Friday, May 10, 2013

Life Lessons—Stop Nagging Me!

No one likes a nag. That constant reminder of our shortcomings is enough to make us want to commit an act that would surely land us in a room with bars. So we refrain.

Great. That works well with our spouse or that one employee at work who grates on our nerves. If push comes to shove, we can walk away.

But that doesn’t work so well for writers. I mean, you just can’t get in the car and drive away from the voices in your head, can you? Your characters shout at you. They’re not cooperating with your plot. So, you do what any writer would do. You stop writing.

But then, your own henpecked conscience reminds you of your deadline. It relentlessly tells you how you shouldn’t have spent a thousand bucks on that jet propelled computer, only to abandon it and stare mindlessly at reruns of I Love Lucy on your giant flat screen TV.

So, what should a writer do when the voices are shouting at them? Well, you could make an appointment with your doctor and tell her the story. But, that would most likely result in a psychiatric evaluation. Maybe even in-patient treatment.

Since that’s not a viable option, you really only have one choice. Write. Nothing silences the nag like doing what they’re nagging you about not doing. Don’t make a big deal of it. Just do it.

Sit down at the computer and type. Grab a piece of paper and your favorite pen and do some word mapping. Read through that last section you just wrote.

I know, it’s sometimes easier said than done. I’m working on a book now that propelled me headlong into a brick wall. That’s a tough place to be, but just sticking with the project has its merit. And, it will keep you moving forward.

If you just write, you can tell the voices to stop nagging with the authority of someone who’s actually doing something. Oh, and just for the record, playing solitaire on your computer does not constitute “doing something”.

The point is, it’s no fun at all to hear those voices in your head reminding you you’re not living your dream. But, thank God you have them. If you listen to them and take their message to heart, you can steer your time back in the right direction.

I know you dream of being an author. For those of you who already have books on bookstore shelves, I’m sure you want to continue that, right? You’re in control. Just take steps toward living your dream.

Write. Write. Write.

If you do that, even if you don’t silence the voices, the click of your fingers on the keyboard will drown them out. Ahh… bliss.

What’s nagging you? Share it here.

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching ( She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.


  1. Writing is the answer. I keep needing that reminder, Reba.

  2. Yes, Kim. For a writer, the answer is to write. Isn't it wonderful to see that?