These five thoughts will destroy your creativity. If you think any of them, stop writing and speak to your doctor—I mean writing partner—straight away.
1. I’m not good enough.
The absolute number one way to destroy your creativity is to believe you’re not good enough. You don’t have the talent to make your stories come to life, and your characters are destined to spend eternity locked inside your mind.
You don’t write because you’re good at it. You write to become good at it. [tweet this]
The only thing we, as writers, need to worry about is improving. Ask yourself if the story you wrote today is better than the one you wrote last week, or month, or year. If so, you’re on the right track.
2. I don’t know what I’m doing.
Similar to the first creativity killer, this thought slips in while you’re comparing yourself to successful writers. You don’t know what you’re doing, how to make it in the industry, or the “secret” to success. You should just give up now and save yourself the pain and rejection.
Guess what? Nobody knows what they’re doing when they’re just getting started! Hell, some successful authors will tell you they still don’t know what they’re doing. Hemingway famously said, “We are all apprentices at a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” Don’t worry about having it all figured out. Nobody does.
3. I’ll have more time tomorrow.
Or in a week. Or a month. Or after this happens or that happens. The magical pool of free time will always remain planted firmly at the base of the rainbow. You’ll never reach it. More excuses will pop up, and then poof! It’s ten years later, and you haven’t written a word.
Banish this thought by figuring out how you can make time. I’m not saying it will always be easy, but what we choose to spend our time on is the truest representation of our priorities. If writing is really a priority in your life, make it one in your day.
4. I can’t wait to write “The End.”
This isn’t an I hate writing thought. This is what happens when we become focused on the end product. We want to finish our manuscript. We want it written and edited and brilliant. We want it published, and we want to hold a lovely print copy in our hands. Oh, and we want it today.
That’s not going to happen today. Or in a few days. Or in a few weeks or months. Maybe in a few years, if you’re lucky (and talented/dedicated). But regardless, the end goal is not what’s important during the process. I’ll give you three guesses as to what is…
The process! Keep your thoughts in the here and now, and give your creativity a fighting chance to work on your manuscript—instead of just your future book covers.
5. I’ve got to spend all my time writing.
If you’re like me, you get so wrapped up in a project that you want to spend every waking hour working on it. You tell friends and family, “No, I can’t. I’ve got to write.” Which is both fine and necessary—sometimes. But not all the time.
At a certain point, it becomes unhealthy and will kill creativity faster than anything. You’ve heard variety is the spice of life? That’s true, and that spice is a key ingredient in your creativity. Get out. Do things. Spend time with people. Enjoy your life, and have no experiences. All those experiences will contribute to your perspective and your writing.
Keep your creativity alive!
If you find yourself thinking one of these thoughts, pinpoint it and stomp it out. Keep your creativity alive and well so you can finish your manuscript and enjoy the process. Happy writing!