C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

George Carlin VIDEOS (plus Kick-ass Wake-up Call Questions for Writers on Getting It Done)

Giving up things that hurt you. Hm.

Pause for thought.

What are you keeping, as a writer, that’s hurting you? Are you addicted to distractions (Farmville, mindless surfing, TV, Sheen gossip, vegetating etc.,…)? Are you getting on with what you don’t want to do so you can accomplish what you do want? Are there people in your life who stand in the way of your dreams? I’ve been thinking about what to give up on. When I talk to that agent, is that really my ego and insecurity asking for validation? Do I need to be traditionally published anymore? Should I give up the magazine work  and focus on books exclusively? What am I willing to give and give up to get what I want?

If you don’t have time to write, are you making time to write?

But you know it goes deeper than simple time management issues.

To get to edit your manuscript, you have to edit your life.

There are always things or people who stand in the way of you getting where you want to be. Do you surround yourself with cool people who support you and your writing efforts? Are there people in your life you can do without? Are there energy and time vampires who drain you? The uncool people subtract from your time with the cool ones. And too much distraction is leaking time away from your productivity. Are you your last priority?

Are you calling your martyrdom selflessness or are you just being lazy in the You department? If you allowed yourself to look a little more selfish, could you be the person your loved ones would love and respect more? If your friends don’t like you if you say no, are they your friends? If you take care of everyone else first, who takes care of you? If you became the person you want to be, the one who gets the big things done, couldn’t you take care of others better? Can’t the laundry wait? Can’t you teach the kids to do it?

If you say, “But everyone needs me all the time!” your martyrdom is empty narcissism. If they can’t do without you long enough for you to write, you aren’t letting them grow up. You’re hurting their potential for independence by insisting you’re so important. You’re not being imaginative enough in the How to Deal Department. You’re injecting yourself into the center of their lives, living through them instead of living your life. You aren’t just the sun of your roles. When you became Mommy, Daddy, Wife or Husband, you didn’t give away the right to be you. If someone else is always your focus, you’re dressing up your procrastination in noble rags. And that’s pathetic and needy. You’re a person, not a role. You’re a human, not a god or a robot.

You’re drowning in busywork and busy-ness, not your business. Writing was supposed to be your business. Remember?

What are you doing to yourself? Do you really need more information? Is more research really required or is that procrastination masquerading as productivity? They say time is money. Time is much more important than that. Time is life. But time is spent like money and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

But it’s not too late if you ask yourself the right questions and listen for the real answer.

Not the reflexive answer. I mean the real answer you don’t want to hear.

Is it really encouragement and more education you need? Or is a kick in the ass needed? A wake-up call? A reminder that you are acting like you are immortal? You’re not. A reminder that not only do actions have consequences, inaction has dire consequences, too. (The kind you regret most when you’re lying on coarse white sheets watching another faceless nurse change your IV bag through a fog.)

What did you want to do with your life? Why isn’t it done by now? What can you change today to move you in the right direction? Are you even pointed in the right direction? Is the day ahead going to be filled with joy and potential and stimulation and writing? Is it just another Tuesday on a treadmill to nowhere?

Are you taking care of yourself and pushing your goals forward?

If not, why not?

When did you decide to settle for less?

What made you think that was okay?

What will you do now that you’ve read this?

Your mind can be a sharp tool. Use it now, because your heart is a bomb.

The clock is ticking.

EXERCISE:

READ THE RANT AGAIN. THIS TIME MAKE IT PERSONAL. WHERE YOU SEE YOU, READ I.

EXAMPLE: IF I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WRITE, AM I MAKING TIME TO WRITE?

NOW READ IT ALOUD. AGAIN. YOU’LL GET YOUR ANSWERS.

YOU WON’T LIKE ALL OF THEM.

THE ANSWERS YOU LIKE LEAST ARE MOST TRUE.

Filed under: authors, Books, DIY, ebooks, getting it done, links, publishing, Rant, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses

  1. Ouch.. that’s gonna leave a mark!

  2. Chazz says:

    LOL! Good! That’s some bitter medicine right there. It applies to me, too!

  3. AWESOME POST! I LOVE THIS ONE! As little as a year ago, this post would have been painful to read but now I’ve made the time for the things I want in my life and it’s made a huge difference. There’s a saying that goes “everything you want in life also wants you” but you’ve got to take the steps to get it. You can’t even take those steps if you don’t ask these honest questions. Thank you for this post!

  4. Chazz says:

    Thanks, Rebecca. As tough as this post is for many (most?) it’s good to hear that the same list can also make people feel good about where they are on they’re personal story arc.

    I do hope a lot of people pick this one up. This is one of those posts I feel justifies this blog’s existence. (Of course, you never know what people will pick up and broadcast.)

    Also, thanks for reading! (And writing!)

  5. I have a related post up on the Potato Chip Math blog. Thanks for posting this. I am pushing my goals forward – I just needed to take stock of what was most important to accomplish, and find a way to do more with everything else. Feels like for the first time in a while I’m WINNING!

    Your post may have burnt with the intensity of a 1000 suns, but I like the heat, and who doesn’t like a good tan?

  6. Chazz says:

    So glad to hear, Andrew. I’m really fond of this post because it made me uncomfortable. I’ve been going through some changes that started last year and continue, but not fast enough for my liking. Since I’m not The Highlander, I better keep pushing.

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