I’m not sure when it happened. It was subtle, slowly creeping into every area of my life. One day I woke up and my world revolved around writers groups, I had taken up residency in coffee shops with comfortable chairs and lots of outlets, and almost every friend I had was an author, editor, or publisher. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time with writers, both socially and professionally and there is a common thread I see in many of them. Analysis Paralysis.
Have you met them? The ones that spend truck loads of money on conferences, attend creative writing classes, they research how to create story plots, and talk about how they wish they had more time to write. None of these things are bad necessarily, however if you are using them to avoid the obvious, sitting down and doing the work, you may have caught this terrible disease as well.
What’s the cure?
Stop waiting to develop talent, because using the talent you have is the best way to make it stronger. Get an accountability partner that will check in with you and ask how many words you got on paper this week. Take new work to share every time you attend your writers group. Go away, get off the grid and have a writers retreat to refresh yourself. Ultimately, remember, your goal is to write…words on paper….not think about writing. I’m not saying to eliminate time working on your craft. I lead and attend workshops all the time. I am saying find a balance. Use the gift you have. You won’t get better studying the game from the bench unless you eventually get in there and play!