criticism, emotional overwhelm when writing, and how to write about personally difficult topics.

We’ll explore:

  • What writer’s block really is, what it isn’t, and ways to overcome it.
  • Why some writers are considered “gifted” and how you can become one of them.
  • How to tame your “inner bully” – that gremlin in your head who whispers demoralizing things to you when you write – things you would never say to anyone else.
  • Writer’s jealousy: Comparing ourselves to other writers can ignite or stifle our success, depending on what we tell ourselves.
  • How to write when writing doesn’t feel good.
  • How to start writing again if you’ve been in a rut.
  • Writing about emotionally sensitive topics, and deciding how much about yourself to reveal.
  • Writer’s overwhelm: From too many ideas and not enough time, to stories that branch off on too many tangents, to the daunting task of starting and finishing books and other large projects.
  • Understanding the difference between “perfect” and “good enough,” and establishing a sane middle ground so you can get your good work out there and be more productive.


Unlike many Udemy courses you just download and watch, this course is interactive. It includes hands-on journaling exercises to help you get to the root of your biggest mental challenges. In the forums, you’ll be encouraged to share your thoughts and experiences with other writers, to commiserate and share strategies for success – kind of like group therapy but more fun!

Dave also plans to host occasional “office hours” video sessions and live online chats where you can ask him questions and get his professional advice. He’ll help you pinpoint and overcome your biggest obstacles as a writer.

He teaches with a mix of practical advice, motivation and encouragement, and a sprinkling of tough love to get your words moving. He laces it all together with anecdotes and experiences from his life as a travel writer and bestselling author, and shares his personal journey to becoming a more confident, more productive, happier writer who tripled his hourly freelance income with one client after making one simple change in the way he approached his writing.


Get on track and write to your fullest potential!
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why your writing wasn’t “good enough,” or worrying whether it was ever going to be “good enough;” if you’ve ever thrown secret mini-tantrums as you stared at your word processor, frustrated that your words weren’t coming out the way you wanted them to; if you’ve ever felt stuck, stalled, or anxious about what you were writing or how you were writing it; if you’ve ever wondered if writing could be easier and more fun; “Writers’ Therapy 1” will help unravel the clogs in your brain and help you write to your fullest potential.

(And if you wrestle with challenges such as distraction, organization, time management, editing insecurities, publishing fears, and a long list of other mental challenges that nearly all writers face at one point or another, parts two and three in this Writers’ Therapy series are coming soon!)


Sometimes, writing is hard. That’s a reality all writers face. But it doesn’t have to be a confidence crusher. Knowing how to write to the best of your ability, how to keep growing your skills to new levels, and how to keep writing on days when you’re feeling uncertain, will make writing feel lighter and less arduous.

So join us in this fun, high-energy workshop designed to help you tame your mental writing beasts, and become the writer you deserve to be – because you’ve got stories to tell and there are readers out there who are waiting to read them.

Dave Fox is dedicated to your success and he’s here to help. So sign up today and become a more productive, more confident, more successful, happier writer than you’ve ever been before!

What are the requirements?

  • This course is designed for writers of all skill levels and all genres. Some paper and something to write with are helpful in order to do the optional journaling exercises.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Overcome writer's block.
  • Understand the difference between writing well versus falling into an abyss of perfectionism.
  • Write with greater confidence.
  • Enjoy writing more.
  • Eliminate self-destructive thoughts that are hindering your writing progress and success.
  • Significantly increase your writing productivity, and write more – and better – in less time than before.
  • Keep writing to the fullest of your abilities, even on days when writing doesn't feel good.

What is the target audience?

