The first story that I can remember writing, I was 14 years old, and my family and I were leaving TX and moving to NC. The house we had lived in was the first place that had felt like home, and I was very sad to leave it. I remember sitting down and writing a story about walking through my home for the very last time. It was sad, but I thought it was a good piece of writing.
Ever since that moment I have been writing stories, and often, like many writers, I wait for “inspiration” to strike before putting pen to paper. This inspiration has, on occasion, given me the ability to pen some of the best writing of my life. It has also been one of the biggest roadblocks to my writing career.
I, like too many writers, sometimes get caught up in the notion that we can not write unless we are struck with inspiration. So as we wait our novels go unfinished, our blogs go unattended and updated, and our writing gets put off day after day.
If you search “writing advice” on google, you will be bombarded by a plethora of authors encouraging you to write every single day, no matter if inspiration has struck. They all encourage you to practice your craft on good days and bad.
So in honor of their advice here are the lies all good writers tell themselves that keep us from writing.
- I Have Writer’s Block – In my experience, as I have mentioned before “writer’s block” is nothing more than an excuse not to write. While you may have a problem working on a particular piece of writing like a novel, or article, you can always find something to write about. Use writing prompts, journal, or just brainstorm on a notepad. The point is even if you are not working on your main project you can always find a way to write.
- I Have Nothing Original To Write About – A few months ago I was speaking with Cutter Slagle about writing, and I mentioned to him that as writers we will not be able to connect with everyone who reads our work. But there are people out there who only we can influence. Our unique perspective is what makes us who we are, and if we are honest and put ourselves out there, someone will read it, and it will touch their soul. We have to put our writing out there to find those people, and it doesn’t matter if our writing touches 10,000 people or just one. As long as our work resonates with someone we have succeeded.
- I Don’t Have Enough Time To Write – *Steps on top of soap box* OK this is just a flat out lie that all writers tell themselves at some point in their writing career, and it is just wrong. A few years ago I started using an app called Rescue Timer. It kept track of all the apps, websites, and time I spent on things like email and Facebook. After only a month of using it I was able to see I could take back almost 2 hours a day by simply reducing the amount of time I spent on things like social media, and TV. That is two hours I could be writing and reading. Everyone has things in their life that can be eliminated or reduced because they are nothing more than just time wasters. Find those things and use the time to write.
- I Would Write If I Were A Better Writer – No one starts out as the perfect writer. Everyone needs to practice their craft. No matter if it involves writing, playing an instrument, or learning a skill like photography. Practice makes perfect. Write more and write often and you will become a better writer.
- People Will Judge and Tear My Writing Apart – GOOD! As a writer we WANT to create an emotional reaction in people. We want our writing to make them feel something. Sometimes that is profound insight, and sometimes that is aggression and anger. I have no doubt that when I publish “I Am Lucifer” there will be backlash and outrage at the notion of Lucifer being the good guy. I am sure my writing will make many people question their own beliefs and understanding of religion, and many of them will lash out at me. I welcome it, because it means that my writing made them feel something. What would you rather have, a group of people talking about your writing, posting about your writing, and talking badly about your writing, or NO ONE talking about your writing whatsoever?
No matter what the lie is we tell ourselves, they are just that, a lie. So ditch the lie, drop the excuses, and write. Write until you keyboard shorts out, your fingers bleed, and you finally get those thoughts and ideas out of your head, and onto the page!