10 Things That Are Stopping You From Writing

Every writer, whether they are big or small, experienced or newbie, published or unpublished, old or young, face the same fears and feel jittered before putting their work in front of the public (books, articles or any other content.)
What are these fears? What are the reasons that demotivate writers from writing? And finally, how to get over them and come out as a winner and go ahead with writing?

If you’re looking for answers to  these questions then go ahead and read.


10 Things That Are stopping You From Writing:

#1 Self-doubt

Self-doubt is nothing but a state of mind, just like confidence. But its one that can either stop you from growing or completely destroy you.

Everyone, at some point or the other, experiences the bitter taste of self-doubt, but the people who get over it are the ones who do not let it stop them from doing what they really want to do. By doing this they defeat self-doubt hands down.

Self-doubt is a plague that destroys your confidence and affects you in more ways than one. But don’t worry, if you’re going through a phase of self-doubt, then you are anything but alone. All you need to do  get a grip on your thoughts, be positive and believe in yourself and your work.

A long time back when I was facing self-doubt, I wrote down a very famous quote by Sylvia Plath on a square white paper and taped it to the wall opposite my study table.58888-51854

“The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.”
– Sylvia Plath

#2 Trying to do everything at the same time

This reason has plagued me for years and years. I can’t even remember a time where I haven’t faced this particular problem while starting with a new project (an article, essay, poem and even a book.) Whether it’s be writing or any other field, I always start a project and try to do everything at the same time, without realising that it is actually getting me nowhere.

Finally, after trying out almost all the things, I’ve learned to tackle this problem just by doing one thing – PLANNING. A little planning before actually starting a project can take you a really, really long way. It’ll keep you focused and won’t let minor distractions or changes take over your mind completely.

Simply chalk out a small plan before you actually begin writing rather then diving into a project headfirst. You can either plan it mentally or note down a few points on a post-it (like me.)
Try and do this for your next project and you’ll see how easy it gets to focus.

Studio shot of young woman working in office covered with adhesive notes
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Lao Tzu

#3 Perfectionism

This is one of the reasons that people who prioritise perfectionism over anything else, even completion of a project, face a big problems when it comes to completing a project. I understand the need for writing a perfect article, or an essay or a book, but what good it is if you can’t get it done on time?

I’m in no way saying that perfection is not needed or that it is not important. It is, but you should always know what are your priorities. If you’ve been given an assignment or you are writing something with a deadline, then of course, your priority is to meet the deadline, not to have an incomplete but perfectly written piece.

Try writing the entire piece first and then once it’s completed keep on editing it till you get what’s perfect for you. How does that sound? It’s so much easier than trying to write perfectly in the first go.

Secondly, even if an article has been edited several times and you are still not confident that it’s “perfect” then I’d advice you to just go with it. I mean, I don’t think that you can ever write a “perfect” piece, there always something that can be changed or added. At the end what looks perfect to you might not even be even close to perfect for me, or vice versa.
So, make writing your priority and not something that will stop you from doing it.gifted_child_struggling_H

“But I am learning that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.”
– Emily Giffin

#4 Fear of being judged

This is probably the most pathetic one! Do you care about what your cat will think about your written piece, or dog or you laptop itself? No, you don’t, right? Then why the hell do you care about what others are thinking? I mean seriously, for me, as a writer, nothing is more important than my laptop and husband, and these two never judge me, so why the hell should I care about the rest of the unimportant people!?

It’s plain enough, if you give a shit about others, then stop writing, cause the only person you should be writing in the first place is YOU, yourself and not your neighbours, or your distant cousin o not even your parents. So get your head in the right place and start writing without worrying about something as trivial as opinion of people who judge you.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t give a damn about suggestions and advices from people you trust, no, all I’m saying is don’t listen to the people who are just judging you, even if they are someone close to you.

The day you’ll let go of this fear, you’ll start feeling like a free bird (just like I do.)judge

“No one has it all figured out, especially not the people who are acting like they do and judging you because of it. Pretending to be something you aren’t because you’re trying to please a bunch of judgmental hypocrites and shitheads is not the way to be happy.”
– Tucker Max

#5 Procrastination

Let’s face it, who doesn’t procrastinate? Every human being on this planet procrastinates simply because we get easily distracted by something more easy or fun, like napping, watching that episode of your not-so-favourite-series, a kitten walking on the road or simply sitting and thinking about all the great things in life that will change the world. Ha! Silly, right? Well, these are some of the many silly things we do when we have something really, really important at our hands.

