What's The One Obstacle Keeping You From Writing?
Updated: Jul 18, 2019
I posed these two questions on social media last week:
What's the one obstacle keeping you from writing? And ...
If you faced a writing obstacle but overcame it, how did you do it?
Thanks to your responses – along with taking into consideration challenges I have faced countless times as a writer – here's a list of obstacles we all seem to face the most (in no particular order):
* Fear or Anxiety
* Self-doubt/Lack of confidence
* Hatred for writing
* Writer's block
* Lack of motivation
Nothing too earth-shattering, right? I think all of these are common obstacles most writers, or people who would like to become a writer, face. Well ... except for the hatred part. That submission came from one business partner who I think was being cheeky.
She redeemed herself by adding, "When I need something written, I call YOU."
Fair enough. I welcome those phone calls, especially from business owners who legitimately don't have the time to write their own content or don't like to write. In those instances, hiring a professional content writer at Edit This® is the way to go.
But how do we overcome some of these other obstacles on our own?
Here are a few ideas and words of wisdom that some of my readers came up with, and the occasional response, tip, and resource link from yours truly:
"Journaling helped me immensely to get started. I developed my voice and style, went searching for the right words to describe what was going on, and developed the habit of proofreading as I went. Then, in college, I read some essays by EB White and was shocked by how much he could convey so briefly. My bent is toward using a lot of words, but ever since reading White’s essays, I try to be mindful of where I can cut fluff without losing substance. Really tough to do." – Chad Drake, Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial
Thank you, Chad, for the great response! I struggle with using too many words, also. In many instances, I'll first type up what I want to say before asking myself, "OK, Steve. Is there a way to say the same thing in fewer words?"
One solution is to comb through each sentence and eliminate what I call "empty calorie" words like very, really, and due to the fact. They add nothing to what you're saying, and you will be amazed at how efficient and more readable each sentence becomes by taking them out. If you'd like more information, here's a post on how avoiding wordiness improves your writing.
Another reader comment ...
"Generally time - but I created a content plan that helps me use one piece of content through multiple outlets. This lets me record a live video, pull the audio for a podcast, transcribe and have an assistant turn it into a blog post, and pull snippets and quotes for social media. All that being said - I still procrastinate." – Audrey Christie McLaughlin, Essential Healing Health & Wellness Center
I love Audrey's honesty. Deep down, she's a procrastinator, but she's figuring out ways to delegate and make the best use of her content and the time she has available. I've been a writer for just more than 20 years and have come up with a myriad of clever ways to divide my time efficiently to cover all aspects of running my business (especially the writing part), spending time with my family, and carving out time for myself, including:
* Thinking outside the box on office hours
* Keeping stuff handy
* Planning ahead
* Focusing on the tasks at hand
* Knowing when to delegate
One last reader comment ...
"I tend to be a procrastinator - a problem with being perfect ... :) So I have to just start somewhere. Even if it's not the right place. Plus it may even take me places I didn't know I wanted to go." – Catherine Miller, Bookkeeping by Rine
I've talked a lot about freewriting and how it helps with getting the process started. Just like a baseball pitcher gets a few warm-up tosses before heading into a big game, freewriting allows writers to get their creative juices flowing without having to worry about grammar rules or editor eyes.
When I freewrite, using a pen and paper first is helpful as opposed to sitting in front of a computer. Mentally, I can allow my writing thoughts to take me in any direction. That's the fun part about being a writer, so give it a try.
And to Catherine's quip about being perfect, here's another blog with 5 tips to help writers handle perfectionism and another on how to outthink writer's block.
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Business owners want to communicate with clients, spark engagement, and build trusting relationships, and one of the best ways to do that is with unique and authentic written content. The only problem is most entrepreneurs don't have time to write and edit their own blogs, press releases, etc., or they struggle with getting ideas on paper. If you've been in this position – whether you're a small-business owner, novelist, or student – hiring a professional content writer may be the answer.
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* Website copy
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* And so much more
Whether you need us to write content from scratch or put a better spin on what you've written, we are the local writing and editing partner every business owner needs.
Thanks for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.
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