"Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I'll' philosophy."
What is your “writer dream”—your goal for yourself as a writer, your fantasy of what life would be like if you were a successful writer, however you define “success”? Now—what have you done so far this year to make that dream a reality, to turn that fantasy into reality?
If your honest answer is “Nothing,” then you need to look at what is holding you back. I’ll even throw out a few possible reasons (read “excuses”) that you might offer:
- The market stinks.
- Publishing is a long shot.
- Editors can’t be trusted.
- There isn’t enough time to do it.
- There isn’t enough money in it.
- I don’t have enough talent to succeed at it.
Have I missed any? How about: I might succeed? Oddly enough, there are people who avoid pursuing a writing career (or whatever other dream they might have) because, deep inside, they are afraid they might be able to do it. They might actually achieve their goal. And then what?
Their life will change. (Bit of Academy Award trivia: According to an ABC story, a study out of University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University on married women nominated for Best Actress from 1936 to 2010 showed that 60 percent of Best Actress winners got divorced after taking home an Oscar.)
People will expect more from them. (Can you imagine the pressure after having book #1 hit the best-seller list, when there is nowhere to go but down?) Expectations will rise and then, if they don’t meet those expectations, everyone will think of them as a “one-hit wonder.”
Yeah, I know—if only you and I had such problems! But the fact is, once you produce one book, sell one article, have one poem or short story published, people will expect an encore. You will expect an encore. And the idea of having to do it again (knowing how hard the first time was!) is more than you can bear.
So you push the “Pause” button and say you’ll get around to it when you have time.
Guess what? The time is now. This month we celebrate Jump-Start Day on March 11—the ideal time to get out of neutral, release the “Pause” button and move forward.
Face your fears.
Pick up your pen or boot up your computer.
Take one trembling step forward to your goal, one word at a time.
Don’t worry about “what if” but focus on the “right now.”