Here are some patterns of thinking that are common among blocked and procrastinating writers. I’ve highlighted and linked the issues that I’ve written about in this blog. Are any of these as familiar to you as they are to me?
Exaggerate difficulties – “This memo is going to take an enormous amount of time and effort to complete.”
Forgetfulness – “Oops! I forgot to write during the last decade.”
Hopelessness – “Why should I bother? It will just be another miserable failure.”
Imposter feelings – “When they read this crap they will find out I’m not a real writer.”
Overwhelm – “There is so much to do I don’t know where to begin! I’ll never be able to do it all!”
Perfectionism – “Every word in this first draft needs to be perfect!”
Resentment – “I hate writing.”
Self-limiting beliefs – “I can write only when I feel inspired.” “I can write only when there is a gun pointed at my head.” “I can write only when I have several hours of free time.” “I can’t start writing until I’ve got the whole novel figured out.”
Superstitions – “If I finish my book I will die.”
Unrealistic standards – “My novel has to be as good as Moby Dick.”
There are a lot more where these came from. You can check out this page for some more thoughtful thoughts about my thinking on stinking thinking, I think.