Full confession here:
I’m not a person who procrastinates although a lot of my writing friends and writing students do. I started wondering about that.
Why Don’t I Procrastinate?
Then I realized I don’t procrastinate because I’m really lucky and every day I remember just how lucky I am to get to be in a world of words, a world where I get to create story and help other people create stories.
I’m lucky because I chose my dream. My dream is to create things, words, images, story, art, anything, everything. I want to communicate. I want to hear other people and be heard.
So, when I wake up in the morning, I don’t think, “Ugh. This is horrible and I don’t want to work.”
I think the opposite. My brain goes, “Yes! I get to write today. I get to help other writers today. How freaking awesome is that? Holy poop, I’m lucky. Please let me stay lucky.”
Tangent: Since I am from New England, I always expect my luck to vanish. But I also grew up Portuguese so I expect spilling wine on the table with make luck and happiness return for the entire house.
Why Don’t We go After Our dreams?
Here’s the thing, sometimes (gasp) writers are afraid to go after their dreams, think they don’t deserve to go after their dreams or even – writing isn’t actually their dream.
Inner Critic Problems
When we are afraid to go after our dreams or make the time for them, it’s often because we don’t think we deserve that dream. We hear our inner critic telling us stories that we believe even though they are horrifyingly wrong. The critic tells us our writing is a waste of time or that we’re selfish to write or not worthy or not what a writer is supposed to be like.
Fear of Change
Sometimes, we are afraid to go after our dream because we are afraid of success. Success means that your life will change. It means that you won’t be the person who wants to write. You will be the person who writes. And change? Change can be scary.
It’s the Wrong Dream
Sometimes, we procrastinate about writing because writing might not actually be what we want to do. It’s what we believe we want. It’s what we were told we were good at maybe? But it’s not actually what we want to be doing.
Find your motivation, find your dream
There’s a thing called a motivation-question list. And those questions can really help us discern what it is we want from life.
ask yourself three key questions:
- What is my most amazing goal possible? My dream.
- If I get that dream goal, then what will my prize be?
- What happens if I don’t try for that dream goal?
Where I Get Stuck
So, for me? I get stuck at number 1 a lot. My dream goal would be to help people become their best selves and kinder to one another via communication somehow.
If I get that dream goal, then I would have the knowledge that I made a positive difference in the world.
If I don’t try, then nothing happens. Everyone is just the same. It’s not an end-of-the-world outcome, but it’s not a positive outcome.
Too Many Dreams?
Somethings I get hung up because I have a lot of dreams. There’s also this one, which is much more specific.
- I would like to be Anthony Bourdain but female and with an easier internal mental health life.
- I would get to explore the world and collect people’s stories and share and celebrate them with others, learning and growing all together.
- I will be here in Bar Harbor Maine and lonely.
What are yours? What do you want? What Is Your Motivation?
The first step is determining your dream, why you have it, what you’re motivated by?
Here are a couple of resources to help you get motivated.
Zen Habits Motivation Tips from Leo Babauta
If that one isn’t doing it for you, maybe try this one by J.D. Meier in Time, which talks about connecting to your values, finding your why, and more.
You’ve got this. One step at a time towards your dreams. Choose courage, okay?
COOL CONTEST OF SPOOKY AWESOMENESS!
Um. MacMillan is having a super cool sweepstakes where you can win the book I wrote with Steve (IN THE WOODS) and four other scary books.
Go enter! Go win! I’m rooting for you!
IN THE PAPER, BABY
LEARN WITH ME AT THE WRITING BARN!
The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here!
“Carrie’s feedback is specific, insightful and extremely helpful. She is truly invested in helping each of us move forward to make our manuscripts the best they can be.”
“Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching.”
IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
PATREON OF AWESOME
Get exclusive content, early podcasts, videos, art and listen (or read) never-to-be-officially published writings of Carrie on her Patreon. Levels go from $1 to $100 (That one includes writing coaching and editing for you wealthy peeps).
WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.