5 Things Preventing You from Being a Prolific Writer.

Mary_Pickford-deskFor as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, yet in recent months I have been doing a lot of soul-searching. I had to ask myself what is my goal? Yes, I want to be a published writer, but I also want to be a prolific writer. I quickly discovered five ways guaranteed not to achieve that goal.

1. Don’t write.

I have a confession to make. Since I stopped blogging back in June, I haven’t written as much as I had hoped. Why? Aiming for perfection can be crippling. And I guess I’m a slow writer anyway. But not writing is hardly going to make one a prolific writer, let alone a writer at all. Writers write – it’s that simple. Find out why you’re not writing and aim to change that. If you really want to be a writer, you’ll find a way to get back into the saddle.

2. Don’t send any of your work out.

Are you writing for yourself or do you want to be published? As writers, we initially start out as writing for ourselves, but are you willing to move beyond that and allow others into your world? Does the thought of someone else reading your innermost thoughts frighten you, or do you have something to say that you wish to communicate to others? Establish who you are writing for, as this will move you forward towards your goal. Don’t let the rejections stop you – this is all part of a writer’s life. It’s a learning curve that all writers face – including the highly successful ones.

3. Spend too much time on the internet.

The internet and social media can be a great time suck. This is where you really need to put your time management skills into practice. Spend too much time on this and the day is gone before you know it – writing time included. Use a timer, unplug your modem or go on the internet/social media after you’ve reached your writing goals for the day.

4. Spend too much time going over the same things you’ve already written.

I have gone over some of my completed works so many times I’m getting pretty sick of the sight of them. My weakness for perfection prevents me from taking the next step. Spending too much time on the same piece of writing stalls the writing process in that new works don’t get written. You lose your motivation. Put the piece aside for a while, give it up all together, or send it off to beta readers/a competition and move on.

5. Fear.

Fear or a lack of confidence in ourselves is the biggest destroyer of our writing. I’ve talked about this issue a number of times before, mainly because it’s something I need to deal with on a daily basis (and I’m sure I’m not the only one). Don’t let others destroy your dreams – be your own motivation.

What are your goals as a writer? Do you hope of being a prolific writer? What prevents you from writing? 

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Writing · Writing Process

New Year, New Beginnings

Christmas is finally over, my mother has been and gone and now it’s time to concentrate on writing once again.  January is always a trying month – with the children on school holidays I usually find it difficult to write, which is never a good start to a new year.

For the first day of 2011, I took time out to reflect upon my goals and plans for the year ahead.  In order for me to make any progress with my writing career, I came up with a couple of things and listed them below:-

  • Allow yourself to be reflective. Take the time to be alone with your thoughts, be it once a day or once a week.  Exercising or going for a walk helps clear the mind and helps to keep you focused upon your writing goals.
  • Keep away from negative people. Unfortunately you will get these people in your life.  My mother has always been negative in my choice of career, but with these negative people you need to remember that it is your choice and your life.  Negative people do nothing for your self-confidence and keep you away from your writing goals.
  • Write every day. During my mother’s visit over Christmas, I couldn’t get any writing done, so that when she left I found it difficult to get writing again.  Writing every day keeps you into the writing habit.  It’s much better to write something daily, rather than wait for the inspiration to turn up.
  • Focus on your goals. When you’re not focused on which direction you are heading with your writing, you tend to go off into different directions.  I had been doing that for a couple of days – working out which genre I write in.  A lecturer once told me that the best essays are those written on a subject you feel passionate about, and I found that to be true.  So focus on writing what you want to write about; things like genre will come later.
  • Use your time wisely. Good old time management skills come in handy here.  Have everything organised well in advance; plan your days the night before.  Make sure you get some writing done every day, no matter how small.  Before you know it, months may have gone by with very little progress being made and you begin to feel despondent and question your own abilities.

I know it is early days yet, but how are your writing plans going so far this year?  I hope you have all begun on a positive note and I look forward to hearing about your progress.  I wish you all a happy, productive and successful writing new year.