Are You Sabotaging Your Own Writing?

By on March 26, 2017
Are You Sabotaging Your Own Writing -Writer's

Becoming a successful writer depends on so many things. Hard work, determination, perseverance, creativity and sometimes just happening to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right kind of book!

However, many writers can try their best to do all of the above, and yet still feel as though they are getting nowhere. While we all know that no one can simply magic a book publishing deal out of thin air, unless you are truly positive about your writing and truly open to the idea of being a successful writer, it could be that you are in fact sabotaging your chances of getting there.

So how do you know if you are self-sabotaging your writing career, and what can you do to put a stop to it?

Here are some things to look out for.

All inspiration has gone

You used to sit down and write freely, excitedly and feel full of ideas just waiting to burst onto the page. Now every time you try to start working you feel as though you don’t have anything to say.

All writers go through times where they feel creatively blocked. It’s about how they deal with it that counts. While it is all too easy to put your writing aside and hope that next time you try you’ll suddenly find that inspiration again, instead it is better to just grit your teeth and work through it. Force yourself to write, and keep forcing yourself until it starts to feel easier again. If you keeping waiting for that lightbulb moment to appear you could be waiting a very long time.

Writing becomes a bore and a chore, nothing more

Does writing make you feel stressed and anxious? When you write does it feel laboured, and boring? Do you keep getting distracted or procrastinating? Do you see writing as a chore, akin to cleaning the fridge, you know you should do it, but you can’t be bothered and you can probably leave it for another week…and maybe another.

Writing should be fun and enjoyable. If it isn’t, then really, regardless of whether we become best selling authors or never publish anything at all, what is the point? We should do what we love, not go through life torturing ourselves. Try to figure out what is causing you to feel this way. Try to pinpoint when you first started feeling like this. Did you get to a certain point in your book and then start to find it too tough? Did you suffer a rejection and now feel too scared to try again? Often when we fight against writing there is an underlying reason, and once we identify and address it we feel so much freer,  positive and can continue writing once more.

Your inner critic has taken over

If you have become so self-critical you can barely write a paragraph without sobbing in despair then you need to step back and get a hold of yourself.

No writer writes brilliantly all the time. In fact, most of us write pretty badly initially. Give yourself a break, allow yourself to be a bad writer and stop censoring yourself. Also, try to think more positively about your writing. What your doing is pretty awesome,  so focus on achieving your goal and how great you will feel when you do. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you - particularly not yourself.

You can’t stop editing

The editing phase is crucial to any books success, so it is important that we take our time and do a thorough job.

However, it is all too easy to get stuck in the editing phase and find it almost impossible to stop. By doing so we not only run the risk of over-editing and getting to the point where we are actually sabotaging our own work and making it worse, but also if we don’t have a point where we say ‘enough is enough - I have done my best’ then we never move on to the next stage.

You give up too soon

Rejection is a bummer - we all know that. However, we also all know that all writers get rejected, even the ones who are now mega-rich and famous.

Don’t let a little rejection stop you. In fact, don’t let a lot of rejection stop you. If you love to write then just keep writing, you never know when your big break will be.

You over complicate everything

Writing is wonderful, but when we start to think about all the other things we have to do such as editing, contacting agents and publishers, writing a synopsis, writing proposal letters, self-publishing, cover designing, marketing, social media and keeping track of our finances it all feels hugely overwhelming.

This is why many authors finish their books and then just sort of stop. They might send their manuscript to a few agents or publishers, they might self-publish and get it up on Amazon, but then they simply leave it there.

The submission/self-publishing stage can feel stressful and complicated but you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try everything possible to make a success out of your book. Create a plan, work out all the steps, have goals and then methodically work your way through them. Being organised and breaking things down so you know exactly what you have to do and when you have to do it will make everything feel much more manageable.

Are you sabotaging your own writing? If you follow these steps and you’ll soon be back on track!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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