Wednesday, April 29, 2015

7 Things That Will Destroy You as a Writer

Entertaining Doubt
The only thing I remember about the cult movie The Little Shop of Horrors is that gigantic Venus flytrap that eats people whole. Point made.

Copycat Mentality
They did it and it worked for them so I’m going to do it. Will cut you at the knees every time. I know some people promote mimicking an author you admire until you grow your sea legs, but I’m not a huge fan of that. We are constantly infusing author influences into our work without even trying to. More important to carve your own path by testing and experimenting with your own voice.

Calling Yourself a Writer without Writing
I come across this more often than you’d think. Label must be earned.

Giving Up Too Soon
Mature writers understand that the true beauty of the craft isn’t discovered via rewards, awards, and reviews. It’s found in quiet moments when fingers are tapping away madly at the keys, when the mind has slipped subtly into the zone. Think journey, not destination because, as with so many things, once you reach one landmark of achievement you’re likely to set your sights on the next one.

Believing There’s Only One Way to Be Successful
Especially within the past five years there’s been a surge of new ways to go about finding success. I’ve made a commitment to encourage fellow writers no matter which path they choose to go down. And I’ve witnessed these same authors celebrating career milestones having traveled north, south, east, and west on the publishing track.

Wallowing in Your Stuck-ness
It’s almost guaranteed to occur. A lull. A blocked dam. Brain freeze of the imagination. Changing perspective when this happens can make a world of difference. Instead of allowing this slow time to eat away a massive hole in your progress, alter the way you encounter this time. View it as time for your story or characters to develop. Invest in another creative project. Don’t waste the stuck hours. We only have so many here on earth.

Overconfidence & Attitude You’ve Arrived
Always a journey. Pride looks ugly on people and authors who act like they’re superior come off like fools. Adopting an attitude of learning and humility transforms the writing process into an incomparable enriching experience beyond anything the ego could possibly produce.

Can you think of anything else that could destroy you as a writer?



  1. Once again, great advice, and very well put! All of these are pet peeves on mine, though sometimes it's really hard not to fall into them. Life's a constant journey =)

    1. Okay, Anne Marie, you officially get the consistent commenter award! I love it and I want to reward you. Email me (my email is located in sidebar) and I'll send you one ebook of mine (choose one of the three books I've published). Comments are appreciated! :-)


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