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If writing was a religion… I’d be going to hell.

God help me, I’m a hypocrite.

Reading about writing, thinking about writing, talking about writing.

But…

Not writing.

No late night meetings with my muse. No midnight melting into morning as I put the finishing touches on… well, anything.

It’s embarrassing.

Pretense and Procrastination are my bedfellows, and that’s no fun because Pretense snores a lot–and he clips his toenails in bed. Procrastination is always trying to spoon me.

Why am I telling you this?

I know that you’ve had the same problem at some point
(if you’ve been writing a long time, that is).

Maybe you’re even struggling
with it right now.

You might not be as committed to your writing as you could/should be. If so, this article might be divine timing. If not, read it anyway to help you stay on track going forward and/or to laugh at the nun.

Reasons not writing

Why aren’t you writing more?

Probably because you’ve let yourself think
one or more of the following “dirty” thoughts:

I’m too young. I’m too old. I don’t have time. I’m single and I’d have to sacrifice my social life. I’m married. Have kids. Not talented enough. When I sit down to write, nothing comes out. I like writing, but not rewriting. Writing is overwhelming. Don’t want to miss the ball game. Not sure I can do it. There’s too much competition. It’s too hard to get published nowadays. I don’t know any literary agents or publishers–you need connections. I want a guarantee that all those hours won’t be a waste of time.

* * *

What’s Your Excuse for Not Writing?

Personally, I could come up with a thousand excuses for not writing. You see, coming up with lots of creative ideas is one of the skill sets that comes with being a good writer.

So, I can’t focus on reasons I shouldn’t be writing
(because I could write a whole book of them).

But wait, at least I’d be writing!

No…

Instead, I need to focus on the reasons that I should be writing.

Starting with the simple fact that…

Not writing no excuse

* * *

If I’m Not Writing, I’m Not Right

I get a little “off” (moody, grumpy, grouchy… take your pick).

What about you?

Now, I’m not saying that I’m exactly normal when I write. But at least I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing (if there is such a thing). I laugh more, feel better about myself, and have more energy for other people when I’m coaching authors. And I have more energy for those things that I’m not that enthusiastic about (the less creative parts of life).

* * *

If You’re a Writer… Not Writing Can
Be A Form of Addiction or Martyrdom

Why do we punish ourselves
and push our muse away?

Maybe we’re afraid of what she’ll say. Maybe we’re afraid she won’t say anything. Or, maybe we’re afraid that we’ll spend time with her… and no one will care what we have to say (in our writing). That’s all understandable, but deep down we know better.

Not writing muse

If we don’t commune with our muse, we’re going to go to our graves wondering what could have been (what should have been). And God only knows what we’re going to “find on the other side” if we don’t follow our true calling and live our big vision in this life.

It can’t be good…

Yes, I’m using God and the afterlife
to motivate you to write.

Is that bad?

Here’s the thing…

* * *

If You’re Not Writing, You’re Not a Writer

You’re a pretender.

So join me, right now (even if it’s only for a moment).
Turn down the throttle on your excuse-engine for a minute
(let it idle). Better yet, shut it off completely.

Take a deep breath,
invoke your muse,
and write.

Not writing excuses

Don’t think, just write.

Don’t challenge your muse.

Don’t try to control her.

Don’t try to contain her.

Let her run wild…

Because any writing
is good writing.

If you’re a writer.

You can start by telling me (and everyone else here)
one of the most common excuses or distractions
that has gotten in the way of you writing.

Excuses not writing

Tell the truth…

No one will judge you
(this is a supportive community).

And the only person I’m going to
make fun of here is myself.

By the way, a former coaching client of mine says that all you really need is bum (butt) glue. It’s simply a matter of putting your rear end in the chair (and keeping it there), until you produce something.

If that doesn’t work, rap your knuckles
with a ruler.

Or…

Although I hate to use coarse language
(especially in front of the nun),
simply tell yourself to…

Shut up and write,

– Mark
How do I get published comments

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