We've all had those days. Yes, you love your blog, your website, or your work of fiction, but some days, you just don't feel like writing. I get it. I have those days too.
It's natural to feel resistance to doing your work. (If you haven't read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, you should.)
Here's the thing--those blocks that keep you from doing your work may feel legit, but peel away enough layers, and you're left with excuses.
Let's start peeling and see if we can get you writing again.
1. I can't write unless I feel inspired.
Here's a simple truth I've heard over the years: You can’t wait until you feel inspired to write.
As a writer and creative, boy did I ever struggle with this. I've been creating content in some form for 17 years now--journalistic articles, poetry, fiction, you name it. It has taken this long for me to finally internalize this truth.
It may seem logical and "right" to stand by and wait for your muse to whisper in your ear, or nudge you in the back. But that's not really how it works.
Inspiration comes to those who put their fingers on the keyboard, or put the pen to paper, no matter what.
Essentially, it boils down to a choice: You can either choose to do your work, or choose not to.
It has absolutely nothing to do with any muse or magical unicorn of inspiration. It has absolutely everything to do with action. Action brings inspiration. Action brings results.
2. No one is reading my work. No one likes my work. Why bother?
I'll be honest. I've said these pitiful words to myself more times than I want to admit. Looking back, it seems like such a lame way to think about my work.
You know what? It is lame. Here's why: You can’t plan your future based on what others think. Why would you?
Plan your future based on what you think, what you want. Base it on your dreams, on your truth. Who the hell cares what that one reviewer said on Amazon?
So, your mom wants you to be an engineer, but you want to be a writer? Let your mom follow the engineering path, if that's right for her. You do what's right for you.
Sure, your spouse, or significant other, can have input. Your business partner should have say-so. But even that has its limits.
Maybe your parents give awesome advice. If so, take it into account, but don't turn over the keys to your future to someone else!
Let me bottom line this for you: No one should be planning your future, except you.
If you want to write, write. Do it anyway, regardless of what others think.
Read more about dealing with rejection and criticism.
3. Everyone else is blogging, self-publishing romance novels...why would anyone read what I write?
There is no one else in the world exactly like you, or me. We are unique creatures. Even if you're an identical twin, each of you is unique! This is not just a platitude, but a fact.
Maybe a lot of people are blogging in your niche. Maybe there are millions of self-published novels on Amazon right now. So what?
Do you think Stephen King thought, "Oh, darn, Stevie boy, someone else wrote a horror novel. I better not." Nope.
It doesn't matter what other people are doing, or have done in your niche. You bring yourself to the table; they don't. Boom.
Here's what matters: Dig into your why, your internal motivation for doing what you do.
Why did you start your frugal lifestyle blog? Why do you want to write that paranormal romance novel? Don't just think about yourself. Go beyond that to your audience. Why do you want to reach these readers?
Need help finding your blog's direction? Read about the Content GPS.
4. Well, I've been blogging for two whole months now and still only have a few hundred pageviews. I'm a failure.
Wow. Again, I've said this to myself. Woe-is-me, right?
Look, you're building something. You're building your blog, your audience, your readership, your business. Why so much pressure to insta-success everything?
Like poof! I sprinkled unicorn dust on everything and suddenly I'm having 6-figure months!
Life is not a Facebook ad.
No. Just stop it. Right now.
Let's say you hired me to build you a house (God help you). Then, I turned around the very next day, handed you the key, and said, "Here ya go. All done!" Would you feel great about the quality of that house? Nope.
So, why do you expect your blog or business to be an overnight, smashing, internet-breaking success?
Want to know the truth? You should be grateful for each and every set of eyes reading your content, even your mom's.
You got 100 unique readers this week or this month? Awesome. Be thankful and be honored that those people took time out of their day to read what you wrote.
Here's what you need to do, instead of getting a wedgie every time you check your pageviews: Stay accountable to yourself and your readers.
Again, why are you doing this? Who are you trying to serve? Put your focus there and deliver what you promised to your readers. Whether that's 10 people, 100, or 100,000, you owe it to them, and to yourself to keep going.
So, you feel like quitting still? Read about 7 things you can do instead.
- You can’t wait until you feel inspired to write.
- You can’t plan your future based on what others think.
- Your why is what matters.
- You are accountable to yourself and to your readers; keep your promises.
Have another big lie you tell yourself about writing or creating? Let's hear it. Tell me in the comments.