Why You Will NEVER Write a Book

Yesterday was the last day of a thing we rarely see in the UK: a Bank Holiday Weekend. We generally get two in May and one in August. That’s it!

 

I bet any of you who slave away at a job and have to fit their writing into the edges of the day can appreciate the gravitas of this information.

Three guaranteed long weekends in the year. Writing time, right?

Exactly what I thought, too. Three days to sit and write and finish things. It even started well. I met one of my local writer friends for coffee at the Little Man Coffee Co. right here in Cardiff City Centre.

It was not a beautiful day but I treated myself to a taxi ride and after 2 hours of awesome, motivational author-chat, I walked on air and couldn’t wait to sit down and finish the second draft of Part 1 of my current YA project.

And I did it! Drifting to sleep that night, I felt great. But…of course it didn’t last.

The next morning I woke up to the nasty face of the resistance. It was right there, sitting on my duvet and making fun of my second draft already.

“Better can it and start over.” it mocked.

My self-doubt was back. Motivation jumped out the window and got run over by a delivery truck. I didn’t write another word for 48 hours feeling guilty as hell.

Then, this morning, I dictated 1000 words on my Dragon app (making a start on the second draft of Part 2 of my current YA project) …and it felt great.

But back at my office desk and halfway through the day, I am already mentally picking my writing apart and convincing myself that it’s unusable.

And here’s why you will never…and I mean NEVER…finish your book…unless you act now:

The resistance has got it in for you. And if you let it, it WILL take you down and all your author dreams, too…like it tried with me yesterday and the day before.  

Sorry if you find this harsh, but it’s true. Don’t believe me? I recommend Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It explains the issue fabulously.

However, I am sure that most of you are nodding to this statement already.

If you have started doing the work…I mean…if you are actually putting words on pages (or screens) instead of exclusively dreaming about it you will have encountered the resistance and the power is has over our poor souls.

And — SPOILER ALERT — it’s not letting up!

So if you are intending to write a book (or a short story, script, collection of poems, or complete any other creative work) you need to answer one question: how will you defeat the resistance?

You need a strategy…and a back-up strategy for when the original strategy has been beaten to pulp by the resistance. It will happen.

If you don’t have an answer to this question (or if you can’t come up with a working strategy): you will NEVER write a book.

Tough love.

Yesterday I was ready to give up. But after a good binge watch of How to Get Away With Murder I am back and ready to fight the resistance like never before.

 

What are your experiences with the resistance and how do you fight it? Are you going to write a book this year…or does it look like you’re gonna get beaten down? Let me know in the comments below!

If you loved this post and want to help keep me writing, you can:
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9 thoughts on “Why You Will NEVER Write a Book

  1. Good words! Whenever I need a bit of inspiration I go to the bargain bin in the bookstore, or Goodwill, and pick up a random thriller (the kind with a silhouetted man running down a dark alley on the cover) and read a few pages. Not so good… Jeez, I could write better… You know why HE has got a book published and I don’t? Because he flippin’ WROTE one!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think at this point, I’ve convinced myself that I’m going to make it as an author. And logically, I’ve determined that the people who make it as authors are the ones who don’t give up. That’s not to say that I don’t feel horrible about my writing or my chances. It’s merely to say that when I hear myself thinking my writing is crap, and I should just give up, I already know that I won’t. I’m not going to give up. And I think knowing that has helped shorten the periods I’m taken down. I could be wiped out for a week or two before. Now, it’s maybe a day and sometimes much less than that. I think it gets shorter all the time. It would be nice if one day it didn’t happen at all, but I’m a very emotional person and I’m not sure if that’s possible.
    One thing that I’m learning to do, is if I hit a wall with editing, for example, I’ll switch over to writing a new flash fiction piece. Essentially shifting gears until I can get out of the frame of mind that has me blocked and return to the project. In other words, use a different set of skills that can get my mind off the problem. The mind has a way of working through problems when it has something else to focus on. It allows me to feel like I’m still accomplishing something too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your views – and your struggles. I understand the emotional part…I don’t think it ever goes away …but having a strategy alleviates the pain…at least for me. Decide ahead of time what you will do if you feel crap about your writing. Mine is: if I feel crap about my writing, then I will make a coffee and watch an inspirational youtube video. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to hear that you always end up coming back to the work. I do too…although my tantrums vary in force. I am sure they can be measured on a richter scala. 😉 Keep persisting – one day you are bound to get to where you want to be. Where attention goes energy flows…or so I have heard…

      Liked by 1 person

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