The Six Most Destructive Words For Writers
By Jacob Krueger
The following are six of the most destructive words writers can say to themselves: “Maybe I Don’t Really Want This…”
If you’re a writer, you’ve probably uttered these words more times than you’d like to admit. A day spent procrastinating. “Maybe I don’t really want this…” A missed deadline. “Maybe I don’t really want this…” That tortured feeling of sitting in front of your keyboard, wondering if you actually have anything to say. “Maybe I don’t really want this…” Let’s put this myth to rest right now. OF COURSE YOU WANT THIS! No one spends that much time and energy beating themselves up about something they don’t truly care about. Think about the things you use for procrastination: dishes, vacuuming, laundry, errands, email, television, the internet and a thousand other things you don’t really care about but spend so much time doing.
If a day went by and you never logged onto the internet, you probably wouldn’t spend the next week furiously bashing yourself over your lack of real dedication to Facebook. If a day went by and you never switched on the cable box, you wouldn’t spend hours morosely pondering your ability to make the sacrifices necessary to be a reality show viewer. Of course you want this! If writing was really just a hobby for you, you wouldn’t be agonizing over your missed writing days, abandoned deadlines, and whatever it is you feel your writing is lacking. You’d simply find another hobby.
Usually when a writer is thinking about giving up, it stems from plain old fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of trying and failing. Fear that your greatest dreams and fiercest desires won’t come true. Sadly it’s often the things we want most desperately that we’re most afraid to admit to ourselves. So, next time you find yourself asking that dreaded question, beating yourself up over your lack of dedication, lack of skill, lack of discipline or lack of inspiration, accept what it really means. It means you’re a writer.
It’s not an easy life, but it’s a good one, and it’s yours. Admit it now. And set it to rest. You want this. You want this badly. And you are going to pursue it. There are days you are going to fall short. Days you will miss your deadlines. And days you will feel lost and uninspired. Questioning “Maybe I don’t really want this…” is not going to protect you from those days. It’s only going to make you feel worse, by undermining the dedication that could get you back on track. And who are you fooling anyway? So next time you hear that familiar question bubbling up in your head, just go ahead and laugh it off. Nobody said this was going to be easy. And not even the best writers are perfect every day. Take a moment to remind yourself about just how badly you want this, and then find something you can do right now to bring yourself closer to achieving it. Take a step toward your real goal, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly those doubts begin to lose their power.
The best way to start is with something small. Grab your notepad right now and spend a few minutes jotting down notes or ideas. Make a date with a writer friend to sit down and write together. Or better yet, sign up for a Screenwriting Workshop. Accept that you want this. And then accept this: Most writers don’t have trouble writing. They have trouble starting. How will you start today?