The Book on the Back Shelf or Why I’m My Own Worst Enemy

I’m finally – FINALLY – at the editing stage of the second draft of my novel. Hooray! Hooray! Tonight I will have it in print form – thanks, Tori! – and will have my purple pen (red is just so ANGRY) ready to proof and proof again. Once this is finished – and this may take a while as I know I got frustrated toward the end – I will pass it along to Alissa for her to proof. I’m hoping that when she has finished and I make any corrections her fresh set of eyes noticed that mine didn’t, I will be ready to find an agent who will give it a chance. Yay!

For those of you who are interested in writing or are in the process of writing, here’s my advice: Keep Writing. Right…you say. Why wouldn’t I? Greeeat advice. (And then you proceed to write me off as more eccentric than most writer/bloggers and delete me from your revered Bookmark Tabs.)

Let me explain – I belong to a writer’s group that is comprised of a really great group of talented writers and people who love the craft. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard one of them say – I keep wanting to write, there’s just not enough time! or I’ve had this idea for a novel for (insert large number here) years, I just can’t find time/energy/inspiration to finish it. And yet most would agree, despite not putting it into practice, that writing needs to become one of your daily habits if you want to succeed.

If you really want to finish that book then you need to make time for it. Just like brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, and going to work, writing is something that is good for you to put into practice every day. Maybe you don’t know where your story is going or you don’t like anything you’re writing that day or you nitpick every idea you jot down, it doesn’t matter! Too often writers are their own worst enemies and critics. We put ourselves down and defeat that creative spark before we get the fire going. The book stays on the back shelf and haunts us, enticing us to pay attention to it.

This is your challenge: Stop whining, stop running through the playlist of reasons of why you can’t write today, stop putting yourself down, and start reminding yourself why you want to be a writer in the first place. Build a mantra of encouragement that will push you to finish what you set out to write. Even if it’s only five minutes every day, it’s better than not doing anything at all and feeling bad about not writing.

Take that book off your back shelf and write today!

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