Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

What’s Holding You Back?


Snowy road, sunJanuary is often set aside for the ubiquitous New Year’s resolution. I gave resolutions up for Lent. Or something. But looking a whole new calendar smack in the face is somehow compelling, right? It’s kind of like staring at a blank page, full of promise. Or something.

That got me to thinking.

A Jolt

Looking back over the past few months, I realized with a jolt – never a great way to “realize” anything, but sometimes it can’t be helped – that it’s been some time since I wrote anything new. Fresh. Original through and through.

Sure, I’ve published plenty. Articles. Essays. Ubiquitous blog posts. I even scored a couple of first place awards in some short story writing contests (shameless plug here, in case you missed it.) But much of that was simply updated, spiffed-up versions of prior work or refabricated (new word I just made up, not to be confused with “prefabricated”) musings as fresh as a carton of last week’s unrefrigerated milk.


How ‘Bout You?

So writer, here’s a question: how ’bout you? How long has it been since you wrote something 100% fresh, unique? Original. Not a revision. Or a tweak. Or an update. But something brand spanking new. Hot off the press.

What’s Holding You Back?

Can I ask you another question? If it’s been awhile since you wrote something fresh or new, how come? What’s holding you back?

For me, it’s often a matter of simple mathematics. As soon as I figure out how to cram 36 hours into a 24-hour day, I’ll be fine. No, really. I will. Scout’s honor.

The Niche

Then there’s the omni-present matter of carving out a “peace and quiet” niche from each day, the space where I can mentally, spiritually and social hibernate like a bear in winter and think things through. (Creative geniuses will understand this. If you are not a creative genius, you are probably staring at a blank calendar page waiting for an epiphany. Let me know when it shows up.)

Anyway, this “peace and quiet niche” is a time and place where I can put two original thoughts together back-to-back without being interrupted every two minutes.  Well, okay. Sometimes it’s five. But you know what I mean – and how hard it can be to carve it out and guard it from endless intrusions.


True confessions: Sometimes I just don’t feel like writing. This never lasts, BTW. I just threw it in to see if you’re paying attention,. Can you relate?

Sometimes the mere notion of sitting down and banging out something brilliant – and the time and effort involved – is a wee bit daunting, such that I head off to the fridge in search of that elusive last slice of raspberry white chocolate cheesecake. Or luscious tiramisu. Or something.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t grabbed your copy of my free ebook, Skipping the Tiramisu: Becoming the Writer You Were Born to Be, this is your chance. Why not make it a double-whammy and sign up for Wreal 8, my FREE newsletter as well?  (Another shameless plug, in case you missed it again. 🙂 ) Consider this my New Year’s gift to you.

Ready to tackle that blank page? I can’t wait to hear what you’re working on! Shoot me the title of your latest writing project or idea in the Comments section. And Happy New Year!

4 thoughts on “What’s Holding You Back?

  1. I always enjoy reading your musings!

    Thanks. Carol A. Brown (this is my work in progress)

  2. Hi and contributed a few pieces to you ages ago. In the same spot too with getting articles published-etc-but no books…yet. I’ll stay in touch from now on with your site. Have since set up my own blogspot— Still a rookie with this, so If you check it out, I’d welcome your comments. All the best-Gib Check

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