I don’t refer to myself as a runner; while I do like to log several miles, my form and my measureless lack anything inspiring. I don’t subscribe to runners world and I only have one playlist. Come to think of it, I only have one workout: 3 miles. Unless I’m training for a half. Then I increase miles but pay no attention to pace. Fartliks, speedwork, these things mean nothing. It’s about the finish, which is generally my only goal in running. So, I’m not a runner. I just like to run. I’m okay with that.
But I don’t just like to write. I aspire to be a writer. Someone who finds purpose in putting thoughts together with words and those who read the words find truth, beauty and emotion, be it laughs or tears. I hope that my tendencies to over-dramatize the events of my day elevate a hidden truth about the world that finds connection in someone else’s heart. I don’t “just like to” write.
So, my friends say, be a writer. Go from the verb to the noun. Write to writer. Make the leap. But there are fears, you see. Hangups exist. Blocks that cause stumbling (and not just the writer’s kind). And for the most part I can tell you what will keep me from being a writer. I might as well get them out in the open. Name your enemies and keep them close, right?
1. Pride. I hate failing, so I generally avoid trying. It’s a method that has served me well in the past in terms of success rates, but lacks a bit when it comes to the joys of overcoming challenges. Enter: Don Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
2. Industry knowledge. I don’t know who to write for, other than Blogger and I’ve been told I’m even behind the times there (WordPress is superior, you say?). I might be able to rustle up a few regular readers, but I’m not sure what publication they congregate around.
3. General lack of a goal. I read today some advice about elevating your platform and offering a “Wow experience.” Some questions the blog asked:
My answers? I. Don’t. Know. When I talk about writing in a general sense, people ask me what I would write about. And my answer is mysteriously similar. Is “nonfiction” an acceptable response at this point?
4. Solitary confinement. I read the above questions and had the burning desire to send out a meeting invite so I could talk strategy with 11 of my closest friends. But writing isn’t much of a team sport when it comes down to keystrokes. Perhaps I can find a community-published blog, but I’m not sure where to go for those, either, so I’m left with myself and an empty whiteboard.
5. Accountability. With no deadlines in place, no end goals, it’s lollygagging from hear forward. Perhaps this changes with updates to # 2 and #3, but I can’t be sure. Other than the poor soul who kept reading this post (Hi Kristy!) and my husband, no one will really have a sense of where I am and what I’m doing. And we’re back to roadblock #1.
I’m sure that Ann Lamott would tell me to get get over myself, get my butt in the chair and begin writing some really bad stuff. It’s the writer’s version of putting on some shoes and stepping one foot in front of the other, no matter how bad the form. So really, all I need to do for follow through is to put a little money on a 5K.
I’d be curious what the big blocks are for others, be it writers or for those who just aspire to something else. Surly I can’t be alone, right? Right?
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