Sunday, August 18, 2013

WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE FOR NOT FINISHING YOUR BOOK BY RITA KARNOPP

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why haven’t I finished my book?  I mean . . . be honest.  You have to be willing to listen to the reasons . .  . because if you don’t – that book will never get finished.  You’ve heard people say, “I am writing a book – but I just don’t seem to have the time to finish it.”  Let’s look at some of those reasons . . . or should I say excuses.
1. Laziness – Ouch – right?  I mean let’s face it; it takes discipline and dedication to write.  You have to be willing to turn off that TV and concentrate on your story.  You have to decide what is important to you and make the commitment.  Oh, it’s not easy to turn away from the housework, meals, kid demands, and even reading.  Set a writing goal and stick to it.

2. Excuses – We are all familiar with the excuse game.  I’m tired and one night won’t hurt me.  Uh, how about I’m just not feeling all that well, I certainly can’t write when I’m ill.  I must dust the house – one more day and the house will be condemned.  I promised to take the kids to the park and it simply must be during the time I have designated for writing.  I’m working the plot out in my head – and I’m not quite ready to write it yet.
3. Procrastination – Many people believe procrastination and excuses are the same thing.  Actually in a way they are – yet they aren’t.  Excuses get in the way of writing but are most often temporary and short simple interruptions.  Procrastination on the other hand is more damaging and dangerous.  The procrastinator isn’t making simple little excuses, but is setting himself up for long-term derailment.  A procrastinator won’t recognize they are sabotaging their career.  They believe they will ‘start’ writing any day.  It’s just that they also believe everything must be ‘perfect’ in order to write.  Every time they reach the point where they could write, a new and elevated commitment intervenes, supporting the idea they just can’t find the time to write.
4. Lack of Confidence -  or fear no one will like your book – If you don’t believe you’ve written a great book – who will?   Along with that lack of confidence comes the fear that no one will like your story.  Maybe someone might make fun of it – or give you a scathing review.  Yep, that can happen – and most likely will.  One of the hardest things about being a writer is reading those not so great reviews.  But it should go back to your confidence and belief you’ve written a fantastic story – and you know it won’t always be everyone’s cup of tea. 
I had a writer friend who wrote and rewrote her book . . . yes the same book . . . for ten years.  She was afraid it wasn’t perfect.  She’d go to writer workshops and then go home and apply everything to her story . . . over and over again.  I was exhausted just hearing about it.
Another writer was caught up on research.  She traveled extensively for scenes in her book.  She insisted on authenticity . . . and so she did nothing but write binders full of information about places she wanted her characters to use.  That was fifteen years ago – and she still hasn’t written an entire book.

5.  What do I do next?  Many people don’t finish their book because there is a fear of what must they do next?  Someone will have to read it – yikes… back to a lack of confidence.   There is the need to find a publisher . . . and a fear of how to go about doing that. 

I recently read a study that said 23 percent of people in the United States want to be a writer. I don’t know about you – but I’m glad they aren’t.  All I can say is – I hope they are readers!

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