What Keeps You From Writing?

Writer's Block

Today we have a simple question that will likely draw many different answers from different people.

What prevents you from sitting down and writing?

What’s stopping that great blog post, killer landing page, compelling white paper or even bestselling book from pouring out of your mind and onto virtual paper?

Don’t be shy, step up and have your say.

About the author: Michael Stelzner struggles to write daily posts at his blog Writing White Papers.

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  1. Getting caught up over the not-important things of life – and then losing focus.

    Happens a lot. Fights about all the little things that don’t mean much. Don’t fight. Write.

  2. Like most things for me, if I don’t do something I can’t fail at it. However, once I finally stop procrastinating and get on with it I find its not the failure quagmire I had envisioned. Also, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I can’t stand not being able to do something right the first time or it taking more time than I’d estimated.

  3. Fear & more fear. I’m afraid I’ll write something really stupid that will make people’s eyes bleed. I’m going to say things that have been said before. I fear this yet know I have a semi-unique take on lots of things that others would be glad to read…

  4. Time, Time, Time, and the setting of the idea. I get too many ideas at the one time and not enough time to write them all down, the a bug lands on my monitor and BLAM! there’s another idea.

  5. Too little time. There is so much to write about. There is so much to say. And quality takes time. So there you are standing for a forest of ideas and possibilities, scratching the back of your head with your pen. Choosing is losing time.

    So this writer is always in a hurry. Because there is more to be done. I could write more. But there are only so many minutes. And the beach also has it’s attractions :)

  6. Even though most of my personal blogging is simply my commentary, sometimes I find it hard to come up with new things to write about every day. Other times it’s a time constraint – writing a brief daily blog post takes more time than I’d like.

  7. A combination of procrastination and insecurity. Like Dave mentioned above, I don’t like the idea that what I write won’t be perfect out of the gate, so I often think I have to have every detail worked out in my head before putting anything down. Naturally, once I actually do start writing, all the waiting seems like a waste of time.

  8. I think my biggest obstacle is finding a topic to write about where I can offer a unique viewpoint. My posts ideally are different; I don’t want to summarize some news story unless I can bring something completely new to the table. I like to be creative, but that is often a struggle.

  9. I have no trouble writing oodles of blogs and so many people keep on saying to me, “You should write a book”. But I can’t get my head round it.

    The thought of it absolutely terrifies me. Why? I’ve so many stories. Why can’t I sit down and write the feature length version?

    Is the immediacy of blogging too addictive to let it go for the long term, no guaranteed return of the novel (and I mean readers, not necessarily just financial return, as I already write commercial copy for a living)?

    Oh dear, I have just appeared to answer a question with a few other questions…

  10. Time and also motivation… I sit down and try to finish an article, but then I start editing what I already have and by the time I feel that is perfect, I’ve lost the creative ideas and motivation to move forward with the rest of the article. This way I’m always stuck where I begun.

  11. Time, or lack thereof, prevents me from sitting down and writing. If blogging was the only thing I did on a full time basis, I could write so much more!
    Even when I do sit down and write – about Health and Medicine – it takes a good deal of time. Time to research, time to compose and time to edit. Not to mention the fact that I’m a perfectionist, time clearly is my worst enemy …

  12. Fear. Fear that I’ll find it hard. Fear that I won’t do my best work. Fear that I’ll do my best work and my readers won’t like it.

    Above all: fear that I’m just kidding myself and that I can’t really write at all.

  13. For me it’s maintaining focus. I start writing on a topic, and either I get interrupted, or my train of thought takes a spur to the station and I never get it back. I have ideas, but often when I try to flesh them out I don’t get more than a paragraph or two into it and it falls apart.
    Sounds to me like I need practice!

  14. Time is a big part of it, but probably my personality type is the second biggest element. It’s the “P” in my INFP Myers Briggs type that throws me, because Perceivers’ brains automatically want to unpack and expand ALL the possibilities.

    If I get an idea, I immediately start thinking “Ooooo, this would make a great blog post… or maybe an article… or maybe if I fictionalized it, it’d be a great screenplay…maybe novel…could I get a whole self-help book out of this?…”

    I find that sometimes I have to spend a certain amount of time writing about the idea, before I can settle on a format or channel and start actually writing the prose.

