Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Think These Thoughts When You Write

A woman with a beret lying down on a table

So you’re writing—which, if you’re me, means going down the YouTube rabbit hole for five hours—and you’re overcome by a bunch of emotions and thoughts that shouldn’t be part of the deal.

Sometimes, these thoughts discourage you from writing. Other times, they could even make you doubt your worth as a writer.

If you’re going through a similar thing right now, fret not because I have just the thing for you. Today we’re going to put these thoughts under the spotlight and help you realise that you’re not alone, and that it’s all just part of the process.

And perhaps we should start with the most common thought, which is…

My living room is looking mighty dirty

If doing the chores seem like… well… a chore to you, yet you suddenly get the desire to mop the floor when it’s time to write, then you’re in good company.

Because I’m not a particular fan of the broom or vacuum, but give me a choice between a cleaning tool or a word processor, and I’ll always opt for the former.

And yes, you might convince yourself that you’re doing good work. After all, who doesn’t want a clean house, am I right? But it’s all lies. Lies so dirty that no amount of Windex is going to clear that smudge from your scumbag brain.

So the next time you hear your broom calling out to you when it’s time to finish your chapter, just chalk it off as a siren song, and do what you promised yourself first: write.

Why am I doing this

It’s so easy to forget why we started writing, especially on a particularly tough day when our sentences don’t make any sense.

Then suddenly you get this desire to try something new. Maybe you’d fare better in singing, or painting. And maybe if you embark on that journey now, you won’t waste years of your life only to realise that you suck as a writer all along.

You know that Nietzsche quote ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how’?

That’s going to be your stopgap. This particular thought is fairly common, but it’s also quite easy to deal with. The only thing you need is time at the drawing board.

So go deep. Use that ‘ask yourself why five times’ technique if you have to. Remember to be honest though. Don’t trick yourself that you want to ‘change people’s lives through writing’ when you actually want the pride of writing a bestseller.

Write down your reasons and keep them close. And the next time you find yourself faltering to doubt, break out your ‘whys’ so you can soldier on.

This will never end

You can’t write a novel without having this thought this at least seventy-nine times through the process.

Once your motivation wanes after chapter two, you’ll essentially be left with fumes to power you through the other fifty-eight. You’ll sag through the midpoint of your novel, and in this format, everything beyond the first chapter is the middle.

Your first draft could take anywhere between a few weeks to a few years, yet it might as well feel like centuries every time you sit down to write.

And in a novel, everything is the middle until you type ‘The End’ at the end of your final paragraph.

You first draft could take you anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, and every time you sit down to write, it’ll almost feel like you’re still lightyears away from the final chapter.

Don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal. Even after completing five manuscripts, I still feel that way when embarking on a new story, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over the feeling that I’ll never finish this time.

But I always do. And so will you.

All Feelings Marathon - Dmitry Gladkikh

To use the hackneyed saying, writing’s a marathon, filled with sprints. Photo: Dmitry Gladkikh

I’ve got more important things to do

This thought particularly applies to those who don’t write for a living. Because if that were the case, you’d instead be thinking ‘I have more important things to write‘.

If you routinely feel like you’re wasting your time writing, then you’re either one of two things: you feel guilty for pursuing your hobby, or you have much more pressing life matters that you’re not addressing.

And it’s the second bit that you should be worried about. Are you neglecting your health? Your finances? Maybe you need to *cough* do the chores *cough* before you feel at ease to write?

Let’s go back to our already-established drawing board. What’s bothering you? Why can’t you write now, just for an hour? Again, be honest. Because sometimes the gift of writing is not in the actual craft, but in the realisation of what you really want in life.

I can never be [insert your favourite author here]

Whoa, there. Hold up. What’s with the negative talk?

Yes, you’re probably writing because your favourite author had changed your life through writing, and you wish to do the same for others, but comparing yourself to your idol only means setting unrealistic goals for yourself.

I know this because I wanted to be Neil Gaiman when writing my first novel. I bought the fountain pens he used, and even tried to grow the mop of hair he had.

I remember him saying this about writing: “You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”

And I remember thinking: “Easy for you to say. You’re a word sorcerer. What do I get by putting one word after another? A word salad that reeks of rotten spinach?”

But as it turned out, it really was that easy. And that hard. I managed to get traditionally published, solely based off putting one word in front of the other. Didn’t sell 45 million books like Neil Gaiman though.

