This is a guest post from Tara Miller of PsychologyDegree.net
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all take a solo writer’s getaway to a cozy little cabin on an island in the center of a pristine lake accessible only by rowboat?
It would have a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator, Internet access, plenty of natural lighting, and a reliable computer where we could devote hours to writing chapter after chapter of that book we’ve been trying to write for years.
Best of all? No one would bother us.
While a life like that sure would be nice, it’s not reality for most aspiring writers. Many of us have full-time jobs that don’t involve writing, a spouse and/or kids chomping at the bit for our attention as soon as we get off work, and a host of other responsibilities.
We’ve got a hundred reasons not to write, but if we’re ever going to finish what we’ve started, we must eliminate reasons not to write.
Let’s examine those reasons:
1) “I don’t have enough time”
On some days, this very well may be true, but it’s rarely true on every day of the week. Unsurprisingly, this is often the same reason people provide for not working out!
There’s always an hour you can carve out of your day either early in the morning or late at night to do the writing you love. While an hour every day or every other day may not be ideal, it’s a great way to make progress on your book or freelance piece.
For the very few of us who truly don’t have that extra hour, we may have to cut some items out of our lives to clear the way for writing time that is, if writing is truly important to us.
2) “I’m too stressed”
Stress is a reality we all face, and to write effectively and preserve our overall health, we must find ways of alleviating this stress.
Meditation, prayer, positive affirmations, journaling about the things weighing on our mind and light exercise, such as a brisk walk, can work wonders in how we feel at the end of the day. Even 10 minutes of engagement in any of these activities can clear your mind enough to write.
For chronic stress or anxiety that keeps you up at night, consider speaking with a certified professional. Chances are a lot more than your writing is being affected.
3) “I’ve got writer’s block”
This is a legitimate reason many writers make a dead stop in the middle of their book or project. However, oddly enough, the best remedy for writer’s block is to write more.
While you wait for inspiration to strike, draft some character profiles for your novel or type up some research notes on the topic of your writing. Do some side exercises in poetry or draft a short story based on a flat character from your novel.
The goal is to keep the writing flowing until the next step for the book or project becomes clear to you.
4) “I’m too old/young”
Nowhere is it written that there is an ideal age for writing a book, launching a freelance career or transitioning to a writing-intensive career. Some of us may need to take a few courses in creative or professional writing to build up a rusty or undeveloped skillset, but there’s certainly no perfect age for writing.
And if Justin Bieber can write a memoir (albeit likely with the help of a ghostwriter), you’re probably not too young either if you can tell your story in a compelling way.
5) “No one will like what I write anyway”
You’ll never know if you don’t keep trying. Even rejection is a learning process, if you allow yourself to learn from your weaknesses. If you don’t think your writing is up to snuff, attend writing conferences, take writing classes and read writing that you consider excellent to hone your skills.
What reasons do you give yourself not to write? And how have you learned to overcome them?
About the Author: Tara Miller particularly enjoys writing about psychology degrees. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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