  15. The biggest factor holding me back is, well, I’m just not that good of a writer. I think I have a lot to say, I have ideas for content, but my writing skill just doesn’t seem to hold water vs. a lot of what I read in many of my favorite blogs (like this one). While I may be good enough to get by, I don’t want to be “just another blogger” and look to improve my writing skills so that I can more effectively communicate my ideas in writing vs. verbally.

  16. CSS Coding and Design Comps!

    Code tinkering and design work is addictive and steals a lot of time away from my writing.

    The writing and content creation and blogging impacts my success more than visual tweaks and decoration…

  17. My daughter. She is both, challenging and lovely, so I tend to spend a lot of time with her.

    Worth every second, of course :-)

  18. Often when I have a “great” idea for blog post.. after writing a paragraph I suddenly realise I have no way of completing it for different reasons e.g.

    > I feel my point isn’t unique/valid enough
    > I don’t have enough to say on the point
    > I lose interest in the point I was making

    The longer I go without making a blog post, the worse I feel and seeing the date of the last post on my homepage is currently a month and a half ago really bugs me. (Memo to self – must remove dates from blog posts)

  19. I want to go out and enjoy life. I work in front of a computer for 9 hours a day. Sometimes I would rather spend my evenings and weekends hiking, mountain biking, doing yoga or hanging our with friends, rather than putting in long hours crafting content.

  20. Mainly fear that I can’t express what I want to express with the right words, fear of misusing words. Fear of getting wrapped up with HOW I say certain things instead of WHAT I want to say.

    Writing for me is a two-man project: the writer as well as the critic in me.

  21. This is going to sound overly simplistic but I usually don’t write when I think I don’t have something to write about but I have been learning more and more that if you just start writing more often than not things will start pouring into you.

  22. For me, it’s a matter of getting the time to write. Between working full time and spending time with my family, my (distraction-free) time at the keyboard is not much.

    More and more, I find myself thinking a piece of writing through as much as I can before I sit down. Then I spit it out and come back to it later for editing. It’s not my ideal situation, but it’s the best I can work with while balancing life’s other commitments.

  23. What keeps me from writing. Writer block. I can stare at a page and nothing comes out. I beginning to think that I have used up my quote of creative words.

  24. I believe you can’t rush things. When the inspiration comes, the writing naturally flows. But of course, that’s just me…

  25. You people need to get out of my head! Lack of time, fear, procrastination, perfectionism…..all things I have a problem with. As with every other obstacle (real or imagined) in my life, it seems I am not alone in this. Maybe I should write about it…..

  26. A lot of people are saying “time”. For me it’s family obligations. I choose how I use my time. It remains a challenge to find uninterrupted time.

  27. Sometimes, I want or, better yet, need to write about a subject on my blog and my emotions are just too confusing at the time for the words to come. I have to wait for the emotions to sort themselves out before I can get the words to come. Mine is a personal blog about my spiritual journey through life.

  28. thinking i have already made enough money..

  29. The fear of not doing it perfectly. If I have a suspicion that it might not come out as perfectly as I would like, I’d rather not write it at all. Sadly, this is why I never kept baby books for my children, and I regret it.

  30. Coming up with a compelling message that the readers will read. I try to write to share knowledge and add benefit. If no one reads my blog entries or articles, then what is the purpose.

  31. Time, lack of motivation. Procrastination. Sometimes if I have a big drop in readers/subscribers, I get discouraged. I guess I should look at this as a challenge to write better, and rise above it. It’s all about attitude!

  32. Gadiel Rivera :

    Having a unique point of view is what mostly keeps me from writing, is not easy to have a completely unique point of view after looking at so many different blogs and news sites all day.

  33. I often feel that I lack time to blog. Certainly moving house and building up a successful business have taken away a lot of my spare, blogging time. But I think (at least in my case) it masks something a bit more practical. I’m increasingly convinced that an inability to concentrate is the problem with my own productivity. I spend a lot of time doing stuff all day but the feeling of having too many tasks and getting too many interruptions means that I rarely spend more than ten minutes on any single tasks. It’s like driving a Ferrari from traffic light to traffic light – I never get a chance to pick up speed and really operate at my full potential. I’m thinking hard about what stops that but I don’t have all the answers yet.