  • This course is for anyone who wants to become a more productive, more successful, more confident, and happier writer. It is designed for anyone who struggles with writer's block, doubts about their writing in general, or fears about writing about particular topics.
  • It is for writers and aspiring writers who are feeling stuck, and who want to achieve higher levels of writing success.
  • It's a course for people who like writing but want to like it more, who feel frustrated or overwhelmed by certain aspects of the writing process, who want to make writing a less painful, more fun, and more productive experience.
  • This course is *NOT* for people who say they want to be writers but are not willing to challenge themselves to reach their goals. If you're confused about whether or not this might be you, please watch lecture number two – "Are you sure you want to be a writer?" – for FREE before signing up! It's a fun (true) story about saying you want to write versus actually wanting to write.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Welcome!
05:47

Welcome to our workshop on the psychology of writing. We'll be addressing issues such as writer's block, feeling overwhelmed by the writing process, the pace at which we become better writers, and how to write with confidence, knowing that we are on track with how we should be writing.

04:35

Before we go any further, let's make sure you REALLY want to be a writer -- and that you're doing this for the right reasons! This lesson centers around a humorous, true story about a guy I met at a party who told me he wanted to write a book. Only his plan for how he was going to "write" his book was... ahem... not something that struck me as a good idea.

05:43

If you've made it to this lesson, then you have survived the previous "Do You REALLY Want to Be a Writer?" lesson and answered that yes ... you do ... even though sometimes, the writing / editing process might drive you a little crazy. So now, let's talk about the different ways you can work through this course so you will have greater success.

[EXERCISE] - Why Do You Write?
Article
[EXERCISE] - Why Don't You Write?
Article
Section 2: How to Squash Writer's Block
05:40

"Writer's block" is often seen as an inability to write, but that's not what it really is. What stories are you telling yourself?

04:56

When we're not feeling well -- physically or emotionally -- writing might not feel good. And when we write under these circumstances, it is easy to convince ourselves our writing isn't good. But that's not always true. Here's how to keep writing, even when you're not feeling good about what you are writing.

06:17

Have you ever wished people would describe you as a "gifted" writer. This lesson explains how to make that happen. We also confront our "inner bully," that bratty voice in our head that tells us we're not good enough, or our writing isn't good enough.

04:39

We expand on the concept of our inner bully and how to deal with him or her. We also look at writer's jealousy -- the ways we compare our writing to other writers' work, and how that can be a positive or negative thing.

03:59

The term "shitty first drafts" was coined by Anne Lamott in her groundbreaking book on the psychology of writing, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Her chapter with that title has helped thousands of writers get back on track. In this lesson, we take this concept one step farther. There's something about our favorite writers we offen don't stop to think about.

03:23

In this lesson, we discover how we can harness the Law of Inertia, and get our writing moving again when it stalls.

08:44

Stories that dredge up powerful emotions in us when we write them are likely to have the same impact on readers -- and for readers, that's a good thing. But emotionally charged topics can be hard for us to write about. Here's a story about how I confronted this issue when writing my first book, and the strategy that worked for me to get a difficult chapter written.

04:52

Once you publish something, it's out there! We can't make people un-read what they've read. This can conjure up anxiety in writers in trying to determine how much to reveal about themselves.

[EXERCISE] - The Monster at the End of This Lesson
Article
Section 3: Overcoming Overwhelm
08:31

Writers have busy and observant minds, so it's not surprising we get overwhelmed with the writing process at times. But how can we deal with that? In this lesson, we'll look at three of the most common types of writer's ovewhelm. In the three lessons that follow, we talk about ways to fix them.

03:59

We think faster than we write -- always. So our stories don't always come out in written form the way they play out in our mind. This lesson discusses how to keep up with your lightning-fast mind and get those thoughts onto the page.

04:38

Some stories get big. Too big. They have so many details, so many tangents, and we struggle to keep them streamlined and easy to read. Here's how to deal with all of these tangents and sub-stories.

04:37

When we work on really big writing projects, such as books, the mere size can seem daunting. Here's how to get those big projects completed, without feeling overwhelmed in the process.

04:18

Is your list of stories, articles, or books that you want to write absurdly long? Do you ever wonder how you'll get all of those stories written? Idea overload is another common writing conundrum.

03:32

When our minds get foggy, we need to clear them out.

