IT'S FLIPPING HARD
Deciding that you're trusting your gut instinct, that you must be a writer, is the hardest thing in the world. Next to actually finishing a book I mean. Choosing to follow your dream of putting pen to paper (or keyboard to Microsoft Word) is freaking scary. Scarier than jumping through a ring of fire while drunk. Scarier than being locked in a room with a Weeping Angel.
....Okay, I take that back. Maybe the Weeping Angel is scarier. But the point is, following your dreams and listening to that inner voice is hard and scary and we often doubt it. We wonder how our 1st grade teacher ever let us pass.
More often than not we want to go give up. We want to throw in the towel when we read a friends story and realize its genius and way better than ours. We want to give up when a book comes out that's EXACTLY LIKE OURS and we thought we were so special and smart thinking up the concept. A particularly rage inducing one is when really really terrible books get put on bookshelves and you wonder how on earth that got accepted by publishers over yours.
|Oh the humanity! The injustice!|
It's easy to give up. I want to give up at least once a day. If I'm lucky the feeling passes within an hour or so. But sometimes it sticks for days. Am I doing the right thing? Am I really as good as I think I am? Should I bother to keep trying??
The answer always comes to 'yes'. No matter how much I doubt myself, the thought of not writing, of not waking up and creating something magical with a combination of the 26 alphabetical letters makes me want to crawl into my bed and die.
But I also realize that I haven't been working as hard I should and could be at achieving my dream. I need to pull myself out of my writers block/procrastination phase and just DO IT. And that's the hardest part. To help me do it, here are some phrases that I find help me pull out of my stupor. If they work for you, awesome! If they don't...well, now you have some more useless phrases that will pop into your head at the most annoying times. Enjoy!
1) JUST DO IT
2) IT'S NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK
3) WHO ELSE IS GOING TO WRITE THIS?
I can see your face right now. It looks like this:
You're saying "Those are the dumbest words I've ever heard. In. My. LIFE."
So let me give you one piece of advice that a good friend of mine gave me a month ago. I've found it personally really effective. Procrastinating is something writers are exceedingly good at and we always feel like crap when we spend a whole day on Pinterest, Facebook, and Tumblr and only three seconds on Microsoft word. This is where you use procrastination to your advantage.
Think of of something else you know you have to do that you don't want to do. Homework? Walking the dog? Soooo annoying right? So you put it off. Only this time, when you you realize you have to do a chore you don't want to do, WRITE. "I'd rather be writing", is a better way to put. Put off one annoying thing for another. I've found that when I realize I have to pay a bill or go to the store I think "But I wanna to do something else..." I write. Because it's better than having to do the other annoying thing.
If writing is becoming a chore for you, that's not good. Yes, its hard work, but you shouldn't feel like it's a chore--something you have to do and you don't want to. That's no good. You'll just encounter block after block and bad dialog. And your characters will hate you. So use procrastination to your advantage!
Do any other writers out there us this method? How do you get out of your writing slumps? This inquiring author wants to know!