Do you write as much as you wish you could? Do you see other writers tapping away each day, producing manuscripts – maybe even a couple a year? Jealous? Envious? You don’t have to be!
Maybe you’ve started many short stories and novels, but you find you don’t finish what you start. Especially your novel.
Is this you? I don’t have the time…My social life is too busy….My day job gets in the way…OR: I want to write, but I’m not really a writer.
We’re good at pointing to things around us and blaming these on our not being productive – or not finishing what we write – on ANYTHING outside of ourselves.
BUT….yes, you got it! The challenge isn’t OUT THERE. Turn those baby blues (or browns or greens) around and search INSIDE yourself. You are the number one obstacle to your own “not getting your writing going.” This isn’t 100% true, but I’ve found that most of the time, this is the “mystery” of why writers aren’t writing or completing what they’ve started. THINGS don’t stop you, YOU are your biggest challenge.
Many times some fear (perpetuated by that negative inner critic) is standing in our way. It might be the fear of failure or of inferiority; it could be fear of success or of some insecurity. Whatever the fear, you need to discover your own little demons, be willing to walk up to them, naked, and exposed them. “I AM a writer, and I WILL write.”
One of my fears was “I’m not good enough…” Once it occurred to me what those nasty little demons were repeating this to me in some form every day, I wrote in my journal for several months about where those thoughts were coming from and what I could replace the negative thoughts with. So I began to write each day at the top of the page: I AM GOOD ENOUGH. BEYOND GOOD ENOUGH.
I’m not saying this is easy. It’s a life-long journey of continual self discovery. Every time you think you’ve figured IT out….a small part of you, hidden deep under rocks and mountains, those little demons begin concocting a new plan to get you stuck once again, devising a millions ways to do you in, sometimes with a thought similar to the one recently reversed and conquered.
Persistence will get you far. Knowing your inner demons (that critical, negative voice trying to beat you down) and replacing those negative thoughts and beliefs with positive ones. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” or “I’ll wait until….” turn that phrase around:
My fear of <WHAT?> is trying to block me from writing, and I will <DO WHAT?> to overcome this by replacing it with <WHAT POSITIVE BEHAVIOR OR THOUGHT?>.
Are you up for the ride?
Question for today: What are you willing to do to face your fears? What do you do when you’ve discovered what has been keeping you from writing or finishing your story?