My Writing Background
I can remember from my school days two specific pieces of writing that were good. I do not still have them, that is such a shame. One was an analytical piece on Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet'. It sought to understand and make sense of the play, no mean task. The second piece was a 'creative' piece about a trip I took to Yugoslavia when I was sixteen. It followed the course of my journey there and dug deep into my thoughts about it.
Since then I have used writing a great deal in my design work. I focused on expressing my creative ideas in words rather than pictures. I was successful at this and developed a language style to express my visual ideas.
I am writing four books but I am getting no nearer to completing and publishing them. There is an issue standing in the way of me getting them out there in the world. I know what they are about, I have structures for them, I have even completed a lot of the writing, but something is holding me back.
The Issues Holding Me Back
This is a common issue with writers, but is not one that I have. This series of posts is a case in point. I committed myself to writing forty posts in Lent, each of at least 600 words. I created a structure of what the posts will explore and each day I write, relying on my intuition to create the piece. It works.
Until recently I was a featured writer on The Good Men Project, committed to providing a post a week. I succeeded in keeping to the schedule with high quality writing
This appears to be an issue until I look into the depth of what is happening. I do a lot and have busy days. I take physical exercise on a daily basis. I am learning Spanish. I am improving the house we recently bought. I read. The list of things I do is more extensive than this.
Time is a matter of choices and priorities. I decide what I focus on each day. I decide where I spend my time. If I choose something else over writing, than I have chosen that. Others have not imposed this from outside.
This means that when I make that choice it is because I am avoiding sitting down to write.
I do have an issue with consistency, with doing the same thing day after day. I am good at creating schedules and lists of what I am going to do, but I am no good at sticking to them. I understand that is a story I have about myself, but I do not know how to get beyond that story. This post is about trying to understand the situation enough to get beyond it.
It feels to me that this is at the heart of the issue. When I start to write, I delve into 'stuff' that will distract me. I know that this common for writers and that the answer is to write through the fear.
The book 'Your Writing Coach' by Jurgen Wolff lists seven fears of writers:
- Fear of Rejection
- Fear of Inadequacy
- Fear of Success
- Fear of Revealing Too Much
- Fear of Having Only One Book in You
- Fear You're Too Old
- Fear of Too Much Research
The first three are powerful for me.
I have chosen to expose myself with my writing and that exposure fuels the fears about me or my writing not being good enough. What a conundrum!
The solution is to keep writing and know that I am doing the right thing.
- What do you want to do that you are putting off?
- What fears hold you back?
- How can you work through your fears?