Too many people think about writing but never seem to get it done. This manifests in two primary ways – not starting and not finishing. I know one guy that has been thinking about writing an article for years yet has not put a single word onto paper.
Another form of this disease is waiting for some future moment when you will finally have time to write. It’s likely that moment might never come. It’s a mindset problem, not a time problem.
I’m reminded of that great movie, “Collateral.” The dialogue between Tom Cruise as the assassin and his taxi driver (played by Jamie Foxx) illuminated the dangers of putting things off. Cruise taunts the driver about how he is all talk. He has spent years pretending that one day he’ll start his own limo service. The reality is that he has done nothing about it. He had even built up a soft of justification of his day-to-day drudgery by holding up this dream – it’s a pipe dream as he never acts on it. And Cruise is ruthless in rubbing it in.
I hear it all the time when people learn I am a writer. “I’d like to write one day”. “I’ve got some ideas I’ve been meaning to jot down.” Everyone, it seems, wants to be a writer. Oh yes? A writer writes. If you ain’t writing, you ain’t a writer.
There are other flavors of this; such as those who are at least up to dabbling in writing. I know someone who has been writing an article for the last six months. It’s still not done. If you worked in a McDonald’s and took 6 months to serve a Big Mac, your career prospects aren’t strong.
Again, writers write. The myth that some author took twenty years to write his masterpiece is perpetuated in the current society. Real writers are professionals who pump out the wordage regularly. That’s what you must do if you want to earn more than a couple of peanuts.
The best advice then is:
- If you are thinking about writing, DO IT.
- Once you start, complete what you intended to write.
- If you are very busy, allocate a time to write and use that slot to complete the writing project.
- Submit the written document to the appropriate source – a editor, a magazine, your boss, etc. Don’t sit on it.
- If you are worried about potential embarrassment, ask a friend to check it over.
- If you just can’t ever get started or can’t ever seem to get it completed, then writing may not be for you – or you need to bring in a professional writer to do the job.