What Stops You From Writing?

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” -Thomas Mann

My brain sucks . . . sometimes.

Some days I love how my brain puts things together and makes sense of the senseless. But then there are the days I hate the way my brain works.

I can’t even count how many endless hours I’ve spent in front of a blank page hoping words will manifest themselves so that I don’t have to write them.

There are many reasons that stop writers from writing. Here are mine:

I’m just not good enough.

All my ideas are crap. This is a good idea but I’ll never be able to execute it. I’m such a fraud. What if people read it and figure out that I am a fraud?

I am constantly weighed down by self-doubt. I am my own worst enemy.

My Fix:

This one is hard. There’s no real fix for self-deprecation. At least in my experience. I basically just push through it until the little voice in my head gets tired and shuts up. Then start all over again the next day.

Everyone will hate and/or make fun of me, or my writing.

People will judge me for writing this. People will laugh at me for writing this. People will finally know how fucked up I am inside.

This isn’t about caring what people think of me, or my writing. It’s more of people not relating to anything I have to say. I’ve lived my entire life on the periphery of social norms. Never truly fitting in – anywhere or with anyone. What would make my writing any different?

My Fix:

I make sure that I only write for myself. I share my own view of life. I can’t write thinking of making other people happy. I can only write what I want to write and if at least one person can relate to it then it’s a good day.

I’m too old to make it as a writer.

This started to bother me after I turned 25. For some reason 25 was a milestone age for me. It seemed like the end of everything. Anything that I hadn’t accomplished by the time I turned 25, was just never going to happen now. From this age on, everything was downhill. Why even try anymore?

My Fix:

Google famous writers who got a late start in their writing careers.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Bram Stoker, Dracula was published when Stoker was 50
  • Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees was published when Kidd was 54
  • Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange was published when Burgess was 45
  • William S. Burroughs, Junky (his first book) was published when Burroughs was 39, and Naked Lunch when he was 45

Of course, then I start to think of how long it took these amazing writers to get published. So imagine how long it’ll take a crappy writer like me?! But that’s a separate issue.

I have too much other crap to do (AKA Procrastination).

The proverbial to-do list.

  • Clean.
  • Laundry.
  • Email.
  • Shower.
  • Sleep.
  • Brush my teeth.
  • Insta-stalk the cute guy from work.

As you can see, I have a very busy schedule. And it’s all extremely important.

Yet, you know what I do instead? I sit on the couch and read or watch TV.

Yep, that’s right, I’m too busy to write, but my to-do list is too overwhelming, so instead, I shut down completely and do nothing.

My Fix:

Treat your writing as a job, a responsibility. If not then writing turns into a hobby. And when do we allow ourselves to indulge in a hobby? On our off time. When do we have off time? NEVER! If your writing isn’t a top priority then it will always be secondary to everything else in your life.

Schedule specific writing time into your day. If you’re a morning person, get up a half hour earlier and write. If not, schedule some time in the evening with yourself and dedicate it to writing exclusively.

I don’t want people to notice me.

What if people like my writing and then everyone knows who I am? I don’t want people to know my face, name, etc.

I’m an introvert . . . to the extreme. And this is a true fear for me. I love writing. And I want people to love my writing, but I don’t want them to know me or recognize me. I usually don’t even want the people that already know me to know me.

My Fix:

I HAVE NO IDEA! Any suggestions?

In conclusion, embrace your fears and then tell them all to fuck off!

Rinse. Repeat.

Until next time!

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Categories: Tips