Wednesday, December 4, 2013
7 Biggest Threats to Writing
The internet: This wonderful tool is an amazing resource for research, for connecting with writers and readers, and taking a much needed break. However, as we all know, the internet can serve as a massive distraction from writing. When you say you’ll just pop on for a few minutes, and those minutes turn to hours, you know it was a mistake.
The doubts: This is perhaps the most obvious threat, but also the most devastating. Doubts can range from those little niggling doubts about whether or not others will like your story, to the massive belief you aren’t good enough to write. Whatever form they come in, they can cripple. The only way to get past them is to simply keep writing. You don’t have to keep writing the same project, but you do need to keep writing.
Family and friends: It won’t matter how supportive family and friends are, they can still distract us from our writing. This is a good thing, of course. We need family and friends. We need to enjoy their conversation, fulfil our commitments, refresh in their company. It’s not good when they become the excuse not to write.
The Muse: Yes, that pesky little critter is one of the biggest threats to writing. Why? Because all too often writers wait for him to appear before they write. If I waited for my muse I’d need to invest in a waterproof computer and I’d never get any sleep.
Illness: Yes, sometimes we are too sick to write, but I’m talking about those times you’re feeling lethargic, you might have a headache, you’re so tired you just want to collapse into a pillow. Even if you have a chronic illness, there are still ways of finding the time and energy to write. It may not be for a two hour stretch, but do what you can.
Cleaning: So what if there are a few dust bunnies hopping around? Don’t let them coax you from writing, no matter how much they tease you. You can round them up once you’ve finished your writing session.
Time: The biggest threat to writing is the lack of time. No matter how much we have, there’s never enough time. When it comes down to it, “I don’t have enough time to write,” is simply another excuse. We have to make time.
I don’t know why writers are so skilled at coming up with reasons why we can’t do the thing we love so much. Too often we put our writing last, behind the commitments, behind our homes, behind the little things that distract us, behind switching off in front of the television. Perhaps it’s because it’s easier than writing, or safer than reaching for the dream in case we fail. The way to beat the excuses, the dangers, is to recognise them for what they are, and to remember how much writing means to us.
What’s your biggest threat to your writing time?
Insecure Writer’s Support Group. On the first Wednesday of every month we post about our insecurities or offer up encouragement. Join this awesome community HERE.
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Note: I will be taking a much needed break over December so I can spend the time finishing the first draft of my NaNo novel, enjoy some family and friends, and perhaps travel a little. I’ll be back on January 8th for the next IWSG post (No, IWSG will not be posting on the first day of the new year). Please have a safe and wonderful Christmas and a brilliant New Year.