Do you have something you’ve been waiting to write? (or simply do, for that matter) – but, you just haven’t done it yet? We’re talking about personal writing here, not client copywriting. (Because if you’re not doing your client work then you’re just a big procrastinator!)
I’m curious to hear your excuses. Why haven’t you done it? What’s holding you where you are? And while I wait for your responses, I’ll fill you in on my own neuroses…
What is it that holds me back?
1. Time. This is probably the easiest excuse – because you get to pretend you’re selfless. I don’t have time now because I have to do my paying work to support myself or my family. I don’t have time now because my children are young. I don’t have time now because I’m on the board of this or I have to clean the house or I have a sick parent to care for…
2. Self-loathing. (don’t look at me like that) Who am I to deserve the chance to write or to be happy or to be great?
3. I can’t…for whatever reason. When I tell myself that, it’s all over. Only I can really shut that gate…and keep it closed.
4. This isn’t just about me. What will people think if I’m actually a success? How will I fit into my life? Won’t I make other people feel bad about themselves if I ‘win’??? (Okay that last one is hilarious to see in print…)
5. What if I can’t stop? Yes, I’ve actually struggled with this. What if I start writing and I can’t stop. What if I finally open the floodgates and I drown in this flow of words? How will I live my life if my fingers are actually bound to my keyboard?
6. What if I do stop? What if I start and it’s going really well – but then I have to sleep or eat or go to the bathroom and I can’t get it back again. Is there one time in my life when it will be safe to start because I won’t be interrupted…by life? Will I be able to get it all down?
7. What if someone reads it? And then they see into my brain and my heart. They’ll see everything – oh, the raw exposure.
8. Fear of the bad. Why should I start when the end result will probably suck? This excuse masquerades as self-preservation. I don’t want to write because if it’s bad, it will be mortifying and I’ll have wasted so much precious time – when I probably should have been doing something else more worthy and productive.
9. Fear of the good. What if it’s really good? What if I’m actually successful? What if this fulfills me? What if I’m actually happy?
Okay, I spilled it – all of my ridiculous and crap-filled roadblocks – it’s your turn now. And if you’re worried about sharing too much, go read this and then come back…I’ll wait.
The following quote was a focal point of the 500 hours of yoga teacher training that I did in the early 2000’s – it seems apropos here. Come to think of it, it seems like it should be tattooed on my brain. Enjoy…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson
Image credit: whizchickenonabun