Start, Stop & Change: writing excuses

A study by a publishing services firm found 80% of Americans think they have a book in them.

Of course, far fewer than 80% actually write a book.

Many, many think about writing a book, talk about writing a book…but don’t actually do much—if any—writing.

So there’s a disconnect between the Big Goal of writing a book and the action necessary to achieve it.

Actually writing

I conducted a workshop recently with a fabulous group of women writers. The focus was on the discipline of writing rather than the craft. In other words, actually writing versus the quality of output.

The premise being someone can be the most talented writer since Hemingway, but it matters little if they don’t have the discipline to actually sit down and put words to paper.

Writing excuses

What’s interesting is the multiple reasons (aka excuses) would-be writers use for not writing. I encounter these frequently:

  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I’m not really a writer.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • I have writer’s block.
  • I can’t think of ideas.
  • It’s too overwhelming.
  • I don’t know how to get started.
  • There’s too much competition.
  • I’m too old to start.
  • This will never pay the bills.

Can you say false assumptions and limiting beliefs? This is the kind of negative, internal self-talk we too easily take to be true.

A huge payoff awaits those who take the time to ask and answer:

  • How do I hold myself back with these limiting beliefs, false assumptions, powerlessness, and negativity?
  • What would it take to reframe and shift the filter I’m using to interpret my world into something more empowering?

Stop making excuses

If writing is something you aspire to—whether it be journaling daily, posting weekly to a blog, or writing a book—stop with the excuses.

You’ll never be a writer if you don’t write. Write is a verb; it requires action. Instead of coming up with reasons why today is not the day to write, make writing like brushing your teeth.

Do you get up every morning and ask yourself, Hmmm….I wonder if I should brush my teeth today…. I’m not sure… Do you think about it? Or do you just do it?

Because that’s what you want writing to be—a daily habit. Autopilot on. Excuses off.

Let me hear from writers out there: How do you avoid excuses and integrate writing into your day on a consistent basis?