Once I accepted the writing call I quickly learned that life would send me many obstacles and many opportunities in writing. My problem was sorting the two out, and forming a mindset that can deal with obstacles, while exploring the opportunities found in being a writer. Yet still finish my projects.
O is for Obstacles
We all know obstacles to what we want crop up throughout our lives. That’s what an obstacle is – something keeping us from what we want. The problem with obstacles for writers is that they become procrastinators, and excuses. But they’re still obstacles.
Ask me, I’m full of them recently. Health, real life commitments and problems, over-commitments…wait.
There’s something in the last. Often we make our own obstacles – like over-committing to things we can’t possibly manage, or moving on without finishing what we started.
If we’re talking about losing the usage of my hands (actually something that is happening with too much typing going on) or eyesight – both are a temporary but very forceful obstacle to writing, admittedly. Unless we’re talking about no longer being able to mentally or medically write – a horrible horrible thought – then what we are really facing is not an obstacle as such…
…but a mindset problem. A problem of passion for writing. Passion equals commitment equals looking at our obstacles, analysing why they exist, and how to fix them, moving past them, and writing.
If it’s writer’s block, or problems from your inner critic, for instance, there are many exercises and core habits discussed in these posts, or many books and posts elsewhere. If it’s a time concern, then there are also many methods worth trailing.
If nothing seems to solve these obstacles, and I find myself going for days or weeks without spending writing time on projects that matter, then I have the core habit of calling “enough” and the self-discipline of fixing the problem.
Only just. This too, takes practice and endless repetition to foster: the ability to recognise and find the root of the obstacles – of seeking the truth of the matter and owning up to it; the capability of placing writing above other commitments; the self-discipline to work through it, stop what has to stop, and to get back to writing. If the passion and commitment is there.
Core Habit: Develop the self-discipline to deal with and conquer obstacles of all sizes and types getting in the way of writing.
O is for Opportunities
Opportunities can be obstacles in disguise. Vice versa too. When you announce to the world that you are writing, things start to pop out of the woodwork: some good, some not so enthralling. You join a few challenges to get you writing, join a few groups, accept a few comments, and offers start appearing.
As do many many more ideas which seem good for your writing. Oh, you should do this, or you could do that…
Some are well worth your while in exploring.
Obviously, some aren’t, but unfortunately sometimes it takes you picking up on them to learn that lesson. Still, no lesson is a waste.
Core Habit: Before exploring any new opportunities for your writing, look after your own house first – your commitment to writing and finishing one writing project. Get it done.
And that’s it. As a successful writer, the core habit for anything, really, is to keep on writing and rewriting, and complete the project, never mind the obstacles or the opportunities.
- Overcoming Obstacles to Writing at FictionWriting.About.Com – mainly dealing with time and writer’s block problems.
- How to develop practical strategies for overcoming writing obstacles – Roy Peter Clark, at the Poynter, explains his changing processes or strategies for overcoming obstacles, and in the linked to post, discusses an iPhone app created with the Help! for Writers strategies.
- Deanna Di Lello has a four post series on the four major writing obstacles with advice on how to overcome them – #1 Fear, #2 Time, #3 Money and #4 Lack of Support.
|Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces|
Obstacles cartoon – Four Obstacles to Writing — Writer’s Block III by Tom Gauld
Obstacles and Opportunities – Andrea Richards Scott at The Purpose Guide.
This blog post participated in April 2013’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge, along with many other blogs on subjects as diverse as writing, foodie blogs or mummy blogs.
This blog post is part of a themed series or pack on Writer’s Core Habits. I acronym this as WCH or WCHP © . Do a search for these tags, and you will find more in the series.
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