One of the biggest problems most writers face is time. There never seems to be enough of it.
And while that’s certainly true, especially since most of us work another job (or two) and have families, there are a few things that we do to get in our own way.
So, buckle up. This isn’t about organization or getting yourself into the writing zone faster with music (though that does help me).
This is about getting real with yourself so you can stop hindering your own progress.
Prioritize your writing… By dealing with deeper issues.
If you want to write your book, if you want to publish it, if you want to pursue this seriously, you have to make it a priority.
But it isn’t that simple, I know. Sometimes, blocking out a day or an hour to write can be done, and we just don’t do it.
You need to figure out why you let this dream of yours get shoved to the back burner, and then confront that. Stop dealing in symptoms and start dealing in root causes.
For a long time, I didn’t think myself worthy of having a dream. Which made it awfully hard to make that dream a priority. Dealing with self-worth issues isn’t a quick thing, and I still struggle with it often, but it has to be dealt with. For many reasons, obviously.
But without confronting that, without realizing that was holding me back, I never would’ve started on this path, let alone made it a priority in my life.
Fear of failure held me back for a while, too. I didn’t treat my writing time with the respect it deserved because I was afraid that I’d fail, that I wouldn’t be good enough, that no one would care or want to read what I wrote.
So why bother, right?
I didn’t sit down to write when I should have, when I clearly had time, because who would care one way or the other?
But self-sabotage is a terrible road to walk, and it has to be confronted if you truly want to achieve things.
So, if writing your book is important to you, figure out the real problems stopping you. Then, deal with those problems. If you won’t do it for you and the obvious fact that things like this need dealt with, then do it so you can make your dreams the priority they need to be.
Do it so you can stop wasting the time that you do have to write.
Tell the people in your life that this is important to you.
This part can be scary, but if no one knows your writing is important to you, then they won’t consider your writing time to be sacred. They’ll interrupt you or try to persuade you to do other things because they don’t know it means something to you.
Most people who don’t write don’t understand the bond between a writer and their characters or the need to get these stories out of our heads.
Not unless we explain it to them.
This gets back into that self-sabotage thing that I mentioned earlier, because that’s all procrastination is. Self-sabotage. But it’s such a major pitfall, that it had to have its own section.
Social media is absolutely flooded with memes about procrastination. I know you’ve seen them, usually something along the lines of:
*prepares to write*
*gets on instagram*
Stop cutting yourself off at the knees and write your damn book.
That might mean less time scrolling through social media. That might mean less time watching TV. It might mean less time sitting on the couch staring into space in existential dread. (Yes, I’m a millennial. Why do you ask?)
But if you want to write your book, you have to freaking write. It isn’t going to just write itself. You aren’t going to wake up one morning, having fallen asleep at your computer, only to find the next Pulitzer Prize winning novel has materialized in the night.
Someone has to do the work and put in the time, and if you want it to be your book that gets written, that someone is you.
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