Why is Writing So Hard? Part 2

You can view Part One here.

Perfectionism

I recently learned that my procrastination is linked to perfectionism. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I don’t remember. But either way, they are linked. (It’s also linked to anxiety, but we won’t go there yet.) I am by no means a Type A/Everything has to be perfect-person but I seem to forget that a first draft can be revised – and it should be revised.

A first draft is supposed to be messy and not always make sense and there might be plot holes and you might forget some details. That’s okay. That’s why it’s a first draft.

Another mark of perfectionism according to Mandy Wallace is that you spend more time reading about writing than actually writing. Yep. This is me. At any given time, I have at least ten tabs open on my laptop (and at least ten more open on my phone) for writing advice sites. But actually putting those practices to work? Yeah, no. It’s too hard.

Not Having a Writing Schedule

Right now, I write whenever inspiration strikes, which isn’t often, I’ll be honest. I spend more time trying to force myself to write than writing (goes along with the point above). So I looked up how to set a writing schedule. James Clear has a great list of Twelve Famous Writers and their schedules. But I was looking for something a little more…normal.

On almost every site, it says that you should figure out whether you write better in the morning, at night, or somewhere in between. I guess I am a night owl, since I am nearly useless in the morning. The Write Practice suggests that instead of writing at night like I am used to, I should switch it up and write early in the morning. I may have to give this a try. At the very least, it will be good to see a sunrise again.

Self-Sabotage

This is something I do in almost every area of my life. I hold myself back, stop myself from making progress. Why? Who knows? Maybe my therapist can help me figure it out.

The first thing that jumped out at me on Kristen Lamb‘s site was this: “Most of us fear we don’t have what it takes.” I think this is true because there are countless stories of writers publishing their work and not selling anything. Or some writers never even publish because they don’t think it’s good enough. She mentions “pantsing” in her post. It’s not what you think – in the writing world, it means that you fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to your writing. No plotting, no character/world-building. Just writing. I’m pretty much a pantser. This is actually a great post – she lists the ways that writers self-sabotage and also ways to get over it. I’ll definitely be trying some of these!

Sounds like I have a bit of work to do before my classes start in two weeks!

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