So look up to your idols. Find strength in their journey. But never, ever, pressure yourself to follow in their footsteps.

A rock star crowdsurfing in a concert

Look up to others if you must, but don’t forget to see where you’re going too. Photo: Karsten Winegeart

Do I really love writing if I hate the work?

Sure, we all joke about hating the blank page. I do it all the time. How did you like my jest about preferring to vacuum over writing? Funny, right? Ha ha.

But deep inside you know there’s some truth to it. You do dread the work sometimes, to the point where you question your passion.

Yet have you come across any pursuit that doesn’t require work? Even ‘dream’ jobs like travel writing or being a professional gamer involves doing things you don’t want to do.

You think Fortnite players just waltz their way into million-dollar cash prizes? It’s not unheard of for the gamers to spend 12 hours a day practising mundane skills that can easily suck the enjoyment out of a game.

I remember when I used to play Tekken competitively. What was once a fun pastime quickly turned into teary eyes and brain fog from staring at a screen for hours at a time. Life consisted of mindless drills, the repeating of moves, thousands of times over, just so I could react a millisecond faster.

We used to have to memorise frame rates too. I needed to know how fast all your moves were in comparison to mine, and I needed to do this for all characters (there were 59 characters in the game). All this, just to be decent at the hobbyist level.

Likewise, do you think writing success awaits behind your two hours of fun writing per week? There’s bound to be the sucky days as well, and when they do arrive, it’s up to you to thank the universe for this test.

Because you have to take the good things with the bad in any pursuit you embark on. You can’t just pick the rainbows and unicorns without experiencing the rain and unicorn poo.

‘It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.’

— Joseph Conrad

I need my lucky underwear

Wait. This tip’s for another article. No idea how it appeared here. Moving on…

I must pet the pets

Have you actually stopped to stroke or cuddle your pets after every sentence? This occupational hazard applies especially if you have a clingy furkid. And boy can they be irresistible indeed.

Nothing much to say here. If you’re prone to this, then you’re a perfectly normal person. In fact, I actively sought out my dog after writing the previous paragraph. Don’t resist it. Your pet deserves all the love anyway.

Holy shit, it’s been three hours?

Ah, the fabled state of flow. Sometimes you fall into a vortex and come out on the other side with a draft you never knew you wrote. Then you look outside and wonder where the sun went.

Be thankful that you’ve made your trip through literary Narnia, because your next visit isn’t promised. This is why most writers write. This is why most people do anything, really, especially since flow is accessible through any activity of your choice.

But if you’re a regular connoisseur of flow, you best keep your mouth shut, unless you want to be the subject of envy, particularly from the likes of me.

Rainbow lights on the floor

That elusive path to flow, or your personal wonderland. Photo: Tobias Carlsson

This is my magnum opus

If you’re thinking this, you’re most probably drunk. Don’t ask me how I know.

And yes, writing after a few tipples is one of the best feelings in the world, because it’s nice not having to second-guess your words for once.

In fact, your first draft might as well be the best work of literature humankind will ever read. Maybe this liquid courage thing really works. Never again will you write sober! Because if it was good for Hemingway, it’s good enough for you.

What kind of bullshit did drunk me write?

If you had the previous thought, you’ll have this soon after. Unless, of course, you’re a sociopath. Or a very confident writer.

This is when you’ll curse Hemingway’s bones for his ‘write drunk, edit sober’ quote. But after a quick Google search you learn that Hemingway didn’t write drunk. You were probably looking for Charles Bukowski, or Hunter S Thompson, or Stephen King.

But that’s not the point. What’s more important right now is that you’re looking at what you wrote yesterday, and it’s shit. You’re shit. You’ll never be like the greats, and this will never end. It’s like you’re starting this list all the way from the top again.

Yet if you nurse your hangover and you keep working away at this shitty first draft, you might reach the ultimate pinnacle of writing. And that’s…

This is fine. I’m fine.

You realise that you’re not going to change the world. And maybe that’s what the greats thought too, before their works were picked up by the world.

You’ve written enough to know that with every writing session—both good and bad—you learn something new, and that can’t be a bad thing, right?

The doubts still haunt you, but they’re like your old friends now. Annoying old friends that are more of an annoyance than a danger.

