Are you achieving what you want to achieve as a writer? If you aren’t, the reason is procrastination.
Here’s the thing about procrastination. It’s hard to identify. It’s sneaky. I’m sure that you have many excellent reasons you can’t achieve a full-time writing career, or achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.
Your reasons could include: you’re working overtime at your job, you’re pregnant (or your wife is pregnant), you don’t know whether you’ll make any money, this Internet thing is probably a scam, you need to know more… Procrastination cloaks itself in a million disguises.
Those aren’t “reasons”. They’re excuses. And behind every excuse is procrastination.
Procrastination-killer: what do you really want?
No one procrastinates when something is important to them. The unpalatable truth may be that what you want to achieve isn’t that important to you. It’s a wish, rather than a burning desire.
Here’s an example from my own life. I played around with writing for years. I sold an article or a short story occasionally, but mainly I collected rejection slips. I wanted to write a book but had plenty of reasons I couldn’t. I had young children, I was running a business, I had community commitments, yada yada yada.
It was all nonsense of course. I had the same amount of time everybody else has, I just wasn’t committed to my writing. One day I woke up and realized that I was in my late twenties. If I wanted to write a book, it would take me years to sell it (this was in the 1970s, long before the Web and Amazon.com.) If I was serious about my lifelong dream of writing a book, it was long past time I got on with it.
I told myself that I would try to get a book published until I was 40. If it hadn’t happened by then, I’d give up my dream.
Here’s what happened. Within ONE year of making that simple commitment, I had a multi-book contract with a British publisher.
When something’s important to you, you won’t procrastinate
If you’re not achieving what you want to achieve ask yourself whether you want it enough.
Maybe you don’t: that’s fine. Admit it. But if you decide that you do want it, realize that you’re procrastinating, no matter what you tell yourself.
I created To Do List Power: Use Your To Do List to Make $1,000 a Day because so many writers contact me with reasons they can’t do something or other. Every “reason” is an excuse; it’s procrastination in disguise.
It’s an incredible time to be a writer
These days the opportunities for writers are incredible. I wish I were 30 years younger. You can achieve anything you want to achieve. You just need to use everything you have, and get out of your own way.
Never let procrastination fool you. If you really want something, you CAN achieve it. Consider that you may be a closet procrastinator. Recognizing procrastination for what it is is the first step in overcoming it.
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