Writers, what’s the biggest obstacle holding you back?
Lack of time and too many commitments?
Your day job?
No, sorry, I don’t think so. Your biggest writing obstacle is definitely not a “what” but a WHO.
Ah, then it has to be your kids, right?
Or maybe that spouse of yours or your fabulous significant other who takes up all your time?
Then who? Spell that “who” obstacle Y-O-U.
In reading Wayne Dyer’s Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits, I have realized that my excuses, which are really my false beliefs about what I can’t do, hold me back and prevent forward motion, like giant boulders on my path. But…nobody else except little ol’ me is responsible for me. And all those obstacles I create? They’re really nothing but excuses—my very own writing excuses.
Writers are creative and quite capable of crafting any number of writing excuses about why we can’t write, can’t publish, can’t start writing at this “old” age, can’t possibly finish a manuscript, yadda, yadda….
If you’re not creative enough to create your own excuses (or the more likely scenario is that these excuses have become so ingrained in you that you aren’t capable of recognizing them for what they are), Wayne Dyer’s book lists 18 common excuses plus the affirmations to counteract them. I’m sure you’ll find one that fits you.
For instance, if your excuse is “It will be difficult” (it’s too hard to write a book, it’s too hard to submit work, it’s too hard to put myself out there, etc.), he suggests replacing the excuse with this affirmation: “I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort.”
If you realize that you’re the one standing in your own way, check out this Ray Bradbury video I discovered in my work with fearful flyers. Fear is fear whether it’s fear of flying, fear of writing a book or an article, fear of publishing, fear of submitting, whatever. Excuses and other obstacles standing in our way likely originate in fear.
Fear keeps us from moving forward to be all we can be, to go where we’re supposed to go, to do what we’re meant to do. In the video Ray Bradbury realizes the choke-hold that fear had on him, and he shares his wise realization: He was the one standing in his own way.