‘My relationship with the cursor on the screen is a troubled one. I struggle to commit to a genre and plot. I procrastinate. At times, I have wild bursts of energy and it’s easy to turn my ideas into reality. Other times, the only thing in my mind is the sound of crickets. I swing between bohemian bliss, smiling to myself while I type, and feeling like I want to delete all my Word files and become an accountant.’ ~ Anonymous
Don’t. Or, rather, before you do, ask yourself these questions.
1. Is this your dream?
No two people dream alike, so let me ask the question differently. Is this something you’ve always wanted to do? If you don’t follow your dream, will it be one of the things you regret when you look back on your life? Do you feel called or destined to write? Does the desire to write persist, even when you try to ignore it? Though it’s difficult, does writing feel like your highest point of contribution? Do you daydream about being a published author? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you should be writing.
2. Has a shift in focus caused you to lose your first love?
3. What are the pressures that strip away the fun?
4. Did criticism deflate you?
Criticism can be immensely helpful. Yet, sometimes, it comes in a format that sucks the air right out of our sails. Can you identify the criticism, even if it was well-intentioned, that came at a wrong angle and demotivated you, instead of helping you? At this point you need to be ruthless. Ask yourself the following questions: a) Which parts of the criticism are both true and actionable? b) Whatever is both true and actionable – act on it. c) Whatever isn’t – toss it. See if this helps you put the wind back in your sails.
Good luck, fellow writers. I’m rooting for you.
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