There's literally hundreds of posts a day talking about how to write. Everything from big fancy posts to tiny detailed single-skill posts.
This is the opposite of that.
This is a litany of all the things that can keep a person from writing, all the things I've learned about this past year while I haven't been writing enough, and I know it.
- Have your life implode around you.
- Have stress run so high that you can't think about anything but the next item, and make sure the next item is always something more important than scribbling words on a page.
- Develop a chronic health condition--one that involves pain and / or brainfog is especially useful for not writing.
- Wait so long between writing sessions that you feel like you've forgotten how you do it, that you've forgotten what you were doing to begin with, and make sure that it gets so awkward that you then put it off longer.
- Overthink everything, especially if the need to get it right keeps you from doing it at all.
- Lose the thread of the story over and over again.
- Start new stories and abandon them after a few pages or a few chapters instead of finishing the original story you were writing all along.
- Waste time because your mind can't focus enough to work.
- Cry about it a lot.
- Compare everything you're doing to everything you love and come up short, so that you feel like a fraud.
- See the basics of your idea already published, or read a book that is so totally something you would have written if you'd gotten there first, and soak in the discouragement that brings.
- Worry so much about building a career that you can't actually get the work done that a career is built on.
- Forget how to daydream and let your mind drift under the weight of all the stress.
- Stop brainstorming and keeping notes. Stop keeping pen and paper next to your bed. Stop waking up in the middle of the night to scratch down ideas in the dark.
- Read less and less.
- Get so overwhelmed with the weight of everything you haven't been doing, that you keep not doing it.
- Slowly drop all your other creative endeavors until you're at your lowest common denominator of yourself.
- Doubt yourself. Doubt everything.
- Don't take the risk of letting anyone see your work; feedback and encouragement will just make you want to write again.
- Give up, over and over and over again.
And there's more. There's always more reasons not to write than to write, and it's easy to just be another person who used to write.
But that's not me anymore. I'm getting back on this dragon.
Wish me luck.