Why I Stopped Writing (And How to Get Un-Stuck)

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Photo: Jonathan Simcoe

When I was 16 i didn’t go to football practice for a week. I don’t remember why exactly. Maybe I had homework, maybe I was lazy. Maybe I though “It’s just ONE week. It’s no big deal”.

The next week I knew the coaches were going to ask why I missed practice. So I skipped the second week too.

Fast forward 6 months.

I’ve quit playing football. It wasn’t a well informed and conscious decision. It just kind of happened. When I missed two weeks of practices it was harder to go the third week. And so it went. More and more guilt, increasing inertia. It seems like friction builds up over time.

And now it happened to my writing. I fell out of the habit. For a few days, then weeks and before I knew it – Months!

It got to the point where I felt sick every time I thought about my blog.

The scary thing is that I love to write. I loved to play football too. But the psychological power of guilt was greater.

While the experience suck, I find the irrationality fascinating. If I feel bad because I dont write, the logical thing would be to start writing – Not to write less (How stupid is that?).

Action is the medicine.

It’s like that saying “Sales cures all” in business. I think for all creative endeavors Action Cures All. 

This is how I finally got out of my funk:

1) Baby steps
I set a super small goal for myself. My goal was to write this email. When I had figured out the smallest possible goal to get to action I moved to the second step.
 
2) Schedule
I scheduled it. On Sunday July 23 10:00-11:00 I will write and send an email to my readers.
 
3) Get over yourself
I keep reminding myself that nobody cares about me. For me it’s a big deal to send this email. I’ve built up the tension in my own little head. My self talk sound something like this: “I haven’t written anything in so long. This has to be AMAZING”.

But it does not have to be amazing. Consistent is better than perfect. Consistency is controllable.

Next week I’ll show up to football practice. Ten years later, no excuses. Because really, who cares?

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