If any of you follow my articles, you know by now that I’m an editor and a struggling writer. And let me tell you, I struggle. A lot. I don’t know why I can’t get past my hump. Let me rethink what I just wrote. I do know what it is killing my writing dreams—excuses. I get hung up on so many things like self-doubt; it’s a constant battle in my head when I sit down to my computer. I know I’m not alone. There are so many people out there that I’ve spoken with, met, or wrote with who struggle just as much, if not more, as I do. So I ask this question to you all: What’s killing your writing dreams? Here’s some of mine.
The Dreaded Chapter Five
I have written about ten stories all the way up to chapter five and then fall on my face. What is up with that? The stories themselves are perfectly fine. I’ve retweaked them about a bajillion times, I’ve edited and reedited them another bajillion, and I let some friends read the chapters for critique. But why do I get to only chapter five? The answer is easy: I’m over thinking my work too soon. Do you find that this kills your mojo just as bad as it does mine? I focus too much on the start of my book, and I fail to look at the big picture or even down the road. My perfectionism is misplaced. I tell myself not to focus on the first five so much, just to let the words flow, but man, it’s hard.
Time, Oh, Blessed Time
Another thing I don’t give myself is time. What the heck is that, right? And it’s not like I don’t have time, I do. I have oodles sometimes. It’s making the time just for writing that I have no idea how to do. There are too many excuses we face that make it so easy for us to bail on our writing dreams. Mine usually include: I want to read, I’ll write later, I’m tired, it’s Friday, or whatever else I fool myself into thinking. I’m constantly putting it off. I told myself at the beginning of summer that I would finish my short story before the kids go back to school. Guess where I’m at? Chapter five.
The Grass Is Always Greener
I tell you what, I will see authors pump out book after book, have critical acclaim, land a deal, get national attention, or whatever it is, and I get in a pissy mood. It should be me by now, right? Why is looking at someone else’s achievements holding me back? It’s author envy. It sucks, and I haven’t realized that it’s holding me back until recently. So there’s that…
My Husband Is So Darn Cute
Oh, I’m so going there. I’ll be the first to admit that he’s bad for my writing. Not that he knows it. In fact, he thinks he’s like my writing cheerleader. To him I can write a 700-page book in two days. He doesn’t understand why I haven’t done it already. Well, that stud muffin is so unaware of how stinking cute he is when he’s being all supportive. It’s so distracting.
Work Will Happen If I Ikea
What? Really? Am I’m going to blame Ikea? Yup. I can’t work because I don’t have a perfect office supplied by Ikea. I found this cool office set up on Pinterest. I’ve convinced myself that I write more productively when my office is organized. And only then. Do I clean my office and hippety-hop to Ikea? Nope. When I look at my office I hyperventilate.
Summer Vacay Isn’t Really A Vacay
Last but not least, it’s summer. Which would be totes awesome for any other writer but to this gal it’s totes not. I love my kids, I really do, but they suck every last drop of my energy and creative juices. From the time school ended I promised myself I would work around my kiddos. That didn’t happen. Trips to the pool or the zoo happened. Word, meh. Last summer they were in camps a lot, but it’s not the case this summer. The second I sit down in my office, the kids are all up in my shiz about this or that. How am I going to write a sex scene like this?
The point of this article: I write that sex scene or any scene for that matter because all I’m doing is making excuses and it’s true for many of you out there. Stop beating yourself up. Stop letting you get in the way of your writing dreams. The message here isn’t who you can blame, it’s about turning the mirror on yourself and seeing what is really killing your dreams. Ultimately, you are the only one in control. I’m trying to be a good example that excuses are so easy but so hard to shake. I’m also to here to tell you that there are no easy fixes. I can list about a hundred things you can do to combat your crutches, but it’s not going to make any difference unless you do them. So this is your kick in the butt if you hit a rut like me and many others. You’re welcome!
My goal this week, and darn it, I’m going to do it, is to write a chapter. Not five chapters, but just one chapter. Then I’m not going to read it again until I’m done with my book. We’ll see how far I go, and I’ll share my progress and keep you updated. Promise.
What are your goals this week?