You know that no matter what happens, you’ll still come back to writing anyway. This is your medium of choice. You may or may not explore something else in the future. Dancing, maybe. Or Tekken, because you heard about it from a Malaysian blogger once.

But right now, you’re writing. And that’s all you can ask of yourself. Because even with all the self-doubt and fears and obstacles this craft has to offer, you know you can’t see yourself doing anything else.


You know what’s another common thought? If there’s exclusive content that you won’t find elsewhere on this blog. Well, there is. Just click the button below. Plus, you get a free guide on how to grow your WordPress blog too!

102 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Think These Thoughts When You Write

  1. I guess I finally can tell myself that, I really love writing even though I hate the work.

    This write-up captured the dilemma of a writer!

  2. Hi this is totally relatable even though I’m only dabbling in writing with grand hopes that somehow this is my real calling. Wistful thinking if I’m not going to take the craft seriously. I had been stuck having to attend to some real pedantic stuff and also been in a bit of a slump as well. I just had not been writing for 2-3 weeks or even reading much. Funny how writing becomes easier when you write every day but not after a break even just a few days. Back to morning pages for a start. Your post is timely. Thanks much Stuart

    • Boy do I understand that rut. Sometimes it applies to different ‘sections’ of writing too. For instance, I could be active in blogging, but totally neglect my novel writing. And after a few weeks of that, it’s so hard to go back to writing fiction.

      You sound like you’ve had some challenging times recently, LH, and I hope things turn out better, especially when it comes to writing!

      Thanks for stopping by even during your busy schedule and creative slump! Always good to have you here.

      • Thanks Stuart. On the plus side, writing spark has not vanished. Just need to compartmentalise and pay attention no matter how challenging things may seem at the time. It is what it is . It is always a pleasure to read your post as you blog about your writing journey :)

  3. My favorite author is Tolkien, and I remember when I was in middle school and high school I tried to write like him, and it felt very unnatural. It actually felt wrong, like I was copying someone’s homework. But when I started using my own voice and style, it turned out a lot better and easier to write. If people read my books they probably would not guess that Tolkien is one of my biggest inspirations.

    Also, I must always pet my dog because he looks sad every time I write. :(

    • Great on you for realising that! I myself still fall into the trap of wanting to emulate Pratchett sometimes, and I have to remind myself that I have a voice to hone, not to copy.

      Lol. My dog usually lazes around, but like the Terminator, I always seek her out just so I could annoy her a little. It’s a great way to procrastinate, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for stopping by as usual!

  4. Hahahah this one’s hilariously true and i absolutely relate to the top 3 points. Writing when I am doing something else is always on my mind and when I do get down to writing everything else clutters my mind, especially the cleanliness starts to bother me too much. Sometimes i feel if the dust and the dirt just appear out of nowhere to distract me from writing/scribbling my thoughts. Oh yeah,and the end, that seems to get further and further away as i start to pour my heart while tapping the keys. For me how the article ends says a lot about the writer and his craftsmanship.
    As always, a great read.

    • Some people are immune to distractions, and I envy them. I guess I myself am always looking for an out. Whatever that gets me to not write, lol. Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by, and your comments have been so supportive. That really makes my day. Am always blessed to hear from readers like you, who’re awesome. Thanks again!

  5. Hey Stuart. Marvin from Impermanent Insanity here. Excellent article. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with all these thoughts. I fall into the camp of ‘wanting to have written’ rather than ‘writing’ a little too often. When I actually do sit down and write, especially a fiction scene, I find myself thrilled and pumped. I just wish that would carry over to the next session, without feeling like it’s just so much work.

    • Hi again, Marvin! Oh yeah, there are writers who thrive on the work, and to them I say phooey, because they make people like me jealous, lol. But for those of us who find it hard to start, I think setting low goals does increase our chances of having written, and experiencing the joy that comes with it. Thanks once again for stopping by!

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  7. I feel like you were reading my life story when it comes to writing. I’ll have to share a poem I published a few years ago in which everything in the world distracted me from writing or doing what I needed to do.You have an engaging writing style. Thanks for visiting my blog. It looks like you are a busy blogger.

    • Aww, thanks for the kind words, Marsha! Definitely share your poem because now I’m intrigued. I’ve begun to feel distracted too, and that could be due to the advances in recreational technology. Am looking to use less of the internet and see what happens. Anyway, I appreciate your lovely comment!

