Whenever we get a brand-new idea, the first thing we want to do is tell the whole world about it. That’s a completely normal human impulse. But we have to make it stop.
Stop. Stop saying, “I’m going to write this thing! It’s going to be great!”
Stop talking about it and write the thing!
There’s one problem with setting writing goals …
… and it’s that when you spend more time thinking and planning and talking about what you are going to write than actually writing, you’re just hurting yourself. Really. I am the kind of person who has to talk about things as I’m doing them, because I have a tendency to not hold myself accountable in my own head very well. But that’s the key: you can talk about what you are doing, as long as you are doing the thing as you are talking about it.
Do you want to write a novel? Awesome! Do you want to tell everyone you know about your idea? Eh … okay, if that’s what helps motivate you, GO FOR IT!! But it means absolutely nothing if you don’t actually sit down in a chair (or stand at your standing desk, whatever) and start writing. It is not that hard. If talking about what you want to do keeps you from actually doing it, don’t talk about it. ‘Do’ instead.
Why aren’t people excited for you, when you tell them you’re going to write something?
Because it’s hard to be excited for someone when they haven’t actually done anything yet. Honestly? If you’re looking for gratification when you haven’t even started the work yet, you’re looking at things a little backwards. You have to want to write for the thrill of it, and actually put in some effort, before it really makes sense for someone else to say, “Wow, that’s really cool, I’ll check that out.”
It’s probably best not to talk about it until it’s something you can actually promote. If you really think about it, in the case of writing, promoting something that doesn’t exist doesn’t really make sense. When you see previews of movies, for example, the movie is already made. It already has a release date. You don’t USUALLY hear about movies when they don’t exist yet. Same goes for your own writing. Focus on writing the thing fist, telling everyone about the thing second.
Talking about it first isn’t going to motivate you THAT much
In fact, it actually tricks your brain into thinking you’ve already done work when you definitely haven’t even opened a blank Word document yet. You haven’t done anything!!! Use all that excitement you have about your new idea to crank out a few thousand words as a starting point, instead of spending all that energy talking about something you technically aren’t certain you will ever start.
When you talk about it but don’t actually do it, you’re indirectly procrastinating. You’re letting yourself talk through your excuses for pretty selfish reasons (just being tough-lovingly honest as usual). Whatever those excuses are, you have to learn to get over them. You have time. You have the energy. You know what to write about. Maybe you’re afraid to start, and that’s okay, but you are never going to get over that fear unless you just take a deep breath and start anyway.
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