A few of these not-to-do's hit close to home for me, like:
- Stop wasting time: Was there ever a writer in history who did not waste time and procrastinate? But cleaning your house, doing the washing, organising your writing room and catching up on back-dated episodes of CSI isn't wasting time - right? Well, that's what I tell myself anyway. I can't imagine any of the great writers wasting time, though. I suppose that's how they became great writers. So... this is one for me to take note of.
- Stop being afraid: Writing is one thing. Writing from the pit of your soul is another thing. And then sending this off for someone to read for feedback, or to a publisher is a completely different thing. Each of these brings along with it a certain amount of fear. My worries are usually: What if I offend someone? / What if my writing changes someone's perception about me - especially someone close to me? / What if they really, really, REALLY, don't like it? I don't think that I'm alone in this at all, though, so that is somewhat strangely comforting. For me this is still a continual work in progress.
- Stop repeating the same mistakes: For me it's the battle between plotting and pantsing. I often have these wonderful ideas for stories, take my time plotting and meticulously planning, only to have it all go out of the window the minute I start writing. I always struggle with whether or not to stick to what I had planned or to go where the characters are leading. I do find that allowing the characters to do their own thing can often be very surprising and rewarding. So at the moment I consider myself to be a semi-planner (or semi-pantser) and for now I am happy with that.
4. Stop pushing that book: If you've sent your book to numerous publishers and they all come
back with a negative response, maybe it's time to put that book away until the time is right.
Yes, I know that J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter was rejected something like 12 times and then it
turned out to be one of the best series ever, but sometimes you need to know when and where
to draw the line. I'm not saying dump your story - I'm just saying put it away until you feel the
time is right, and then try again. I speak from personal experience.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Do any of these points resonate with you? I'd love to hear from you.
For the full Writers Write article, go to:
10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself as a Writer