  34. I would have to say discipline, or lack thereof. But this, I have found, is a learned trait. No one was born disciplined, so everyone else had to learn it as they go too!

  35. Getting the feeling that no one actually reads anything I write… I’m sure, and I keep hearing, that getting more good content is the best way to ensure traffic in the future but it seems to be taking a long while…

  36. Inspiration. Or rather the lack of inspiration. I want to keep a steady pace in my blogging, but I’m having trouble finding something new to write every day. Instead of just writing something pointless, I don’t write at all.

  37. Hi Mike,

    Nice to see your typeface here for a change. What keeps me from writing? My girlfriend dropping all my pencils so they end up like your post image.

  38. Like many others, time, lack of confidence in myself and fear that I might give out incorrect information. Even though I have a BA in English from a top university I always doubt my writing skills. When I am REALLY passionate about my topic the words pour out but if I have any doubts I can struggle for hours and never be satisfied!

  39. Because I’m trying to write a novel and all I can come up with are short stories that don’t connect to each other. Because I have two kids who want me to do stuff like read to them, cook for them, take them to the park…they’re so demanding!
    http://momo-fali.blogspot.com

  40. All of the other stuff that I have to do in order to get people to read the stuff I write!

  41. Hey David!

    Come on now, I know you don’t use pencils to write do you ??

    Mike

  42. Respect for verse
    Becomes a curse
    With written words delayed
    By doubt much overstayed…
    A blank piece of paper looks back at me.

    Spontaneous expressions
    And subconscious dimensions
    Yield written words displayed
    With doubts tucked nicely away…
    A poetic masterpiece looks back at me.

  43. Email, lack of a door at work (not complaining, just noting), kids — they all lead to lack of focus. For some reason I need to tune it all out to make it work best.

    I would have died in a newsroom I suspect. Lately hitting the coffeehouse and turning on my iPod works best. Perhaps caffeine is part of the formula then?

    Otherwise, procrasination…plain and simple.

  44. Time time time time time time time time time time.

    And that is the problem because I’m so egotistical I’m not good at saying, “No.”

    But I’m getting better.

  45. I think my book and graphic novel ideas are so big, so grandiose, that starting that first page of a story seems so daunting, so big and so scary. Then, I just say to myself, “Oh well, just put a couple paragraphs up on your blog and you’ll get to the story tomorrow.”

  46. Time. Pure and simple.

    I have all these great ideas in my head for articles. Everytime I sit down to write, something comes up. Kids want to play, chores, so tired can’t keep my eyes open, etc. Not enough time in the day…

  47. I once heard Seth Godin say…

    “Writers block is fear of writing something that isn’t perfect – perfect is the enemy of good – if you can be good frequently then on a regular basis you will be amazing.”

    I have this taped to my screen and read it everytime I look despondantly at a white screen. It has helped me readjust my attitude on several occasions.

  48. Too many ideas prevent me from writing.

    I come up with the next great thing to talk about all the time while I should be actually researching and writing.

  49. Too many things and not enough motivation sometimes keep me away from writing. Getting caught up with not important things in life.

  50. Working as a copywriter and content strategist for the last ten years, I’ve been pulverized by our clients. Can’t let fear of failure get in the way, nor do I have the luxury of ego.

    Just let go. It’ll feel like your privates are in your throat for a while, but it’s better than standing there looking over the edge.

    Perfect writing is the easiest way to make sure no one will ever read your work. I wasted *wasted* 15 years waiting for perfection. Don’t make the mistake I made. It’s like building a house. You don’t put the roof up before the walls. Wow, what an awful analogy.

  51. It seems like such a big job, that I don’t want to start it. So I answer email, comment on blogs, and keep generally busy. This is especially true about writing my book.

  52. Work basically.

    I have phases when I compose text I am pleased with but often the micro-blogging is just garbage. Takes time to pen something with depth, for me at least.