[EXERCISE] - Get Unwhelmed!
Article
Section 4: Your Above-Average Middle Ground
06:05

It's easy to talk about how perfectionism bogs us down and stifles both our creativity and our productivity. But we can't go to the opposite extreme either. We have to care about the quality of our work if we are serious about being great writers. So where is the middle ground? How do we decide when to keep polishing and when to send something we've written off into the world?

05:36

This lesson includes a personal story about how I went on a writing holiday in Laos, learned how to be less of a perfectionist, and became a better writer in the process.

07:45

Our writing skills are always evolving, and improving over time. In this lesson, we explore how being at peace with where our skills are at now will help our writing keep getting better.

03:55

Occasionally, writers hit "plateaus" in which they stop improving and struggle to get published. This is particularly common among writers who are just getting started, trying to break into freelancing or get published in other ways. Sometimes, the problem is that we're not exactly sure what we are doing "wrong." When your progress has stalled, how can you kick-start it and fix what isn't working?

02:12

An addendum to our lesson from Laos: After I returned from that trip, I found a way to write more in less time and earn more money as a freelance writer.

03:43

We've established that perfectionism hurts good writing in many ways. So how do you become a successful IMperfectionist?

05:20

Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity. The world is waiting to read what you write! So let's get them out there!

[EXERCISE] - Imperfection Challenge
Article
Section 5: To Be Continued!
11:13

A review of what we've covered in this workshop... and what's next.

05:25

Coming soon: Interactive bonus videos and free live chats! But I need your help! Here's how you can reach me and find out about the other courses and one-on-one writing coach services I offer.

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Instructor Biography

Dave Fox, Bestselling Travel Author / Writing and Humor Coach

Dave Fox is on a mission to help people tell scintillating stories. He's a professional travel and humor writer, a writing and humor coach, a chronic storyteller, and the author of two bestselling books. Dave thrives on stepping outside of his cultural comfort zones in search of adventures and misadventures. He also makes really good sandwiches if you ask him nicely.

Originally from the United States, Dave started travel journaling at age seven when his family moved to England for a year. During that time, he developed an obsession with foreign cultures, which eventually morphed into his travel writing career. He also developed a British accent, which eventually morphed back to a mostly-American accent, but he respects your right to spell "humour" with that extra "U" if it makes you happy.

Dave's love for humo(u)r writing evolved in early adulthood when he discovered office memos didn't have to be boring. He fled nine-to-five life in 2001 on a mission to expand beyond office memos, and published his first book of travel-humor essays three years later after winning the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop Book Proposal Contest. He has been teaching writing workshops for more than 20 years. He has been making sandwiches even longer.

Dave has worked as a Public Radio news anchor, a tour guide for Rick Steves' Europe, an international cruise ship lecturer, and an iguana groomer. (Okay, not really an iguana groomer. Iguanas get cranky when you try to groom them.) His work has been featured on the History Channel, Channel NewsAsia, and national radio broadcasts in the US and Australia. He has also been an opening speaker for Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. (True story: When the princess told Dave he spoke excellent Norwegian, Dave replied, "Thank you, Your Majesty. So do you.")

For 16 years, Dave guided tours around Europe for Rick Steves' travel company. He has lived in the US, England, Norway, and Turkey and Singapore. He currently lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he works as the Vietnam correspondent for TTG Asia and freelances for a variety of other publications including the Straits Times of Singapore, and Singapore Airlines' magazine and website. His work has also appeared in books by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Travelers' Tales, and the 2014 Moon Guide to Burma.

Dave's own books, Getting Lost: Mishaps of an Accidental Nomad, and Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (and still have time to enjoy your trip!), have both been Amazon travel bestsellers. He is currently working on a new book, The Ghosts of Bui Vien Street, about modern life in Ho Chi Minh City.

Dave shares his travel tales, humor essays, and writing advice on his website. (Please see below for the link.) He is available for one-on-one writing and travel coaching via Skype, e-mail, and in person.

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