No one is going to read this, so why am I agonizing over the fear that it wont be engaging, thought provoking, or even a decent read?
The worry that you wont like my writing is greater than the worry that you wont read my writing. I find that in this moment…in this learning curve, I prefer being invisible to being unliked. I prefer mediocrity to criticism. But I was not always this way.
I love – and I mean LOVE new challenges. I love the job search process, love being in a room full of quiet faces staring back at you, love evaluations with useful (critical) feedback, and love being plucked out of my environment and dropped in a completely new scenario. I strongly believe great conversations, relationships, decisions, and outcomes cannot arise without productive conflict. I enjoy the tension, learned to love the struggle.
So why am I the procrastination queen when it comes to writing? The honest answer is I don’t know. But I will find out. And I will succeed.
I once read that giving advice is more motivating that receiving it, so in an experimental leap of faith, here are my tips for how I plan to get over myself and get writing:
Pull from what you know
I have been trying to dive into an area that while I love reading, I do not have much experience in as a writer. The learning curve is two-fold: I am a newbie at both writing and in the subject area. Mistake number 1.
Instead, I will pull from what I know, which is counseling, teaching, career development, leadership, and public speaking. I will write from this knowledge base, and will be prepared to recognize the fact that what I am writing may not be genius. It may be…awful. And that is ok.
Link to an existing routine
I keep trying to recreate the wheel, and develop some type of schedule for writing. The problem is that as a rule, I am not particularly disciplined, and even much less so with such a new and daunting task. I find myself procrastinating, avoiding, and forgetting (conveniently) about my writing goals.
Moving forward, I will link my writing goals to an existing routine. For example, I do my devotional every morning almost without fail. I could write immediately after my devotional. Not sure that is the routine I will link to yet, but the concept is there.
Train Your Brain
Writers block is also a problem, as is lack of inspiration. But inspiration should not be the sources of a writer’s motivation, and while we are at it, the outcome should not be the motivation either. In my mind, a writer writes because expression brings life. 90% of whatever I might write is already out in the world, maybe even common knowledge. But my unique expression of that concept will spark a conversation, connection, or motivation for someone else. That spark is life. That is why I write.
So, instead of waiting for inspiration, I will treat writing like a class, or a work meeting. I do not sit on my bed in pj’s for a meeting (like I am now), so why would I do so for my writing? Home is too comfortable, so I will go to my local library or Starbucks once a week for one hour. Let’s start there and see how this goes.
Now I Get Writing…
The plan is set. I will write from what I know, start with what I am most confident in. I will link my writing to a routine I already have. I will move my writing location to a place where I feel like writing is business. My hope is that through this, I will get over myself, and just get to writing.
Whether beauty or crap, just pump words out. I cannot edit until I write, and I cannot learn until I engage.