  53. clients

  54. What a great discussion topic! My own issue with writing anything is pure distraction and procrastination. I know myself as a writer, so I know that when I get the juices flowing I can bang out a blog post (or back in my college days, a term paper) in about 2 seconds. Knowing this about myself feeds my desire to just read other blogs or work on other stuff, or check the Red Sox score….anything but actually begin!!

  55. For me, it’s pure laziness. There’s always something else I have to do. But I’ve come a long way in the last few years. Nowadays, I’m writing posts for my blog on a regular basis. It’s my fiction writing that really needs a good kick in the bum.

    Great discussion, by the way!

  56. Laziness and fear are the biggest culprits. When I have other things I want to do or I’m getting self-conscious about my site, I just can’t make the words go together.

    I’ll procrastinate around the writing in other tabs, browsing reddit and stuff. Checking my stats and email every 5 minutes, anything to avoid writing.

    Once I get going, it’s not that bad but the mental block feels impossible to overcome at the time.

    I’m better than I used to be, but I’ve got a long way to go.

  57. Blogging. ;-)

  58. “What prevents you from sitting down and writing?”

    Not reading.

  59. Email, traffic stat obsessing, reading blogs and following their links endlessly, sleeping, eating all that fun stuff!

  60. I look at my past successful post that were hugely popular, then I get this sick feeling in my stomach when I try to write, with the constant worry that I won’t be able to write like that again.

  61. The longer the commitment, the more I put it off. I’m happy to write a blog post every day, sometimes even a fairly lengthy one. But when I have to write my article for my monthly newsletter, I procrastinate more. Now that I’ve started a book, I can see the procrastination growing every day. The light at the end of the tunnel is SO far in the distance!

  62. No guarantee of money.

  63. Ahh, that’s an easy question to answer.

    1. Golf
    2. Reading Blogs
    3. Forums

  64. Things that keep me from blogging… too many to list, but the biggest one is nothing to write about or not being able to find things that are interesting. Also it is hard to find time to sit there.

    Then lastly… it is the intimidation of the blank post box or word processors…

  65. Thanks to all who have left comments so far….I’ve just read Michael’s post so am coming in on the topic late in the day, but after reading the comments I feel that I’m not so alone in the reasons that hold me back sometimes!

    Mainly for me it’s perfectionism, which boils down to fear…I push through it and write anyway, but I could be much more productive if I didn’t hold myself back at all.

    Thanks everyone for your input!!

  66. Honestly, I’d rather blog than actually get down and write out the content of my site. It’s just more fun.

  67. I wish I was more original, but FEAR is always what stops or slows up my writing. Fear that what I’m going to say has been said before by hundreds or thousands of more eloquent writers. Fear that I’m not qualified to spout out my opinion for all the world to see. Fear that I will give my best to a creative project and it will still turn out to be a miserable failure, and I will have to face the fact that I am therefore a miserable failure.

    The funny thing is I find it easy to write copy for my clients. When I procrastinate for work it’s for entirely different reasons – the main one being laziness. Writing my novel or posts for my new blog, however, have a tendency to be outright torture.

  68. I’m feeling good just reading the comments of other bloggers- i’m not THE ONLY ONE to procrastinate and find excuses for not writing! I’ve tried everything from giving myself deadlines/rewards/flak- nothing works. In the end there are just days when my pen flows followed by weeks of inactivity and laziness. Help!

  69. Paid work, laziness, and more important things like spending time with my kids.

  70. I love discussions and I love arguments.
    I love to be involved in the conversation and I love other people to be involved too.
    I personally do not like too much people who 100% agree with me.
    That means just one answer: Thanks. Period.

    I like when somebody is provocative, when he has something different to say.
    I like to fight, with words of course.
    I feel like I always have something to learn.
    Especially from the people who do not think as I do.
    And I like to say: probably you are right, seeing from your point of view, yes it looks different.
    Because that is the moment I learn something.
    It is discussing and reading and commenting and understanding that your mind gets wider.
    And in this the Internet is fabulous.
    Because you meet if not everybody at least most of them.
    The Pleasants and the Unpleasants.
    And it is from a defeat that you learn, not winning.
    Also with words.

  71. The tumor of ambition bled in Macbeth’s mind, wishing him unceasingly to be the king of Scotland, to realize the witches prediction; and as the tumor burst, it made him murder Duncan and proclaim himself the king of Scotland.

