In my last article, The 3 Biggest Self-Sabotage Traps for Writers, I talked about some of the most damaging mindsets for writers, and how when we adopt these mindsets and use them as “writing goals” we always end up defeated in the end. However, there is another, much worse, approach that writers can take in the attempt to become a successful writer.
And sadly, I see writers do it all the time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginning writer, or have been writing for many years, if you do this one thing, your writing life is sure to fail. You will feel blocked, empty, stuck, and hopeless about your writing. The one thing—that’s the worst thing you could do—is this:
In my last article, Still Putting Off Your Writing Dreams? How to Stop Self-Sabotaging and Start Writing, I talked about how common it is for writers to self-sabotage themselves. What I’ve discovered after working with hundreds of writers over the past decade as a writing coach is that self-sabotage usually takes a very specific form with creative people.
There are 3 self-sabotage traps I see writers fall into all the time, and what makes it so difficult to get out of these traps is that, on the surface, they seem logical. Each trap is a belief or statement that the writer makes to themselves, or a goal they set for their writing, that seems like it will move them forward. However, each trap does the complete opposite and only blocks the writer from making any progress at all.
Birthdays can be hard for many people, but they’re usually hardest on writers. Why? Because a birthday is a personal milestone that indicates another year has passed in your life—you’re one year closer to leaving this earth—and you still haven’t accomplished your writing dreams.
Maybe your writing dream is to finish your novel, or to write a self-help book based on your own life experiences that you know could really help people. Maybe you just want to finish a story—any story—because even though you’ve had a million ideas, you’ve never finished anything. So, when the day of your birthday rolls around, yet again, it only causes you pain, because it highlights just exactly how far away you still are from ever achieving these dreams.
In the past few months, I’ve gotten so many emails from creative people telling me they’re feeling isolated, alone, apathetic, and tired with everything going on in the world today. A lot of people have gone through big shifts in the past couple of years and they know they’re ready to step into their power and embrace their creativity, but the problem is, they just can’t seem to find the energy or guidance on how to do that.
As an empath and an INFJ, my relationships with other people have always been out of the ordinary. In my last two articles I talked about how I always attracted energy vampires in my life (Do You Always Attract Energy Vampires? This Is the Reason Why…), and how even my most well-intentioned friends still managed to drain me to the point that I felt like I couldn’t have close friendships with people (Are You an Empath Who Struggles with Relationships that Always Take Too Much? Here’s One Way to Break the Cycle).
These experiences only exacerbated the feeling of loneliness that I already had in the world. From the time I was very young, I knew that I was different, and I knew it was a difference that other people couldn’t understand. What really hurt though, was that I could understand other people so incredibly well. So, I was left feeling like, even though I could fully see, hear, acknowledge and appreciate the depths of another person, no one could do the same for me.
On top of this, I noticed early on that other people did not seem to be interested in the same things I was interested in. I wanted to explore my inner landscape and the psychological terrain of others. I wanted to talk about topics like spirituality, metaphysics, history, philosophy, stories, and dreams. Whenever I brought anything like this up in a conversation, people either gave me blank or puzzled stares, or said something snarky to let me know what a weirdo they thought I was.