Get this, when i am really pressed for writing or completing a piece, I simply shut down my MacBook and sleep. Crazy? Well, that’s how I am, it’s the ultimate form of procrastination and more often than not I do it by opening multiple tabs and surfing the “internet,” as in nothing in particular.

So far the only thing I’ve found useful to not procrastinate my writing is to work offline. Yes, that has solved 90% of my problem, the rest, well, taking a nap once in a while is not that bad, but now I just make sure to set a target and sleep only after completing it. and viola… it works beautifully. Try it and see if going offline works for you. I’m very sure it will work.security

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
– Karen Lamb

#6 Not having a plan

Panting is great, but only if you are a true pantster. A lot of people who claim to be pantster don’t even know what it really means. No, being lazy and not setting up a plan is not pant-sing. You really need to understand the concept before you self acclaim to be a pantster (I’m not going deep in this subject here, but may be in some other post.)

Take out a few minutes before starting up a project and create a small plan. If you can remember it, good for you, but if not then make a small bullet-point list and jot down how are you going to go about your project at hand. And then patiently follow it, improvising along the way.

Proper planning will actually make your work easy and fun. You can divide the whole project in parts and take it from there one by one. It always works.PlanningIsNotOptional
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

#7 Fear of failure

Who is not afraid of failing? I’ve never met a single person in my life who is just not afraid of failing. It’s good to have a tiny bit of fear, it keeps us grounded and makes us push ourselves to do better. But if this fear grows into something that is stopping your from writing, then it’s really harmful.

You do not want to be scared just thinking about the possibility of failing, I mean, if you won’t even finish your project, just how the hell will you ever know for sure? You never know if you would have succeeded or not. So stop assuming and start writing. Worry about it after submitting or publishing the work. But don’t confuse it  with overconfidence. Experiencing every emotion in moderation is healthy, just don’t go overboard with any particular emotion and take the back seat.fear-of-failure

“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
– Suzy Kassem

#8 Not setting up a deadline

If you are not given a deadline then make one up for yourself and STICK to it. You need to figure out your own system and set deadlines accordingly. after all we are all different. I usually give myself enough time to complete a project in time and that too by not over-stressing.

Trust me when I say that setting up a deadline and planning ahead are the only things that made me successfully complete my novel (from scratch) in 4 months. It also helped me tremendously in NaNo and JuNo. So, the next time you have a project in your hand, set an easily approachable deadline and give this method a go.8-set-deadline

“A hammer made of deadlines is the surest tool for crushing writer’s block.”
– Ryan Lilly

#9 Fearing the enormity of your project 

Your project is huge, I get that and I also understand that it’s important to you, but stop and sit down for a second, take a deep breath and relax. It is not the end of the world! If looking at the enormity of your project is scarring you then try and see it as a sum of it’s parts. There, that will make it a little easier for you to go ahead.

Don’t look at the first blank page and think about it as a completed book on a shelf in a negative way, it is okay to imagine the same thing in a positive way, but only if it motivates you. But more often than now it scares us. So better to not think about it. Take it one page at a time. or even, one paragraph at a time.

That’s why so many people, including me, follow the Snowflake Method of writing (by Randy Ingermanson.) It concentrates on writing a single line, then a para, then a page and then a chapter. So you see, it actually makes you concentrate on the main things while not worrying about the project as a whole.m_work-1

“Fear is an idea-crippling, experience-crushing, success-stalling inhibitor inflicted only by yourself.”
– Stephani Melish

#10 High expectations

Now this is a tricky one. Expecting a good outcome is basic human nature. If you’ve put in your soul into something, you will definitely get what you deserve and also what you want.
Having said that, sometime, before even completing the project at hand we get lost thinking about the results, expecting something far more greater than normal and instead of working hard to achieve it, we still remain absorbed in dreaming and expecting, completely ignoring the project itself.

Having huge expectations can flip you out, in no time and then it takes a really strong will to bounce back. So, expect less and give it your best.growing-weary-in-battle-640x421

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
– Alexander Pope

These are the ten things that, in some way the other, are stopping you from writing.
So, what are you waiting for? Get rid of all these things and WRITE!