    That’s from something I read about brevity. I think they had missed the most important part, the ambition, which gave sense to rest of the paragraph. I think!

    Write back to me if u like my writing. I will really appreciate it.

  72. I don’t consider myself a very good writer even though I know I have improved in the last year or so. Quite often I will think of something good to write and then my mind will wander and I just don’t write it. Or I am intimidated by the amount of writing I need to do on a personal project.

  73. Wow. A lot is Written here… :)

  74. I think time management. I waste a lot of time on unimportant stuff when I could focus in on writing. Sometimes I think that I don’t have enough time to write what I want to write so I don’t even start.

  75. “Fear that I’m not qualified to spout out my opinion for all the world to see.”

    I’m borrowing that answer from Kelly. That’s what my problem is and I didn’t even feel qualified enough to express it on my own — so I borrowed hers.

    :)

  76. It’s like sitting on the beach (which I love to do) or thinking about it (because I’m not there) and counting grains of sand (not something I’ve ever tried – so much for bad analogies) – where do you start? So much….that beginning is really all you can do!

    It’s like that commercial (for a popular fitness drink with the “Pressure” soundtrack) – “strange Transformer like creature running down a metro street….desks, office gear, voices…” – you get the picture. The more he/she runs the more stuff falls off until it’s just him/her – unemcumbered by everything pressing in.
    It’s about starting – “running”. Like this “post” only about the second one I’ve ever made.
    Gotta “run” more (action).

  77. I know…I know – the use and spelling of the word “unemcumbered” in my previous post is incorrect! Just caught it.

    Another fear by the way – of saying or writing something incorrectly and appearing unprofessional. I do realize “blogging” is a bit more informal (though no excuse for lazy copy, nonetheless).

    Here’s to “unrestrained” (how’s that) writing!

  78. It’s quite the strangest thing… so I got the agent, got the publishing deal and all of a sudden the words dried up. Almost as if my brain said Hey! Well done you..job done! When of course the job is only just beginning… now I have something to prove and my entire brain is paralysed by one of two things: total arrogance or absolute, all compeling fear….

  79. I didn’t get to read this until now. Just last night I was talking with a friend and said “I wonder what keeps me from just doing this (writing an autobiography) already”… Perhaps what I consider insurmountable is that’s it’s about me and ultimately, I know the story isn’t quite finished yet?? I’m not exactly sure. Yes, there’s always a lack of time/inspiration but even I don’t buy that so….

    (After 15 minutes of internal deliberation) Anyway, thanks for forcing me to really give this some deeper thought and clearly, much needed attention!

  80. Facebook.

  81. I think by the volume of the responses, this is obviously something everyone can relate to. Fear and perfectionism are my main hindrances. Before I even start to write, I can already hear the voices objecting to what I’m about to say or finding something to criticize.

    Another thing I would say is failure to research thoroughly enough ahead of time — I suppose this boils down to the same thing that someone else said much more briefly: “not reading enough.” When I don’t really feel like I know what I’m talking about, it’s a lot harder to write.

  82. For those who are interested, I used Michael’s initial question in this blog to spin a new post on my own blog, Tapping Creativity. My post deals specifically with the issue of fear, and ways to get around fear to get writing again.

    Thanks everybody who has posted answers here. It’s always reassuring to know that our own hangups do not exist in a vacuum.

  83. Fear. Fear that people will think what I have to say is stupid because I’m too young to know anything about anything.

    Also I have a hard time creating my own focus. When given a topic to write about, I do very well and I practically drown in the words that just spill out of my fingers and on to the screen.

    Defining my own topic & direction though? I struggle with that on so many levels for so many reasons… mostly I get in my own way.

    I miss being a teenager… I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with all my thoughts and ideas and everything I wanted to say about everything… :)

  84. As with most others it’s fear that keeps me from posting more. Fear that some asshat will “call” me out on it…It makes me research a lot more which is good…The intarweb makes some people forgot common sense and civility..

  85. Reason #2: sometimes I struggle over “just the right way to say/write something” and it almost paralyzes me to the point of not writing it.

