I’ve been writing a book for nearly ten years now and there always seems to be something that prevents me from finishing it. I am not your typical writer. I can’t just write for a specified length of time without making any corrections. I make the corrections as they come up. I think that tends to seriously slow my process. I also think the other, much stronger aspect of my writing paralysis is the fear of success. I never wanted writing to become my job. I loved it too much to have it change from a pure expression of myself into something forced and unworthy. I didn’t want the pressure of producing something to eclipse the work itself.
Instead I dreamed of my book in print, of being an author full time, and of having a study/library where I would sit behind my large mahogany writers desk, surrounded by walls of books, facing a window overlooking a tranquil view of the ocean and produce my next masterpiece. A nice dream, but hardly realistic…and a complete waste of time. Nevertheless, I continued to daydream my life away and wish my book into successful existence, paralyzed by procrastination and not really producing anything that forwarded this lofty ambition. Oh sure, I dabbled. Writing a paragraph here, an outline there, but nothing that really made much of a difference. More to the point, it was just the opposite of that. My playacting at being a writer made me revise and rewrite sections of completed work in an, as yet, unfinished story. My story was barely started and already I was rewriting its history. I know now that I would be much better served to complete an imperfect story, than to continue to pick at parts better left alone.So now I begin afresh, with a new outlook on my writing adventure. I have found that writing is just like physical exercise, it needs to be performed regularly to have any effect. Even if I don’t work on my book every day, at least the act of writing on a regular basis, on any subject, will put me on the path to becoming a much more effective and consistent writer. This blog is a good way for me to exercise and express without the pressure of production. Writing is a gift and a calling, if you don’t use the tools and inspiration you are given, they abandon you and leave only regret in their wake. For anyone who has ever wanted to write, but been too afraid to put proverbial pen to paper, just do it. What have you got to lose? Learn from my mistakes and don’t waste another day wishing your imagination into physical creation. It doesn’t matter whether you are good or not, what matters is the doing. Find a way to express yourself for you and no one else. Just close your eyes, grit your teeth, and write.