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What Does It Take to Stop a Writer?

Many writers get discouraged by any number and variety of factors, and they stop writing. What are some of those factors, and how can they be overcome?

Aversion to Hard Work

Writing is hard work. Many people want to be known as writers, but they have an aversion to putting in the hard work required to become authors. Those who become writers do the hard work required.

Lack of Self-Discipline

Writing also requires a high level of self-discipline, the willingness to put in that hard work even when he or she would prefer to do something else, to meet deadlines, to edit and proof, etc.

Inability to Deal with Interruptions

Every writer must learn to deal with phone calls, unexpected visitors, and myriad other interruptions of their writing. Without that ability, one can easily conclude that he or she will never be able to complete a project, and they give up altogether.

Intrusion of Health Crises

Perhaps the one factor over which the writer has little control is health. We all get sick at one time or another, and it affects our work. But we must not allow sickness to make us stop writing. It might temporarily interrupt our work or slow us down, but we must focus on getting well so we can resume our writing.

This was my nemesis this week. A bad cold started on Monday and was in full attack by Tuesday and Wednesday. I was plagued first by burning eyes and a sore throat and then wracked by a painful cough as it went from a head cold to a chest cold. That's how my colds typically proceed. I had no energy. It was all complicated by a lack of restful sleep.

By that point, I was contemplating what to do about this blog. I typically begin writing my post on Monday and Tuesday, edit it and add photos on Wednesday, and schedule it on Thursday for a Friday morning release. Under the circumstances, however, it was already Thursday, and I hadn't even begun writing.

Should I just skip this week's post? It would take hard work and self-discipline to get it done so quickly, and that while fighting this cold. Would I even have enough energy to finish it? I decided that it had to be written and posted--for better or worse.

Someone wisely said, "The test of your character is what it takes to stop you."

Do you want to be an author? Then you must be willing to put in the hard work required, develop self-discipline, and deal effectively with interruptions.

But you also must make wise decisions when health issues threaten to derail your efforts. They might delay or postpone your writing for a while, but don't let them stop you completely.

Granted, a cold, even a bad one, is a relatively minor health problem in contrast to what some people experience. But with hard work, self-discipline, effective methods for dealing with interruptions, and wise healthcare decisions, one can overcome problems, even health-related issues, and still write.

Now I think I'll go take my scheduled dose of cough medicine and vitamin supplements and lie back down on the couch until my energy returns. Maybe I'll write some more this afternoon. Perhaps even get a head start on next week's blog post!

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