    Reason #1: Laziness

  86. The Sopranos, Big Love, and Andy Griffith reruns. Oh yeah, don’t forget ice cream.

  87. More on my reaction post at JasonFalls.com, but life gets in the way sometimes. For me, “life” is more aptly described as my insatiable ability to spearhead more projects that I really should take time for. With all my agressive website projects I spearhead in order to have a place to write, plus father, husband, employee, homeowner responsibilities and so on … who has time?

    I do. For my personal writing, I budget two hours a day — 30 minutes to blog, the other to work on my hobby (fiction-ish tales) or other things I need to be writing. Of course, I also block out requisite time at work if the project calls for it.

    It’s like exercise. You just have to commit yourself to it and stick to it.

  88. Over the past 20 years I have made a decent living from writing and reporting. Yet it seems to me that I have spent most of that time procrastinating, not writing, letting time slip by. I have come to accept as my lot the daily laziness, feelings of inadequacy (even illiteracy), fears of ridicule. I know well the conviction that I am shallow and my writing is trivial. I am familiar with the loathing for what I have published, and the dread of having to do it again.
    I realise now that these will always be with me. But I also have the record of a lot of work somehow actually done; the press cuttings, the modest name recognition, the published items, the decent few bucks in the bank. Surprisingly too, there is the respect of family and friends – of people who confound me by thinking I am hard working, talented, well informed, outspoken, even readable.
    Most of you posting here cite time, laziness, procrastination, inadequacy, stupidity, writer’s block as things that stop you writing. All I can tell you, is they will never go away. But I can also tell you that I can never stop writing – and it took me 23 years to write my first article and another seven to dare write a second.
    If I could do it all again, I would do it faster – maybe not better – but I would do it, and I have loved it. If you have to write, you will write, and you will find it immensely satisfying, despite all your huge inadequacies and fears and lack of time and space.
    If you don’t have to – you are better off doing something else anyway.
    And you will be pleased to know that I have put off starting a paid feature article until tomorrow in favor of wasting time writing this. That leaves me only the three hours before deadline in which to do it (although they gave me a good three weeks) and my mind is blank, and I feel guilty. But these are old friends now, and it will get done, and it will be OK, and I will get paid – but it’s also likely that I’ll put off writing the ten-word invoice for that until they remind me in a month’s time.

  89. Alain, it wasn’t a waste of time. Thanks for teaching us acceptance. That alone is a great lesson. So what if we have all of those excuses not to write. If you are like me and writing is a need, as Alain was politely saying, get over yourself and just write. Thanks, Alain.

  90. Alain – Excellent insight! Thanks! – Mike

  91. Have you seen the article about Outsourcing Your Life by A. J. Jacobs on Tim Ferriss’ site? http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ferriss-book-outsourcing.htm)

    It’s a riot and a great example of tell a story and make an impression.

  92. I post once a week to my blog, plus I regularly make comments on sites that interest me. That way I have plenty of things to think about, have daily practice learning to put my thoughts down concisely and have a great time doing it. The agonies of creation are a waste of time in my book.

  93. facts. and point of view.

    gathering reliable facts, then choosing a point of view.

    writing is committing, sometimes i like the coexistence of various seemingly contradictory ideas

  94. Guilt, Originality, Investment

    As I string my jumbled thoughts into sentences my mind battles hindering thoughts which ultimately reflect and influence my voice – one clouds me in guilt – I’m not a great writer. Some days I may be good or decent, but I’m not great nor will I be great – being great can’t be learned by one who isn’t. I believe to be great you must possess an inherent talent bestowed during the big-bang, somewhere in one’s concocted genome it waits for discovery and yearns to be honed. This in turn affects confidence in my writing ability and traps me in a cocoon of despair. There are plenty of good writers, why bother if satisfaction remains elusive?

    The other major deterrent I face is originality, having a fresh frequent perspective in my niche is difficult, a lot of the important more interesting areas to delve into have been explored, time again. I notice more and more regurgitation of trite news blurbs than original thought provoking content amongst peers. I don’t see this as some great opportunity to strike and to become a leader of the pack; it’s quite discouraging, I’m struggling to remain interested in my niche as both student and teacher. I should find a new niche for inspiration, but I’m afraid of investing the time (a lot when taken seriously) and I’m not enthusiastic in writing about topics I don’t feel qualified in, not very many.

