3 Perfectly Good Reasons Why You Might Be Avoiding Your Manuscript
If you’re one of those people who began your manuscript years ago, it can be painful for you to see it sitting there unfinished. You might be beating yourself up with a bunch of “shoulds” and attacking your supposed lack of discipline. It can make you feel hopeless, drained of energy and questioning why you even began–or if it’s even worth finishing. With all that negative self-talk happening every time you think about your manuscript, it’s no wonder that you keep avoiding it!
But there are usually some very good reasons why you are avoiding it, and the good news is it’s not as hopeless as it might feel.
1. You are a better writer now. Plain and simple. If you started writing your manuscript even one year ago, chances are you are a better writer now. And that’s a good thing! That’s the beauty of practice paying off. But it can also feel frustrating when you realize that first page/chapter/draft, the one you labored over, might have made you a better writer but now doesn’t live up to your abilities.
2. You are in a different emotional place than when you began. Often the impetus that drove us to the page in the first place fades and then the work starts to feel estranged. Perhaps whatever we were grappling with has been resolved. Perhaps we are on the other side of a life change. Perhaps the manuscript was part of our process and now, faced with the necessary revisions that finishing a manuscript requires, we aren’t “feeling it.”
3. You are overly loyal to your original vision. This is a big one. Loyalty isn’t a bad thing, after all you’ve probably already put in countless hours of work on this manuscript. But sometimes we become so attached to our original vision that we block creative inspiration. Sometimes we have read and reread our sentences so many times that we can no longer imagine them any other way. And therein lies the problem: when we can no longer imagine possibilities for our work, when everything is known and nothing unknown, it becomes very difficult to sustain the excitement needed to return over and over.
So what can be done? Many things, but one of my favorites is re-introducing a sense of play and possibility, which can loosen what has become stuck and add the necessary spice back into your writer-manuscript relationship.
If this sounds like you, or you want to learn more about my Finish That Manuscript online workshop, I’d like to invite you to join me for a free Q & A call on Wednesday, June 17, 7 pm MST/9 pm EST. Please use the form below to chat with me about your manuscript or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you, and Happy Writing!