27 Reasons You Aren’t Writing the Book You’re Meant to Write

1. You’re letting people tell you that you should be doing other things with your time because writing isn’t a “real job.”

2. You haven’t decided to treat your writing seriously and so no one around you treats it seriously, either.

3. You haven’t made yourself a writing space, either physically or mentally, that is inviting and delightful to be in.

4. You think you have to follow your writing ritual, and if you don’t have time for that, you can’t write.

5. You have convinced yourself that you need 2 hours to write and don’t know how to use the 20 minute chunks you actually have.

6. You keep letting emergencies (often other people’s) rule your time.

7. You haven’t figured out if you’re a morning person, night person, or lunchtime writing person and find yourself nodding off or not fully attentive while you sit down to write.

8. You think that someday you will have more time for writing.

9. You are spending time doing things you actually don’t care about.

10. You are letting yourself do “writing adjacent” activities (like map making, worldbuilding, doodling, finding character photos online, thinking about cover art or title, casting your movie) instead of the real work of writing.

11. You are terrified of writing, of actually sitting down and putting yourself on the page and letting yourself be seen as you truly are.

12. Your brain keeps trying to protect you from the danger of writing by telling you all the more important things you have to get done before you’re allowed to sit down and write.

13. You don’t know what to do with a blank page and every time you stare at one, you give up and decide not to write.

14. You don’t know how to turn off your internal editor, that voice that keeps telling you “I’m not good enough.”

15. You have a serious perfectionist bent where you keep going back to rewrite that first sentence/paragraph/chapter before you go on to the next part of the book.

16. You keep comparing your first draft attempts to other people’s finished drafts and deciding you don’t have enough “talent” to be a writer.

17. You keep getting stuck in the middle of the book, unsure how to get to the end, and never gritting your way through the messiness, mistakes, and wrong-turns of that section of the book.

18. You haven’t learned to listen to your inner voice telling you what your true story is, and keep reading books on plot formula instead.

19. You need to do a little planning and research before you start.

20. You’re spending all your time planning and researching and never “have time” to get to the writing part, which is what is actually scary.

21. You don’t actually like writing. You like having written. (Join the club.)

22. You need to write the first line of the next chapter before leaving for the day, so that your subconscious brain is working on that chapter while you’re asleep.

23. You need to spend time remembering what it is you love about writing and making it into “play,” like a little kid enjoying tinkering and not worried about making “mistakes.”

24. You don’t have notebooks scattered through the house, including in the bathroom, to jot down inspiration.

25. You’re terrified of failure. But you’re even more terrified of success.

26. You’re so worried about what other people will think about your book that you’ve stopped asking yourself what you think.

27. Someone told you once that you’d never be a writer and you keep listening to them.

Published by Mette Ivie

I'm a national bestselling author, All-American triathlete, Princeton PhD and mother of five amazing kids. And I'm here to teach you how to talk back to the brain that is telling you to quit before you fail. I'm here to up your game as a writer and as a human. I teach skills on writing, but more than that, I teach you how to take risks and write more deeply, more humanly, and to become a better human yourself.

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