  95. The difficulty of treading the line between being opinionated and being too provocative in a relatively small community. It’s easier to write if the market is big enough, but if you run the risk of offending potentially useful contacts or networkers in an insular professional/business/reader environment… can be a difficult call!

  96. Posts like these.

  97. Part of my issue is time management. There are so many ideas I have to write about and when I sit down to do the writing, the ideas from even my note taking are not bringing the great content back.
    Trying to be disciplined and keep better notes has helped only a little. Most of the best of my thoughts on the subject seems already to have fleeted.

    My solution has been to write the draft and save as a draft to be completed when inspiration returns to me the content I either forgot or failed to record.

    I now have too many drafts posts that are not complete, and I have become too selective about finishing them. Any ideas?

  98. What stops me from writing is my taste for the devils weed. And that is really frustrating because ideas come fast and furious while stoned so that even if I was not toking I would never have time to write them all up.

  99. wanting it to be meaningful, perfectly readable (now, i hv questioned myself, how will “I” come to know THAT?), and a piece that completely reveals all that is inside me (even bible fails at this… still…)…
    :-)

  100. 60-hour-a-week job is making it hard to get my writing (and thus writing-related-income) going to the point where i can cut back my hours. Ideas come and they get stale by the time i get a moment to jot them down. If I didn’t work in a cube farm, i could use a voice recorder to get them to stay put long enough to use them…

    And all the other stuff folks have listed.. fear, perfectionism, getting distracted too easily…

  101. Sitting down is the easy part…If I don’t have a title first, nothing follows.

  102. The gods of distraction bring peril to the muse. The God of creation brings empowerment and joy to writers who draft, edit, and commit to print.

    Every event, person, and element works against me when writing. My calendar tasks remind me to write daily, and look, I just did!

  103. I have the fear of not projecting my thoughts correctly.Also my writings skills needs some work.I have a lot to offer in my industry,but I just can’t get the words to match my thoughts.

    Sparky

  104. “It won’t work”. A stupid thought I’ve somehow planted
    down deep in my subconscious mind ever since
    my divorce in 2002. “It won’t work”.
    I NEVER thought like that before. Must fight thru it.
    Seven years is enough.

  105. I get distracted by my ‘yearning’ to do washing, the dishes, the ironing, and other domestic chores. (Or product development; as a not-so-unproductive distraction)

    I think I may need to invest in a lockable-from-the-outside door for my office.

    websitePROFITS: Profit Boosting Tips in 37 words or less!

  106. So here is the deal. I have lots of ideas, pages of ideas, but that is all they are. I cannot go from idea to story. Is is because it is a lot of work? Is is because I want to be a writer so bad that I get scare myself into thinking I cannot. Is it procrastination that prevents me from starting? Is fear of failure, or success? I think it is all of those combined. How many times have I heard “just write…” and how many times have I stared at the screen or page and nothing comes out? It is very frustrating.

  107. Fear. Plain old being scared. I know that if I have to write, I have to give myself to it completely. And it is this commitment to listening to myself, that stops me every single time. Its almost as if I am scared to death of what I might unleash onto the paper/word doc file. What if it is horrible? Terrible? Bad enough to elicit loud ‘boo’s and nasty snickers from the readers? And what if it is GOOD?! In some ways that is the scariest thought of them all. Total butterflies. I often wondered how marvellous Carrie Bradshaw looked as she sat at her perfect window sill tapping away at her next intelligent, incisive yet just-the-right-amount-of-breezy article on her pink MAC, wearing a sweater vest from Versace and pearls from Chanel. So together she seemed. So much in control. Well, I am the a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e opposite of that picture. Mostly it is me sitting at my slightly greying computer table, hunched over last night’s packet of chips and tea, wearing an utterly disgusting pair of slacks and looking like a dim halibut, staring at an unforgiving computer screen. And, then there is nothing. Nope. Nada. Just like that, (my hopefully) Carrie Bradshaw moment is swallowed up by the telly and noodle soup.

  108. No one but myself!