We all have external antagonists such as Cousin Eddie or Aunt Josephine, who taunt us about our writing endeavors. But they are simply distractions. The real enemies that threaten to slow us down or stop us altogether are internal.
You might think that some of your characteristics are who you are. But your character makeup is not supposed to work against you. You can tweek them, quiet them, and move forward.
Perfection – Perfection is the unachievable taunting enemy. You should want your writing to be its best, but determine to get to this point quickly.
Polish it, and finish it, but then let go. Avoid the comparison game. “It must be as good as…”
Yes, you will look at things you wrote a year ago and see ways they could’ve been better. That’s okay. Don’t let perfection hold you back; make your work the best it can be at that moment and send it out into the world to earn its keep. Use your drive to keep you learning, and striving. but don’t let it keep you stalled.
Pride – This enemy usually sneaks in after you have some success. Your blog is doing well. You sold your first book or you have a few articles published. Pride can convince you to reduce the quality of your writing. Your credits might help you get more gigs, but with each project you start with a blank page and a cleared scorecard. Allowing pride to get in the way can cost in money and momentum. Eject the destructive pride by remaining humble. Taking advice and learning to grow as a writer will keep it in check.
Doubt – (Yes, I had good alliteration going, but this one’s important). Doubt can also come after some victories. It comes to the newer writer as well as the 30-year successful veteran. I’ve never talked to a writer that doesn’t experience it in some way. If you don’t believe me Google the combination doubt + writer. Doubt says, “I did it once, but can I do it again?” Its mentality thinks, “Don’t tarnish your record.” Doubt can stop you completely.
Doubt is the enemy of doing. It is diminished by taking the next step. (Click to Tweet this!)
Jettison this enemy by allowing no room for doubt to grow; remember: you-are-a-writer-its-what-you-do. Take that next step.
Progress – This one is your faithful friend. If you’re moving forward, you’re winning. In Success:The Glenn Bland Method, the author defines success as moving rather than arriving. I like that. The book’s main premise is:
“Success is the progressive realization of predetermined worthwhile goals stabilized with balance and purified by belief.”
While slightly long-winded, it makes three important points.
1. Goals are realized progressively as you do the work necessary to make them happen.
2. Plans are predetermined. You decide what they are and what you’re willing to do to get there.
3. For the motivation to work toward them and eject your enemies, you must believe that those objectives are worthwhile, and balance them with the rest of your life.
Progress helps you look back and remember successes and realize you are not where you were 365 days ago. Progress also helps you envision where you will be a year from now. Eject your enemies and stay strong.
If you’d like to encourage me, I would love to hear some of your goals for the coming year.
Book ref: Success:The Glenn Bland Method (Amazon Affliate Link)