Wednesday, April 30, 2014

8 Things That Will Derail Your Writing Goals the Fastest

by Edie Melson

Through the years I’ve discovered something about writing that I never expected. I always believed that to be a successful writer you had to  learn to write better, be diligent about networking and keep submitting. Those are all important, but it turns out the biggest things that affect my writing happen in my head.

By allowing all sorts of negative thoughts, emotions and habits creep into my mind I was defeating myself before I put the first word on the page. I’d like to share 8 things that will derail your writing goals the fastest, and invite you to learn from my mistakes.


1. Looking Back, instead of ahead. It’s easy to get lost in the past, rehearsing old mistakes instead of looking ahead. You can’t make much forward progress if you spend all your time looking in the rearview mirror.

2. Believing You’re not Good Enough. I have trouble looking at what I do and being satisfied. This is a business where you need to have confidence in yourself and in your calling to be a writer.

3. Comparing Yourself to Others. There are always going to be people out there who are more talented, who got the break you hoped for, who are further ahead on the writing journey. Learn right now that THEY are none of your concern. You need to focus on you, not others.

4. Spending Time Talking about Writing Instead of Writing. This is a tough one. It’s so much easier to spend time with writers, to read writing books and blogs, even attend writing events than it is to put your butt in the chair and pound out words.

5. Setting Goals with Strings Attached. Set your goals and go for them all out. Don’t set limits or conditions.

6. Negative Self Talk. I am way harder on myself than others are. I can rattle off about a million reasons that I’m not good enough, won’t be able to succeed, shouldn’t have the chances that come my way. I have to work hard not to defeat myself before I get started.

7. Not Returning to Writing after a Break. There are times when we have to step away from writing. The reasons can range from illness, to family commitments, to all sorts of things. And truthfully the longer I’m away from regular writing time, the harder it is to come back. But even that’s no excuse for putting in the time I need to move forward with my writing goals.

8. Expecting Talent to Get You Where You Want to Be. Raw talent is a good thing. BUT it’s not the best thing. The best things are discipline and an unwillingness to give up. Trust me, with writing, good things come to those who persevere.

These are some of the things that have kept me from moving forward with my writing career. I’ve learned—often the hard way—to avoid them at all cost. How about you? What has kept you from writing success? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETALBES


21 comments:

  1. I've been guilty of all these at one time or another. Excellent post, Edie!

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    1. Joan, we all have! Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  2. Great post. I will take each of these points and overcome them, one-by-one. Have you been reading my journal? Your words were spot on! thank you.

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    1. Judy, I haven't been peeking, I promise! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Blessings, E

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  3. "Taking about writing more then actually writing" ... While I've been guilty on all charges in the past, this one has been a more current problem. Must if it. Great article... I'm going to share it!

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    1. Devani, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post - thanks for sharing! Blessings, E

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  4. Duhoo...again, you've hit the nail on the head! Guilty as charged...thanks for the shot in the arm. Lately family issues have high-jacked my brain and emotions...time to take them back and get to work. Thanks again!

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    1. Rene, so sorry you've been buried with family issues. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  5. They all apply, but had to laugh at number four. So true . . . so true! :)

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    1. Andrea, yeah, that one—unfortunately—applies to me. Blessings, E

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  6. Yep, I've been guilty of 1 or 2. :o{

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    1. Ane, haven't we all! Thanks for taking time to comment, Blessings, E

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  7. Great advice!! Words to live by for all writers! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Annie, so glad you enjoyed this post! Blessings, E

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  8. Good post! Thanks, I needed these reminders today :)

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    1. Peggy, Thanks so much for dropping by, Blessings, E

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  9. Now I have no excuse, guess I better get busy writing... LOL ;)

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  10. Thank you, Edie, for this encouraging post. I find the battle against negative self talk the hardest. But I write anyways, because I heard that it's a common struggle. Can you believe J.R.R. Tolkien had tons of self doubt??

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

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  11. Each day is a new day. Each day begins with confidence, and with a sense of purpose. But, before I write, ask God to give me strength and wisdom and guidance.
    What I have found, in basic terms, is that writing is much like brainstorming ideas. That is, do not judge what are initial ideas - write them down. The same applies to writing - write without judging.
    The other thing to realize is that no writer can write a wonderful work in the first sitting. Rewrites are part and parcel of what makes a great writer.
    The next thing to understand is that beta readers provide valuable insights into what needs to be rewritten. Take these criticisms as positives - the more criticisms the better your end product will be.
    Happy writing - go for it and do not let others dissuade you.
    Blessings to all those who want to write - now turn it into words and let those words flow from within without judgement.

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  12. Hi, Edie,
    Thanks for the post. I'm hoping BRMCWC will give me a boost in both psych and physical encouragement to focus. Retired 01 Jan and should be better focused this year. Cheers.

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  13. Yes to #4! I feel like I spend so much time preparing to write (procrastination in disguise, perhaps?) rather than doing the damn thing!

    Your posts are infinitely useful and motivating. Thank you :)

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