For writers, starting is definitely the hardest part. It’s common for writers to dream about writing their book—and holding their finished book in their hands—for months, or even years. However, when it comes time to sit down at the desk and write those first few sentences, more often than not, that’s when we experience total fear and paralysis.
It’s no surprise that many writers feel misunderstood and alone. Writing, after all, is mostly a solitary pursuit. Whenever we visualize a writer hard at work, we tend to think of a person sitting all by themselves in an empty room, typing away. While this is sometimes true, that doesn’t mean that writers like being lonely or that we don’t long for connection or community.
It’s not only the solitary nature of writing that makes writers lonely. It’s also that most writers are introverts. We tend to be naturally introspective, and some of us even suffer from social anxiety. Groups and group activities can be hard for us, and even though we have a lot to say on the page, making conversation in real life isn’t always easy.
Most writers know they need accountability in one form or another. Otherwise, it’s too easy to procrastinate forever and never start (or finish) the book we want so badly to write. But the problem is that too many writers get it wrong with accountability.
The worst kind of accountability comes from writing methods that are too rigid. I’ve worked with so many writers who have tried to write every single day, no matter what, or vowed to meet a certain word count during every writing session, no matter what, and these attempts ALWAYS end in failure. Why? Because there’s not enough flexibility and open space for the writer’s creativity to flourish, or the inevitable demands of everyday life.
I’ve coached and taught writers of all stripes for almost 10 years now, and I can tell you that the absolute BEST way to bring accountability into your writing practice is to choose a strategy that is flexible, actually fun, and doesn’t leave you all on your own. The power of group support is truly life changing for writers!
If you’re a writer who struggles with writing, then you know that one of the biggest challenges you face is calling yourself a writer. Writers who suffer from severe procrastination, fear and self-doubt, or who are just in a place in life where the writing is not really happening, run into this obstacle all the time.
You know you’re a writer deep within your soul. You know that writing does something for you that nothing else can, and when you do actually sit down and write, or finish something, you feel fantastic. But it’s the sitting down and doing it that is such a problem for you.
If this is you, then you know that feeling of imposter syndrome. That fear that you’re nothing but a fraud, because you want to say you’re a writer—you know that you ARE a writer—but it feels like you can’t back that up with anything if you’re not actually writing.
This was me, many years ago. There was nothing I wanted more in the world than to write, but I just couldn’t do it. And then I found the key that changed everything for me, AND that got me through writing my very first book, start to finish.