    • Lol I totally get it. Even when replying to work e-mails I sometimes get these thoughts. Maybe it’s our defence mechanism against things that require us to move out of inertia. Anyway, great to see you here, Hetty!

  8. Pingback: Content Writing Ideas: Do You Generate It Easy or Hard? – Bing Writes Content

    • Aww, thanks for the lovely words. I do aim to be as authentic as I can, for sure. But what’s even better is logging on and coming across comments like yours. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

  9. Thank you, Stuart. All of these things could be applicable to me, except that I’m not sure I own any particularly lucky underwear. I can especially relate to “Do I really love writing if I hate the work?” If I labor for scores of hours over a blog post, then am satisfied for what adds up only to a few minutes when four or five people comment appreciatively, is the torture worth it?

    Say, I have a luddite question. I typically read your blog on a desktop computer. And for the life of me I can’t figure out how to “like” someone’s comment. I’ve had many generous people “like” mine, but I can’t seem to reciprocate. Is there a button I’m not seeing? I see a “Reply” button but nothing else. I’m hoping someone can help me out. :)

    • Oh, I totally get that ‘is it worth it’ feeling for my Insta stories, where I document my workouts to inspire people, but only a handful ever watch it. But I’ve since turned the focus from external factors to internal. Now, I tell myself that it’s my duty to increase the chance of inspiring someone, but it’s fine if it doesn’t happen due to things I can’t control.

      Regarding your ‘like’ question, I find those options available in the Reader or in the menu bar (the bell button on the top right). When in the Reader, simply scroll down to the comments section and you’ll have access to the Like button as long as the blog allows it.

      Additionally, since you’re reading from the desktop, you should be able to see the ‘Follow’ button on the bottom right of a page (you’ll have to scroll upwards before it appears). When you click on the three-dots icon next to it, you’ll have the option to ‘View post in Reader’. That’s another way to access it.

      Some themes don’t readily show the Like button in comments though (like the Hemingway theme, which I’m using), which is why you’re not seeing the button. So it’s not your fault. However, you should be able to see it in the options listed above. Hope that helps, and just ask away if you still can’t find it!

  10. I was entertained. Kept giggling while reading and at the same time, avoiding the painful shafts thrown at me. I guess everybody is guilty one way or another. I’d like to believe that we approach writing (or any aspect in life) differently many times. For me, I’d rather take it easy as Mr. Mark Andrew Levy said, “Rather than approach your writing with your teeth gritted, demanding instant virtuoso solutions from yourself, LOOSEN UP and ease it into your best 90 percent effort.” Sometimes it works. I’ll give in to my craving for a plate of spaghetti and find myself energized to write for the next hour. :) I hope I make sense haha

    • Oh you definitely do make sense. Though my pace is more of a 70% than 90%, lol, because the latter is still pretty high effort for me. And you know what? As long as it gets you to write, you’re entitled to all the breaks and cravings you want. I loved your comment and am glad you took the time to leave this here!

  11. I found myself giggling all throughout your post and then I felt attacked… lol! Great post! I think I need to write myself a “why’s” list to look back on. Also, I find my drink writing to be some of my best haha.

    Hope you’re doing well!

    • Nothing beats drunk writing! I haven’t drank in a while, so that superpower is lost to me now, but if my next day’s reactions are anything to go by, I’m not missing out on much. Sure do wish I could experience that confidence from time to time though :P

  12. This post really resonated with me. When you said, “Because sometimes the gift of writing is not in the actual craft, but in the realisation of what you really want in life.” I’ve been having a lot of realizations lately about myself as I picked up writing again.

    The state of flow definitely hits hard. Sometimes I just sit there and stare at my screen for a while before the flow of ideas come 🤣 That’s definitely more painful than when the flow of ideas just come more immediately.

    • Oh yeah. Even in the short term, I sometimes get immediate feedback on what I should be doing before I sit down to write, and as long as we learn to listen to ourselves, there’s so much we can learn. Of course, whether I do the things I need to do is a whole other story :P

  13. Oh my God Stuart this is very interesting. I like the sub topics such as “Holy shit it’s been 3 hours and its fine I’m fine😂 but then you are right. I too have such thoughts whenever I come across a piece of paper to hot down ideas and titles for my blogs.
    Well for me I feel like I don’t have pressing things in my life so that’s why I write and at the same time it takes weeks to compile a good blog if I am clueless about that topic luckily research makes it easy.

