What’s the lamest excuse you’ve ever given yourself for not writing something?
Mine would probably have to be, “I’ve never experienced that. I don’t know what it’s like.”
I’m an over-thinker. I always have been. I worry a lot. I over-analyze everything.
Except when it comes to writing first drafts.
Because every draft starts with an idea. And doubting an idea is a very early sign you’re never going to turn that idea into anything tangible.
If I backpedaled on even half the story and blog post ideas I came up with in a week, I’d have nothing left to write about.
Why are you so hesitant to write what’s on your mind — or on your heart?
Are you afraid that someone will judge you? You know you can write something without showing anyone right away (or ever), right?
Are you scared of the emotional connection you might have to what you want to write about? Welcome to writing, where vulnerability is an essential component of writing relatable content.
Are you worried that you don’t know enough about a certain subject? You’re going to have to do research at some point. That’s part of the deal.
Too many people never write what they want to write because they’re convinced they’ll fail, or they’ll do it wrong, or no one will like it.
Who cares if you miss the mark? Who cares what other people think? If you want to write something, that’s no one else’s problem. Don’t forget that before you can write something good, you first have to start — and finish — a really bad first draft.
Everyone goes through it. Everyone. Successful writers write what they feel compelled to write when they feel compelled to write it, and worry about what comes after that only once they’ve written it.
Everyone else just never writes anything, I guess. And I’m sorry if you’re out there scared to death because you don’t want to face the hard stuff. But, put simply, you have to. If you want to rightfully call yourself a writer, anyway. You have to write no matter how much it scares you. No matter how many people love it or hate it or never read it.
Stop overthinking it. If you want to write it, just write it. There’s something inside you saying it’s meant to be. Don’t worry about the outcome. Focus on the story. Enjoy it a little, even.
There’s a lot of work that goes into writing something, and even more work comes after that. But if you try, your chances of succeeding are so much higher.
Don’t be the aspiring writer never tries. Be the accomplished writer who always does.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.