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Why I Stopped Writing

How I Beat The Problem That Stopped Me Writing My Book

Holy POO! This update has been long overdue; almost 6 years overdue in fact, and I’ll try to elaborate what went wrong, what I went through, and why I took an embarrassing 5 years and 360 days to finally get my next book chapter finished.

In my last Book Writing Project update - dated 19th Oct 2012 - I spoke about things that can distract someone from writing. Well, what can I say except that I was broad-sided by an unknown distraction that stopped me from writing.

One of those causes of distraction that I mentioned in that update really hit me hard – hard enough to stop me writing for nearly 6 years!

Thinking about it now is making me feel a little disappointed in the fact that I wasted a lot of time in not achieving my goal of becoming a successful author.

Now, before I get into details of what went wrong, I want to give you a complete update on my writing statistics, so you know where I’m at with my book project, to date.

Reminder: How I Calculate My Statistics
 
As I’ve stated before in earlier updates, the way I calculate my statistic “words written” is based on the number of words written for the period of time from when I completed my last chapter to completing the current chapter. This figure disregards if I write or not, and if I don’t write then the length of time on my table shows the slow progress, or lack of writing production.

Now, because I also work full time I only write in my spare time (as probably any new writer would do). So the test is how much writing am I able to do in the shortest amount of time around my day job. That’s what my statistics table shows - number of words written in a time period.

As you will see I have included my last chapter that I finally finished; Chapter 17 with 4697 words.

So here’s my latest table showing my book writing achievement so far:
My "Book Writing Project" Statistics
ChapterWord CountDate StartedDate FinishedTime Taken
One30665/7/20109/3/20118 Months 4 Days
Two27239/3/201126/3/201118 Days
Three315126/3/201130/4/201136 Days
Four287230/4/20115/5/20116 Days
Five29585/5/201123/5/201119 Days
Six285123/5/20117/6/201116 Days
Seven31278/6/20118/6/20111 Day
Eight30139/6/201122/6/201114 Days
Nine272722/6/201130/6/20119 Days
Ten286930/6/201111/7/201112 Days
Eleven289611/7/201122/7/201112 Days
Twelve273722/7/201117/8/201127 Days
Thirteen409717/8/201130/1/20125 Months 13 Days
Fourteen285530/1/201210/2/201211 Days
Fifteen237710/2/201219/5/20123 Months 9 Days
Sixteen234019/5/201218/10/20125 Months
Seventeen469718/10/201213/10/20185 Years 360 Days
Here's my overall statistic:

Total words written for my book so far: 51,356

As you can see I finished my last chapter (chapter 16) on 18/10/2012 and finished this most recent chapter (chapter 17) on 13/10/2018; taking a total of 5 years 360 days to complete!

That’s seriously not good at all…

SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED? What stopped me from writing?

The Fear That Stopped Me From Writing

Fear Stopped Me Writing My First Book

One of the causes of writing distractions I mentioned in my last update was “Mental Barriers”. It was this problem that seriously got in my way. I never really expected my own mindset to stop me from writing my book, especially in stopping me for nearly 6 years!

So what exactly was the problem I hit into?

I revealed my writing fear that I hit up against in my blog post a couple of months ago; it was the FEAR OF BEING SUCCESSFUL.

In truth, I don’t have the exact moment this fear began but was what I believe to be a gradual decline. All I can recall was that I was doing rather well and enjoying writing my book, but then slowed down and moved onto doing anything but the thing I most enjoyed – writing.

I had completely stopped writing!

When I started to look at WHY I had stopped (nearly 6 years later) I went on a journey of self-discovery and truth-seeking. I literally sat and looked, and thought, and looked some more, around the time my writing went into a decline. I looked for what happened at the time I started to get distracted.

This process, of searching for what stopped me writing, took some time with all sorts of “reasons” coming up of why I shouldn’t write. Seriously, there were a lot of “reasons”.

Still, I kept looking and looking as I wasn’t satisfied these “reasons” were actually the right ones. Then suddenly I discovered what had really stopped me – it was my fear of success.

This idea, this fear, was like a hidden piece of concrete stuck in my head. It was so ingrained but out of view. It wasn’t the fact I needed to make money or didn’t have time to write, or other such “reasons”, it was my fear of being successful that stopped me writing. Let me explain…

I have always been a bit of a loner, a solitary person, and like to do things the way I want to do things. I have never liked the idea of being in the limelight, being noticed, and being famous. And as I was writing my book those many years ago I started to simply contemplate about the possibility of one-day becoming a famous author. This idea gave me a mental reaction, a fear I didn’t like.

As a result, in my mind, I had created a hidden mental barrier I wasn’t fully aware of, that literally stopped me writing my book, for nearly six years!

I know I keep mentioning this time factor but it's so important to realize how a stupid idea can really mess up your life.

So how did I discover the problem?

How I Overcame The Problem That Nearly Made Me Quit Writing

Solution To Stopped Writing

I’m feeling a little bit serious about this, as it is serious when something or someone stops you from doing something you love. You have to be able to overcome it. Never let someone or something prevent you from writing.

Here’s what I did to overcome and solve my problem…

#1. Confront the situation
After almost 6 years of not writing - but wanting to write - I thought F#CK, I need to sort this out. That decision to confront or face up to this situation was the first step. After that decision to do something about it I was able to do the next step.

#2. Find the REAL problem
Now that I was willing to do something about my problem of not writing, I needed to find out what the ACTUAL problem was. What was actually stopping me? It wasn't like my writing pen was broken or my laptop had run out of battery power; it was more than that!

In order to find the actual problem I started to look into my past, to the area when the problem first began. This was a search and discovery phase that produced lots of reactions and false reasons why I quit writing my book. I wrote everything down on paper that came to mind – however stupid it seemed.

Eventually the REAL reason came to light – FEAR OF SUCCESS. BAM! That was it. I couldn’t handle being famous or successful. I couldn’t handle being in the limelight, the focus of public attention.

#3. Communicate and deal with the problem
Knowing what my actual problem was I could then do something about it. To help me get over my fear of being successful as a writer I simply forced myself to start writing again and put myself out there.

I knew that writing my book was what caused this mental-reaction-problem, so in order to deal with it I communicated with the problem, by continuing to write my book. This worked!

It wasn’t easy as this produced some major mental reactions, but in time, by continuing to do the thing that was causing the mental reactions in the first place – writing – helped me to get rid of my fear, or at least reduce it.

Another action I did to help me deal with my problem, and one that I’m still doing, is to get myself out there, to expose myself as an author – or at least a new writer.

I am pushing myself, forcing myself, to meet authors and writers online. I’m forcing myself out of my shell – whether or not I like it.

If I want to become a writer and be successful at it, I know that a part of being successful is lots of public attention. You can’t really have one without the other.

Is my fear of writing success and becoming famous fully handled? I’ll have to wait and see. But as with anyone, it’s a continued process of keep on going and not letting the barriers stop you from writing.

Have Your Say

As always, let me know your thoughts below. Did you get put-off writing or quit what you loved doing? Let me know, and let me know if you got back into writing again, or not.

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