    • Oh yeah. I truly wonder how writers used to do it before the internet. Everything is at our fingertips now. Imagine having to go to the library to source for photos and stuff. Glad you have the same thoughts while writing too, lol. And I appreciate you always stopping by!

  14. This is painfully true ahahah 😂😭 Blogging is my hobby and I love it but I really go through phases where I would do anything else apart from this (including things that I hate, as a form of procrastination) and others where the only thing I want to do is write… until I hit that spot and lack of inspiration, and this cycle goes on and on and on… Also, these are also the thoughts that I have while working 😭

    • Lol, it’s funny how we go back and forth between our dreams and just veg-ing out for no real reason. But it’s good that you’re aware of your behaviours, because it’s through that awareness that we improve, right? Thanks so much for stopping by, Juliette!

  15. This quote… “You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard” is so powerfully true…. it really is that simple and that hard all at the same time! Sometimes I use this as a mantra and depending on how I say it, with a smile or with a grunt… it really is true! You bring up a great point… that no matter your passion, it can’t always be easy or flow naturally always… most times it takes work and half the work is making the time to sit down at your computer to actually write the story you want to tell.. I always hate my work at the end of the 18th edit… and then I reread it maybe weeks later and I think, that wasn’t half bad as bad as I thought at the time! So perspective definitely is key!!!

    • Regarding rereading your own work and realising it’s not that bad—that’s exactly why I enjoy writing the crappiest crap I can think of, especially when I’m in a rut. Because it’s a hoot to feel that freedom in writing, and sometimes I actually enjoy reading what I’ve written, all from the mindset of zero expectations.

      Yeah, that Neil Gaiman quote is so true, but I still sometimes get into this mindset of ‘Easy for you to say, Mister Gaiman’.

      Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Jen!

  16. I 100% say my room is dirty. 😭 even today I thought that and somehow haven’t done any writing. My room is still disorganized btw.
    I feel so seen. 😂

    • A ha. Only the truest of writers notice the imperfections of their living space. And theoretically, writers should have the cleanest rooms, though my room is still disorganised as well. Will clean it later when it’s time to write.

    • You certainly have a great niche for a side hustle. I love it when people specialise because they have faith in their subject. I myself just flit from one subject to another. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Such an enjoyable read Stuart and so relatable. I honestly thought it was just me and my amateur blogger-writer-wannabe-imposter-syndrome! Thanks for keeping it real for us. I need to get back to my blog now *cough* but dam the dishes, vacuuming, needs taking care off and while I’m at it I might sort out my wardrobe too…! Lol *rolled eye*

  18. An amazing post as usual! And a lighter one too, which is something I love about following blogs in the no-niche niche. Definitely could relate to most of them, even as an amateur human being and writer. It’s clear how much effort you put into everything from choosing pictures to crafting subheads. Thank you!

    Talk soon,
    Mrs. Olives

    • Lol, always great to have someone relate. And yeah, that’s exactly why I enjoy not having a niche too, though it could be harder to draw an audience since it’s harder to carve a brand. Thanks so much for your kind words as always!

  19. I guess all the weird things we do to distract ourselves from writing also come with the weird things we do to keep writing. I always find that listening to the same song on repeat or taking a minute every now and then to play a random doodle on the guitar help me stay focused for hours lol

    • Eh. I think I should try that ‘same song on repeat’ method. Letting the playlist just run can get pretty distracting sometimes. But I’m very easily distracted by sound so I’m not sure either, lol. That’s interesting how playing your guitar helps you focus for hours. Perhaps it’s the letting go of extra energy? I should try that too, lol. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Izzat!

      • Yes give them a try! Don’t know how exactly how they work, but they do haha. True though, I think the guitar thing gives your mind some space to breathe — for me it does wonders for ideas to keep flowing

  20. A great post as usual! So many common experiences writers share (well maybe not the underwear LOL). Appreciate the honesty and raw realities and I always come away assured that my experiences aren’t just mine and this writer’s life we’ve chosen needn’t be alone cos I have friends like you. Thanks Stu for always keeping things real in our ongoing writing journey!

    • I really appreciate your words always, Kelvin. In a way, these posts are my therapy instead of ‘tips and tricks’, because I too find comfort in learning that I’m not alone in feeling these things. Thanks for always taking the time to stop by!

