Superheroes, Writers and Procrastination

Posted on Posted in Inspiration and Motivation

Remarkable entrepreneur Tim Ferris has an excellent blog post today about the myths that surround so called ‘successful’ people – which in this context are the star leaders in fields such as business and sports.

One thing Tim said has stayed with me; “They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.”

Self-defeating habits and limiting self-talk and self-sabotaging belief systems.

I don’t know a single author who is not plagued by precisely those thoughts.

Some, such as myself, suffer from chronic procrastination which I am working through on a daily basis through a personal process I have come up with that works for me. Those 18 books have been achieved, as Tim says, DESPITE the self-defeating doubts and fears.

But the real shame is that many fine writers surrender to the self doubt and informed pessimism and crash and burn and give up. Because it is just TOO HARD.

Hard? For non writers this seems a ridiculous concept. How can sitting on your comfy sofa scribbling away in the warmth be hard?

And they are right in one respect. My father was a coal miner in the days when they had ponies working down the mines to drag out the coal. Compared to that hard labour which was not only dangerous but physically destroying, writing for a living is a true luxury and one for which I am sincerely grateful.

But there are some days when the next person who asks me how many books I have ‘churned out’ is likely to get kicked in the shins with the pointy toe of my designer shoe.

Why? Because I CARE about my work. I care desperately. And that makes me scared.

Time for a big bucket of ‘stop whining and get on with it’ to be dumped over my healthy head. Something like this for example.

Happy Monday.

2 thoughts on “Superheroes, Writers and Procrastination

  1. Thanks Liz. You are SO right about the guilt and the mental and emotional toll of spinning characters and tales out of the midst without even a Davy lamp to guide the way.
    It is exhausting and demanding.
    I have not written anywhere near as many books as you have but I can see that it never truly gets easier, we simply create better coping mechanisms to deal with it! On with the show.

  2. Oh, Nina – how I get this. And the guilt when I’m moaning that “it’s hard” because I come from that same coal mining background as you. We don’t get the physical pain – although sitting at a keyboard hour after hour is not good for your health – but we’re mining our memories, our emotions, our brain. Spinning tales out of mist. It takes it toll. And is one of the few jobs that doesn’t get easier with practise. Great post.

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