Keep Writing. Yes, I Mean You!

I went to bed late on Wednesday night absolutely sure that I had no business writing a second book. I had spent hours organizing material, editing, and writing. Check out the photo of my meditation room gone wild with paper.

I re-read my first chapter before bedtime, and…well, excuse my language but…

Everything I wrote sucked.

On Thursday I woke up with a vicious headache, likely the result of being cramped over my laptop writing for so many hours and dreaming about really bad books. But I got up, took the dogs out, made my green smoothie, and honoured my commitment to myself and to the book. I trudged upstairs to my computer, cringing all the way.

Well, let me tell you. I read the first chapter again. It is actually not bad. In fact, I’d wager it is quite good.

Everything worth doing is a risk. Writing this book is both risky and important. How do I know? Because the resistance is so very strong. Those voices that grow louder as they challenge me and tell me that my writing is bad when I know better. After all, you’re reading this post 🙂

Resistance may appear as thoughts that you are too stupid or not educated enough to do that. Or asking yourself what will people think. Maybe resistance sends you shopping or off to play video games. Or your children or parents or spouse may need you so you couldn’t possibly carve out an hour for yourself by getting up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later. (You may want to read my post Resistance Really is Futile with wisdom from Steven Pressfield).

You are dreaming your dream for a reason.

Keep going. Yes, I mean you.

What is your next step? Do it this week. And tell me about it in the comments section.

Gotta go. My book is calling.

21 Comments

  1. Charlotte Henley Babb on February 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    My second book is calling as well. I’m reading the Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus, and it’s gratifying to see that the conflicts I’ve set up for my characters are the stuff of the comedy I want to write.

    There are issues with my agent and other issues to be resolved, and that takes energy away from finding the funny story of my intrepid heroine.

    It does help to get a second opinion before you start re-writing. It helps to get the whole draft done first.

  2. Bonnie Gean on February 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I think all writers possess an inner resistance… I call mine “hopeless” because that’s how I feel when I sit down to prepare a passage.

    Though, I know I’m a great writer when I can sit down to read something I’ve written – weeks after I’ve written it, and I can say to myself… Wow, did I really write that?

    That’s intense! LOL

    Your room looks a lot like my desk. 🙂

  3. K'Lee Banks on February 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Are we twins? 🙂 I can SO relate to what you posted! From having the dream to pursuing it to the self-doubt and ensuing headache from too much time on the laptop!

    I also have a dream to write my second book – I wrote my first one last year in about two weeks, as it was an idea that came to me either in a dream or upon waking, to write a tribute to my Dad (who passed away in 2002) and fatherhood in general, in time for Father’s Day 2012.

    This second one is about a traumatic personal event that took place back in March 1985 – so yes, I want to finish the book I started to have ready to sell NEXT month!

    Thanks for the incentive to get going and keep going! ~~K’Lee

  4. Aimee on February 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I just pushed through something similar, which was posting my first video blog. I resisted for so long and finally just made myself do it. I’m not quite there where I can’t wait to make the next, but I know it will be a lot easier.

  5. Sherie on February 5, 2013 at 1:03 am

    I needed to read this post, today! Yes, I can relate. Your photo with all of your papers laid out looks very familiar…lol…we can be our own worst critics and that resistance is real. Great post!

  6. You had me giggling for a minute… that has happened to me too. Totally sucked… but in the morning, I got inspired and totally rocked that article. 🙂

  7. Gorana on February 5, 2013 at 5:19 am

    So inspirational. I need to edit a first draft back to my editor this week. I never saw myself as a writer and in fact I prefer to give a speech to a large group then write. But once I get started I actually like it. Great article. Thank you.

  8. Meryl Hershey Beck on February 5, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I wish you well with your second book. I am not ready to go there, yet, though I have thought about it. Guess I am too excited and involved in some new projects to think about the second book, though I do have some ideas for some very short e-books that I might start working on!

  9. Carolyn Hughes on February 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Your post made me smile! I could relate so much to this – and I love that you just keep going!

  10. Moira Hutchison on February 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    All the best for your second book – it will be awesome I’m sure!! I love Steven Pressfields wisdom about resistance. Good to remember to feel the resistance and then move forward anyway!

  11. Marie Leslie on February 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Well, there is definitely a book or two in here somewhere, but I’ll get to that when it’s time. For now, it’s getting started and completing the first two units of my real estate course.

  12. Lisa Birnesser on February 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I am such a Pressfield fan. It’s amazing how resistance can show up in so many ways. Good for you for pushing through the barrier!

  13. Liz Bigger on February 6, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I must get back to what I do…I have taken some detours and had some fun, but I need to get back down to business (longarm quilting)…

  14. Cathy Taughinbaugh on February 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Great post. I’m writing another book right now and can feel the resistance at times. Thanks for your great post!

  15. Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com on February 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Great post and just what I needed to read, now, as I’m working on another book that’s had me a bit stuck. And, yet, I love everything about the book writing process – so this is what I needed to read to put it where it belongs – a priority. Thank you!

  16. Carl Mason-Liebenberg on February 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Been there, done that…gotta keep going! 🙂

  17. Helena Bowers on February 10, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    My theory is that all writers have an inner perfectionist that thinks nothing is good enough. The resistance comes because when it is good enough, we have to let it go and share it with the rest of the world. I’m so glad you got through it because I’m really looking forward to reading your book!

  18. Anita on February 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I love this line “Everything worth doing is a risk.”….Right now in my life and business I am taking huge risks and there are more to come. I am scared but doing it anyway! Great insight, thanks Catherine!

  19. elizabeth maness on February 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Catherine, I hate to write. I am always struggling to get things looking nice! Thank you for telling this story!

  20. Corinne Rodrigues on February 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    This is just what I needed to read today, Catherine. Resistance is what is keeping me from getting my first book off the ground. You are an inspiration!

  21. Pat Moon on February 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    The timing for me reading this article is good for me. In the past several months I have had to back off being quite as aggressive about working on my blog and promoting it.. several reasons/excuses.. the most recent is that we found out in Dec that my husband’s heart is not as well as we thought. More on that at another time. So, yes, I do need to be more available to support him which does take time but I do not want to totally let my blog go as staying active is a good outlet for me. So ‘thank you’ for your encouragement to keep going even if it is at a different pace.

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