  21. I think I’ve got it backward because I will choose writing over chores any day of the week. I’m not sure which is a more potent drug—love for writing or dislike for chores. If I never wash my windows, people can’t see all the disorganized crap in the house.

    • Ha ha ha I was thinking the exact same thing when I was in my car yesterday.

      ‘Boy, the windows sure are dirty, but they act as a tinting of sorts.’

      I think it’s time to send the car to a wash now that they’re loosening the COVID restrictions in Malaysia.

      Anyway, is there any way for you to package your love for writing? I’m sure you could make billions off that :P

      Always great to see you, Pete!

  22. I haven’t even read the whole post and I totally relate! “My living room is looking mighty dirty” is so true! And, my place ALWAYS needs to be vacuumed no matter what. I live with my partner who’s a bike mechanic, a 34 kg coonhound and a 20 kg foxhound! OK, I’m going to read the rest now. :)

    • Haha, well this is a first. Don’t believe I’ve ever had a mid-read comment before, so thanks for something new, Tracey! And yes, I have a blog draft due soon, but here I am just returning from the kitchen (had some dry dishes to put back in the cupboard). Appreciate you stopping by!

  23. I can totally relate to the gamer aspect, as I was and still am very much a gamer. My games of choice were League of Legends and more recently, Teamfight Tactics. So much changes going from hobby to competitive that I’d have to remind myself of the ‘why’ I started playing, much like writing. And remembering the ‘why’ is definitely important, helping to avoid complete burnout and continuing to have fun along the way.

    As always, thanks for all the little reminders and a great post!

    • Oh yeah, we definitely need reminders from time to time that even the fun things can turn into work once we get serious. Music is fun until you need to practise your scales. So too is cooking until you embark on your journey to a Michelin star. Love your take on this, fellow gamer!

  24. I laughed a lot at that Windex comment – guilty as charged! 😂
    For me, the “I’ve got more important things to do” aspect is my biggest enemy. You’re right, I DO feel guilty for indulging in my hobby, but spending an hour or so writing instead of cleaning or doing yet another load of laundry etc etc isn’t going to lead to the end of the world (I hope)!

    Thank you for another relatable and entertaining post!

    • You know what? Even if you were to do it for a living, you’d still feel as though there are more important things you can do besides writing.

      So let’s do it without guilt, because we deserve it. And if we do really well, perhaps we can reward ourselves by doing the chores :P

      Always appreciate you stopping by!

  25. Honestly, I don’t have these thoughts. It might be the difference between me, the hobbyist writer, and you, the professional writer. On the contrary, I’m usually chomping at the bit to sit down and write. It also might be different if I had a novel in my brain that was trying to get out, but I don’t. Still, interesting to hear what you serious writers endure for your craft.

    • A ha, maybe you don’t have these thoughts because you’re the voice of reason.

      I don’t think there’s much distinction between hobbyists and those who write for a living though. At the end of the day, we still create words and put them out. In fact, I think you write better than me, so the term ‘professional’ is kinda moot.

      Maybe you’ll share the same thoughts someday, or maybe you won’t, but either way, we all have our own unique paths to own, and that’s what’s most important!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  26. Thank you for these reflections on being a writer. I love the end product of writing but it’s getting there that’s the challenge. I often procrastinate and don’t get fingers to the keyboard! I find I need to set myself deadlines to meet e.g. I have started a blog on offering Story Starters which I hope to release each week – so I have my diary marked every Tuesday with “blog day”!

    • A ha. I think the only reason I still blog is because my posts get published on Tuesdays too. Without that deadline, I’d never get anything done. But then again, I’m only human and even deadlines don’t help sometimes. What weird things our minds are. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  27. Relatable! A few of your points remind me of writer’s imposter syndrome; I’ve been hearing a lot about this concept wherever I turn lately. It makes me wonder if more good writers are questioning themselves lately because we’re inundated with so much content these days, or if writers have always felt this way. I know it takes one bad day with a couple rejection letters to make me completely question my existence as a writer and to melt into a pool of existential dread. But then the next day I write a really kick-ass sentence and remind myself that I’m not too terrible. :)

    • The rollercoaster journey of the writing life. Even liking the sentences we write involves the peaks and valleys. One day everything just fits, and on others, you make less sense than your drunk uncle at parties. But we still continue writing, and I think that’s the best indicator that we’re meant for the job. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  28. “I can never be [insert your favourite author here]”

    This. I don’t experience other thoughts in this article. But this one haunts me all the time. I will never have the blogging success of Stuart Danker. My stories will never have the online popularity of other authors, who actually make thousands by their patreon alone. No one cares to read what I write.

