People who say they will one day write seldom get around to it
When I tell people I am a writer I get various responses. Aside from a blank look of incomprehension or the dreaded question of “Have you written anything I’ve heard of?” they usually tell me about their own writing aspirations.
Here are five common personas:
Someday Sally: This earnest lass yearns to write, but she isn’t in a good season of life right now. Once she emerges from this crisis, this transition, this grueling job, or this financial situation, then she will start writing. Not now, but later. The problem is her next season of life will be no more conducive for writing than her present one.
Procrastinator Paul: Like Sally, Paul has plans to write. He has an idea, he’s done research, and he’s made an outline. He’s going to start next week. But next week he doesn’t. He needs to develop better characters first; he’ll start next month. Next month he realizes his plot won’t work, so he redoes that. Then it’s the holidays, which he reasons is always a bad time to start. Next week becomes next month, then next year, and he never writes one word.
False Start Fiona: This idealist just sat down and started typing. She worked hard for a couple of days, maybe even a week, but then she stalled. Things weren’t working so she gave up. Her computer holds dozens of started projects but not a single finished one.
Retirement Ray: He’s always dreamed of being a writer, but right now he is too busy with work. When he retires he’ll have time. Yeah, right. He won’t have the time then either, and besides, he won’t be ready.
Romantic Rhonda: This visionary sees her finished book, flattering reviews, royalties rolling in, and an abundance of accolades. The problem is she doesn’t want to write; she merely wants to have written. She will never put in the hard work required to write a book, so she has no chance to see her fantasy unfold.
I’ve met many aspiring writers like this quintet. Maybe you identify with one or two of them. All five have visited me in the past, but I sent them packing—because I stopped dreaming of writing and just did it.
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Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.