I love to write–so why is it so hard to start?(IWSG)

Well, it’s June 1, the first Wednesday of June.  I now have a reminder in my calendar to write a post for the Insecure Writers Support Group.  (You can join, too, if you want, here)

I have been doing a lot of writing lately.  I finished the last of 16 children’s stories that I wrote for a not-yet-launched educational website.  My first ever work for hire writing!  I revised my MG novel and sent in the first chapters plus a chapter summary to my teacher at the Institute of Children’s Literature (my last assignment for that course).  I’ve been rewriting my story about Ding Dong Dung Beetle, who is now Augustus because I learned that it is out of style to have alliterative names.

I really enjoy writing.  Once I start, I find it hard to stop.  But often, I also find it hard to start.  There seem to be many things I have to do first, like play Sudoku, catch up on my email and the news, finish reading a book, clean the litter box and many other things too numerous and boring to mention.

When I think about it, I feel that resistance to other things I like, too–drawing/painting, exercise, cooking, to name a few.  Am I basically lazy?  Maybe.  Sometimes.  For a lazy person, I do a lot of stuff.  But there’s some kind of fear there.  Fear of failure?  Fear of success?  Fear that I’m wasting my time?  All of the above?

There are also days when I wake up in the morning with a new idea for a story or a solution to a problem in a story I’m writing and I am excited to write it down.  Or sometimes that happens when I’m meditating (which could also go on the list of things I love but resist).  Those moments of inspiration are wonderful!

I recently finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  She writes about living a life that is driven more by curiosity than by fear.  Kim John Payne writes something similar about parenting in his book, Simplicity Parenting.  (Both of these are amazing books, by the way–I highly recommend them).

Here’s a great quote from Big Magic:

“Basically, your fear is like a mall cop who thinks he’s a Navy SEAL: He hasn’t slept in days, he’s all hopped up on Red Bull, and he’s liable to shoot at his own shadow in an absurd effort to keep everyone “safe.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Most of the time, I don’t let the fear win–although it definitely provides some temporary distraction (see quote above).  

Anyhow, those are my insecure writer’s thoughts for this month.

Thanks for stopping by.

This was fun!

I am a writer, handworker, artist and teacher (a WHAT!), and a mom of two beautiful daughters who are amazingly 17 and 21. I am working on getting my first book, a fantasy novel for young people, published and am busy spinning on my new spinning wheel. I have been a Waldorf early childhood teacher for 10 years now, and before that, I was a lawyer. Teaching is much more fun.

8 thoughts on “I love to write–so why is it so hard to start?(IWSG)

  1. I’ve found myself in the same place as you, where there’s so much I want to do and end up scrubbing down the kitchen instead. I think my problem is guilt. I feel guilty if I’m not putting everything else first. If I get everything done, then I’ll write, but until then, I’ll be cleaning house.

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