    Anyway, I’m not much for advertising my upcoming posts on someone else’s comment section. But given you inspired me to write this one, I do think you should watch out for a list of my weaknesses and strengths this Thursday.

    Great article, Stuart.

    • I see your biggest mistake here, Tanish, and that’s setting your goals too low when comparing yourself to me, lol.

      Still, I’m so honoured you’d say that, and you don’t know how much that means to me. And yes, those writers who earn through Patreon are a different breed, aren’t they? Fascinates me too.

      Will definitely stay tuned for your upcoming post. Thanks so much for visiting, Tanish!

  29. I need more of your “stuck at the middle” inspirational post. Of course, I have a lot of ‘pets’ to keep alive so am not confused about what holds me back.

    Oh, and I’m stealing your unicorn poo quote for May 22. :D

  30. So many poignant tips Stuart and so many things to laugh about!

    “Don’t trick yourself that you want to ‘change people’s lives through writing’ when you actually want the pride of writing a bestseller.”
    And I thought I was meant to be Ghandi.. 😂 i really did til I burned that cape.

    Impressive and timely as I’m struggling to get my next chapter out but I tell people one foot in front of the other all day long so I’ve got this.. one word in front of the other.. I can do this!

    I’ll return here but you know .. i gotta work and read and well flow.
    Great post as always my friend!
    👏👏👏👏🙌🙌💖

    • It’s amazing how much we can endure if we just put all our focus on the one thing ahead of us. But I myself have trouble doing that, since I do tend to think of what else I’ve yet to do, and that can sometimes make life feel like a never-ending slog.

      Anyway, always great to see you here, Cindy!

  31. ” Because sometimes the gift of writing is not in the actual craft, but in the realisation of what you really want in life.” I couldn’t agree more to this! Every time I have had second thoughts about my writing, it’s that realisation that keeps bringing me back. Thanks for such a motivating article which makes me feel less guilty about my procrastination!

    • Haha I actually wanted to make you feel MORE guilty about procrastination so that you’d write more, but I guess I’ve failed :P

      I’m glad that you found it motivating though, because that was part of the plan. Here’s to writing more, and thanks so much for stopping by, Ashwini!

  32. Stuart, two things here. First of all, the “my living room is messy”… yeah, so about that. Amazon boxes on the sofa, full buckets on three surfaces from half-done fish tank things, half-finished craft projects… Still, I have four more posts to edit then it’s cleaning for the rest of the afternoon, I promise.

    Also furkids, you know, I’ll have to email you that photo. I took a photo the other day and I kid you not, Hugo sits so close to me that I have to sit sidesaddle to my desk because footspace is occupied by the dog – clingy isn’t the word for it! Even when we got him as a puppy, he clung to my shoulder tight and he would not let go. Cleavers have got nothing up on him!

    Distractions… gah, you got me again! I’ve just been pinning in a cable so that I could move my smart meter when I should have been editing posts. Did it need doing right away? No, but the pin hammer looked at me funny and… well, you just know how it goes!

    Great post as always, and thank you for making me smile.

    • Haha, the messy room bit is such an annoyance. Sometimes the house may be clean and yet I’ll still find something to do (because there always is) because the alternative is to write.

      I actually love it when my dog curls up at the footspace area because then she doubles up as a warm mat, especially in the cold mornings, lol.

      Thanks for the chats we always have, Helen. Definitely send me that photo too!

      • Hehe wow It’s when you prefer doing the ironing or filing that I really ask questions though! Hehe.

        Aww bless her! See if Hugo meets my feet unexpectedly, he growls at them and gives me dirty looks lol.

        And thank you, I’m glad to have these chats too, I shall do Stuart! I’ll try and remember to send it after my post but I can’t promise because I know what my memory is like! Haha

  33. Great post as usual, I relate to some of these too heavily😭 Interesting how all writers go through essentially the same thoughts and distractions while writing, I guess it’s just human nature to procrastinate/get distracted 🙃

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