There are days, when writing three thousand words is a matter of simply typing on your laptop. And then, there are those days of gloom, when a glance at the laptop turns you off. When writing, becomes a task. An unexciting proposition.
You know it better than I do – that writer’s block is a reality. I mean it happens to all of us, at some point in our writing lives. Not all of us are Isaac Asimov – the man who wrote 500 books in his life time.
But we want to be. Isaac Asimov. The man who was truly a prolific writer. All of us want to write as much as possible. And get our writing published. We want readers to find our work. And once they do, we want to give them more. That’s how we build a readership. And that’s exactly how we build our brand as writers.
So what do you do when you feel like throwing in the towel?
Write. Yup. More often than not, fear of rejection – like my idea is too premature to become a book stops us. Don’t let that fear turn you into a “perfectionist.” Get your idea down on paper. And once you’re done writing, edit and re-edit it. Then publish. That’s the only way you can get something out. And without getting it out there, how will you know? How will you become a writer?
Change track. Walk. Run. Dance. Make a cup of tea. Read something different. And then get back to it – when you’re recharged and ready to fly. Staring blankly at the laptop, or your notebook just won’t get you anywhere.
Learn. Sounds intimidating? Learning something new isn’t that tough. Anything and everything is learning. Like Steve Jobs says on the art of learning calligraphy:
“I decided to take a calligraphy class. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful. Historical. Artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture. And I found it fascinating. None of this had any hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.”
So no learning is “wrong” learning. It comes in handy – someday, somewhere. It’s also a good exercise for the mind. It can help generate new ideas. Maybe a plotline for your next novel. Or a great tagline for your copy.
Fight self-doubt. Actively. As Sylvia Plath puts it succinctly, “the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Don’t let it swallow you. If you think, you can’t write. Then you must. Write. If you think, you are struggling with that closing sentence, then you must attempt it. Without fail.
Think. It’s a good investment. Trust me. To come up with a nail biting thriller or a bitter-sweet romance, or a marketing page – we need to think. Spending a night to refine that story idea is not a night wasted. But a book made.
Don’t delay it. We all know this and that’s why I’m putting it here, right at the end, we writers are the world’s worst procrastinators. We’re so good at saying: I’m not up for it today. I’ll do it once I finish reading this excellent book. I’ll write my novel, tomorrow. I can write but let me do it next month.
Tell you what, I’ve done that most of my life. I’ve never wanted to write a book. I knew I could. But I didn’t want to. It seemed too easy. Or maybe too difficult. But an insult triggered a fire in me. It made me attempt the “easiest thing in the world.” I started to write. And before I knew, I was done with a novella, a novel, a short story and more. You’ll find all of those on publishing platforms, soon.
My point is, don’t wait. Just do it. He did it. She did it. I did it. So can you. Yes, you can.