I actually didn’t feel like writing today. The idea of “fears & failures but just don’t quit writing” came but the following thought of “yeah I’ll write later” came almost immediately.
I resisted it.
And usually resistance is futile. I mean, how often do we beat procrastination?
Distraction is usually the first sign when you don’t feel like writing
Since I didn’t feel like writing now, why not go look for content, like do some research? — Says the sneaky mind.
Which I did.
I googled “failure and quitter” and clicked images to look at what quotes there are. Definitely didn’t see an uppercut coming my way that was going to snap me out of this rut and into writing.
Here’s a screenshot of what I saw:
What really smacked procrastination in its ass and got it moving? Let’s talk a little more about the ones that got me writing.
Winners… Are not those who never fail but those who never quit.
Obviously writing isn’t a competition, but let’s put it into context: we win if we write, not just 1 time (although that’s a start), but when we write consistently.
Sure, there are times we give in to procrastination or think our writing is utter crap and why are we wasting our time writing again when we obviously aren’t gonna make the cut? Will our drafts get rejected? Will publishers think we should just bugger off and never again submit a draft? And get remarks like, your writing is amateur. Unpolished. Blah blah blah.
Hell, yes. Those are the times when things fail to go our way, but just don’t quit.
There are no failures, only quitters.
I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.
I think the three quotes above are pretty self explanatory. Easy to say, don’t quit. And for those who haven’t failed before in their lives, what do they know about failing and failures? The feelings and mental torment that comes with it. All the self-doubt and self-pity that consume you and render you effectively useless.
I’m no Edison, and who knows if he actually did say “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” But he’s got a point. Failing doesn’t make you a failure.
The book isn’t going to write itself if you quit.
Become So Good They Can’t Ignore You
Pick those broken pieces of fragile ego up and get your shit together. Stop focusing on how bad you feel, or how lousy you are. Get better at it. Not to prove anything to anyone, but become so good that they (the publishers, the readers, the PR agencies, whatever) can’t ignore you. They will want to publish your books, they want to read your books, they want to share your books.
Focus on what matters.
Direct your energy on producing what matters.
If it matters to you, you’ll find a way. If it doesn’t, you’ll find an excuse.
And excuses are amazing at disguising themselves as “I’m not good enough,” “It’s not me, it’s them.” All the victim mindset, low self-esteem, and even conceited arrogant B.S. will jump right out to deflect you from what you SHOULD BE doing.
After reading Cal Newport’s Become So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, instead of hanging on to my passion for writing, I’m more interested in developing my skills to become the writer I’ve always wanted to be. Because if I truly claim to love writing, then I need to respect it as a craft, and hone it.
And I believe you can and you should too.