The Overwhelming Urge to Stop
Updated: Feb 10, 2021
It doesn’t matter what color we are, our sexual orientation, our gender (or non-gender), we writers are similar in our experiences. I am sure most writers go through the same thing I do. I create characters and worlds from the ideas in my head. Then I create outlines and write my story down (some writers tell their story with no outline). I read my story and think, this is shit. Then, I start to doubt myself and I get this overwhelming urge to stop writing.
For some, the urge comes and goes. For some, it is a constant nagging that can be a feeling or a voice that discourages us and tells us we cannot do it.
We doubt who we are, which is not just a writer, but a storyteller. We believe other writers possess a gift we do not possess. We tell ourselves we are not good enough.
The urge stops our flow; it stops our progress; it stops our creativity, and it stops the stories. As writers, we must understand writing is a process. It may be different for everyone, but it is still a process. The more we do it, the better we get.
Our editors, critique partners and our beta readers (if they are good) find our flaws and shortcomings, but it doesn’t mean we need to stop. When we get bad reviews among our glowing reviews, it doesn’t mean we should stop. When there is no support except for those in the #writingcommunity or our followers, that does not mean we have to stop.
Bad reviews, lack of readers, lack of support, or unpolished writing does not mean we are bad writers. We have to learn to love our work (even the bad stuff). Every blog, story and poem has something to show us.
And we have to learn to love the art of writing. Our words are not thrown onto a page; we marry each word to another and create worlds that tell the story of our characters or the story of our ideas.
We all need to be aware of this impulse. If we keep listening to that fucking voice urging us to stop, we will eventually convince ourselves to stop. When the urge comes, remember who you are!
Originally posted May 12, 2020 by CD Pulley