Why Do Writers Trash Their Efforts?

Monday, March 11, 2013
I'm not talking about tossing the latest page into the trash can in your office or on your desktop. I'm talking about trashing our own efforts to make it as a writer.

Stop it! Stop with the self-defeatist attitude. If you believe you're going to fail, more than likely you'll achieve that goal. If you believe you can and will succeed, then your self-fulfilling prophecy may come to fruition.

Nobody said freelancing was going to be easy. (Well, nobody said it to me.) But, how many times have you caught yourself in one of the following situations? And more importantly, what can you do to stop finding yourself in this type of predicament?

  • Prioritize. If you don't make writing a daily priority, how will you succeed as a writer? I know, some days I feel like I don't write anything. I'm too busy reading press releases or developing story ideas and leads, but let's be honest: not every day can fall into that pattern. If you're going to write, write. Even 15 minutes worth of writing can keep you focused and turn into a worthy project.
  • Plan. If you're serious about freelancing, you have to treat it like a business and know how this business operates. Not only do you need to understand the intricacies of the publishing world, you also need to understand the basics of running a business operation. Consider tax preparation, contemplate important purchases, and confer with fellow writers. 
  • Procrastinate. Whoa! No, I'm not encouraging you to put off until tomorrow. It's a bad habit (and unfortunately, I mastered in it while working on a master's). You have to look at the root of the problem. Not submitting queries? Why? Not able to schedule writing time? Why? Stop waiting for success to knock on the door. YOU have to make it happen.
  • Promise. If you accept an assignment or promise to submit three pages to your critique group or set dedicated office hours, then keep the promise! It's so important to follow through, whether with an editor, an agent, a trusted writing pal, and yes, yourself.
Why do we writers trash our efforts? We're human, yes, but until we learn that the journey requires hard work and dedication, we will continue to sabotage our efforts.

Do you trash your writing efforts? How do you overcome this problem?

by LuAnn Schindler 


Unknown said...

It is important to treat it like a business. Researching magazines, keeping a stock of ideas handy, writing effective queries-- it takes time, and sometimes it's not the fun stuff. But when an article comes out in print or you get that bite for an article, it's so satisfying! Good advice.

Audrey said...

Thanks for sharing this! It was exactly what I needed to read today. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy, and I need to stop it right now!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Great advice, Annie! Treating your writing as a business does help eliminate those pesky thoughts of self-doubt.

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