How to Avoid Hold Ups in Your Writing

Do you feel like you are being held hostage by your dreams to write? What exactly is holding you up anyway?

Personally, I can name a few too many.

To start off, I took way too long to pick the name of my blog. I mean really, I wasn’t naming a child and I didn’t have my husband to battle every decision. (He’s a school teacher so any baby name I picked out was kicked out.) So why did I take 5 years to decide what I wanted to do with my blog name and its genetic counterparts?

Because I wanted a blog with kapow. I wanted pizazz. I wanted the name to claim its worldwide fame. Let’s face it, John or Sarah just wouldn’t do. (Besides the fact that it had nothing to do with my blog.) I was just plain overthinking this gig.

But really, I was just putting off my fears by stewing over a blog name. That’s so stinking lame.

And a waste of valuable writing time.

Imagine if babies came that way. You couldn’t have the baby until it was properly named. I would have had a kindergartener (and very sore ribs) before he entered this world. Well, maybe just the first baby would come that way anyway.

So I guess that’s what I was doing. Protecting myself by not moving forward on my goals and dreams. I knew in a moment a dream could get slashed, hashed; mashed (I’ve been to writers conferences and heard the horror stories). So, instead I was striving for perfection first time around. Go ahead- laugh.

It was easier to just talk about my goals and dreams, push around several great names, and predict my own outcome with a twinkle in my eye. I have to admit the anticipation is quite intriguing but it was slowing me way down.

And guess what? When I actually threw the blog out there (with its proper, uncontested, name) it wasn’t as big of a deal as I was making it. It was just some wimpy little banana gun hold up that kept me from writing. Don’t just take my word for it (though I’ll certainly give it to you) but learn from the pros how to handle a real life dilemma of a banana gun hold up. Check out these three brilliant words of wisdom that can help someone who is afraid to take the next step in their writing.

MAKE QUICK (Banana Split) DECISIONS

Napoleon Hill: “One of Henry Ford’s most outstanding qualities is his habit of reaching decisions quickly and definitely, and changing them slowly.”


I’ve learned that this has become one of my downfalls to writing: overthinking things too much. Boy, is it ever. The writing process won’t be perfect the first time but perfection in writing comes when we are willing to make mistakes in the process. Time is a valuable. Don’t waste it. Be quick to decide what you want to do with your writing then get to it.
Chop. Chop.

Quick Tip to Making Quick Decisions:

Slow decisions are just a writer’s defense mechanism for procrastinating. Quit holding up your writing by overthinking everything. (Believe me… I know how this works.)
Put time limits on your thinking. Yes, as writers we are used to deadlines but some of us actually need deadlines on making decisions. If overthinking is one of your downfalls give yourself a deadline. Stick to it. Even if it is for the naming of your blog, writing your first chapter, creating a character sketch. Whatever. Just pick a deadline, make a decision, and go with it. Expect mistakes but gain the reward of success in your writing by simply just writing.

Then, if something needs to be changed tap into those overthinking skills. Take your time to change your mind.

Ok, critique people… are you squeaking? Henry Ford was very successful because he had a vision and stuck to it. Others critiqued him but he knew what he wanted and let his idea play out. Be slow to change.

PEEL THE SHELL 

(But Don’t Slip on the Banana Peel)


Ben Franklin: “Either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.”


Write things that matter. Find an element that people can relate to and you can make a masterpiece from a simple thought. Getting to the heart is the most important thing you can do in your writing.
Some of my biggest slip ups in writing have been writing without purpose. These writings become flavorless. True, it may look good (great mechanics, great details, etc.) but no one ever gets to the fruit of what you are trying to say. (I’ve had some expert moments with flavorless banana peel moments. Sigh. It’s like eating anticlimactic banana popsicle. Psh. Where’s the banana Creamie when you want one?)

Quick Tips to Peeling the Shell and Getting to the Fruit:

Ask what is my purpose for this piece? Write something worth reading. This question has been the number one thing that has helped my writing. If I know the common element my writing naturally forms its own path. Bingo! This one little direct question at the beginning of any writing time keeps me from slipping all over the place.

Try something new. Do things worth reading. So if you find the writing isn’t working you have probably depleted your creative side. Fill it up by doing something new. Discover an idea you wouldn’t normally find. Then, go ahead, amaze us with your words.

Ben Franklin was a publisher, a writer, an inventor, a painter, and known for his diplomatic work. I believe he was successful because he was well rounded. Experience feeds ideas  and makes a writer peel back the shell of assumption and get right to the fruit.

MUSHY GUSHY DETAILS 

MAKE GREAT WRITING 

(and Banana Bread)


Helen Keller: “The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”


I’ve always loved writing but not until recently when I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer did I realize that I needed writing. Yep, needed it. I stopped writing for a few weeks after my diagnosis. I soon realized that I was depressed not because I had cancer but because I wasn’t doing what I truly loved. So, I started writing again. Writing breathes life into me. I felt it in my heart, it was the fruit of who I am. Write because you love it.

Quick Tip to Finding the Fruits of Your Writing:

Find the why behind your writing (and remember it). I’ve learned the reasons for writing are my genuine source of happiness. Take a break from it if you need to (bananas ripen better when they sit). Or start writing if you haven’t. See if your mood changes. Does the need to write nag at you? Is there an unseen force that pulls you toward writing? Are you depressed without it? Does a piece of your heart feel complete when you do so? Ask yourself this one question: Why do you write? And when you find your true reason your heart will get all mushy gush. It will flow into your writing. And people can’t help but want to eat it all up.

Helen Keller’s limitations made her a magnificent person. She is my hero. It was her heart that gave her truth to life. When she knew what something was her heart confirmed it to her and she could communicate to the world by following her heart. Don’t let your limitations in writing drag you down. Use them to help you bake up an incredible treat.

Are you discouraged or frightened to take the next step in your writing? Breathe. It’s just a little wimpy banana gun hold up. You’ve got this.
_____________________________________________________

Christie Perkins is a survivor of boy humor, chemo, and faulty recipes. She loves freelance writing and is a nonfiction junkie. A couple of national magazines have paid her for her work but her biggest paycheck is her incredible family. Christie hates spiders, the dark, and Shepherd’s Pie. Bleh. Mood boosters: white daisies, playing basketball, and peanut butter M&M’s. You can find out more about her at howperkyworks.com.        

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s