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Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Writer’s Holding Pattern

11 Sep

I have had this song in my head since I woke up.

What’s interesting is that it seems to be my subconscious telling me that imagining wonderful sales numbers is not the same as getting things finished and actually seeing real sales numbers.


How many of us creative types do this?

We create these grand schemes in our head, follow them all the way to multinational best selling author status, but neglect to spend that hour a day actually writing. We feel safe in our imaginary world. No one is telling us we’ve used too many commas. No one critiques our work on sales sites where hundreds of people can see it. Our hopes and dreams are safe, inside our minds.

Actually getting that thing (book, invention, theory) out there would mean finishing. Finishing means having someone else see it. Having someone else see it means possible rejection. And who wants that.

Then there are the what-ifs.

What if it doesn’t sell well?

What if it isn’t good enough?

What if I’m not good enough?

What if all that time and effort was for nothing?


The more practical side of your mind is probably screaming at you most of the day. Pointing at your unfinished projects. Telling you that if you don’t finish the dratted thing then you’ll never make any money at it. If you don’t try, then you have already failed. Imaginary money doesn’t buy groceries or pay the electric bill.

You have set goals; decided on rewards for accomplishments; tried to beg and plead the creative side of yourself to get things wrapped up. Charts have been created. Schedules have been written out. Nothing has worked. All self-imposed deadlines have passed at the speed of sound and the blur of shredded self confidence as it flew by.

What are the reasons for this hesitation?

You are so close!

Why can’t you finish?


I don’t know.

If I knew I would be making money from this thing they call writing.

If I knew I would probably have all these outlines filled out and for sale on Amazon, making money from 6 romances, a couple sci-fi’s, and 3 children’s series.

Yeah. It’s all waiting. The ideas are there. The follow through is not.

What is wrong with me?


Are you stuck in this writer’s holding pattern? Circling the thing that you both love and dread?

How are you dealing with it?


Have you found a way to get out this cycle? What worked for you?

Please, if you have discovered a way to get passed this stage, share it. That tip might be the one thing one of us starving artists needs to hear.