Now make a basic plan, set a deadline, concentrate on individual parts of your project, believe in yourself, be confident, get over your fear, ditch putting off work for later and don’t expect big (atleast not to the point of turning you off) and you’ll be writing like there’s no tomorrow.
Remember, if you really want to do something, you definitely can!

What are your ways of coping up with the fears and emotions listed above? Do you have anything else to add to this list? If yes, then feel free to share it with me. I love reading all your comments.

Note: All views and opinions shared in this post are my own.
The quotes have been taken from Goodreads.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

56 responses to “10 Things That Are Stopping You From Writing”

  1. Hi Heena,
    1. I know Ralph and Lady Meritaten and Michelle. Did you find me on Ralph’s site? He just guest authored for me.
    2. Thank you for your visit to my site just now and liking four of my posts.
    3. I see you are an author. I have many authors following me. I actually invented a method where authors could use Pinterest boards to generate interest in their writing.
    Nice to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Janice,
      1. Actually I found your blog through Aquileana’s blog. I think I read your comment on one of her recent posts.
      2. You’re welcome! I was a bit busy that time so for the time being I just liked, will take out some time tonight and share my views as well through comments (I love commenting on fellow blogger’s posts 🙂 )
      3. And yes, I did see some really interesting posts on your blog. Honestly, I love blogs like your’s where I can learn something new with every post. And I’m pretty sure that I’ll be spending a lot of time on your blog from now on!
      Very nice to meet you too, dear.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. By the way, I like your post. Did you see my Weekly Roundup Best Links of the Week series? I am always looking for blogging-related links. Writing inspiration is great at a blogging site. I may use this post in the next two weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Janice. And yes, I did see see that one and I loved your idea of sharing posts this way with your readers. I’m glad that you think this way. It will be great to see my post mentioned 🙂
      Thanks again.
      Have a great day!


  3. Some sound advice there Heena, thanks. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles with my writing from time to time. Thank you for liking so many of my articles. If you ever come clear and are seeking more books to review, I’d happily send you one of my mine. Take care. David.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, David. Thanks a lot for reading 🙂
      Everyone struggles with writing (and other stuff) from time to time and I know how good it feels to know that we’re not alone.
      Presently, I’m not accepting requests, but if you’ll be kind enough to fill out this form then I can line up your book in my schedule (because if I’ll add it now, it’ll be reviewed after 3 months or more. So it’ll be better if you’ll send in the mail ASAP.) You can fill out the review-request form here: http://thereadingbud.com/contact-me/
      Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a well written article. Certainly names my top reasons…procrastination and enormity of project, being my favorite excuses. Good thing to read this AM! Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Really good tips… I am not such a good writer but have written about 15 stories for a professor to bring out meaning of a vocabulary word. I tried content writing but I could not write perfect english, without gramaical errors in polished fashion and I tried and tried but as a content writer I am failiur as in many aspects of life. Anyway… your tips hold true in many things, any task besides writing… I really think one should do less but do it perfectly without hurry or clouded thoughts that would help… set a realistic plan and well well on one thing… and change things or tweak things a bit to handle things better…anyway…great tips


    • Thanks a lot…
      I started writing content about a year ago and now when I look back, I see that I’ve come a long way. If you are still interested in writing content and want to get over the language barrier then I’d advice you to work on your grammar through various books. English is not my first language, hence I keep practicing my grammar with excursuses. Learning continuously is the key here. I have a few great books and if you want I’ll be happy to suggest some great books for English grammar practise.
      As for writing, one needs to practice a lot, and eventually it gets better.
      I hope that you start writing again soon. If you need any help then feel free to ask me… 🙂
      Have a great day!


      • My concentration is pretty low to practice… yeah I am good in basic english not in content writing… refined english all that and sharp content, it involves more than just content writing it also requires grasping of facts and writing it well… I am not fit for it or anything else I guess… but thanks I would like the book recommendations, maybe someday I will check them out.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a really great list. All those fears that linger in the background can immobilize a writer. I think “having a plan” is perhaps the key to dealing with many of them. It breaks down the overwhelming project into bite-size chunks. It also ensures that we put the best work we can out to the public. That’s a success.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, most of these things are me! Procrastination is the most difficult to work through. There are so many priorities, something has to get bumped, but somehow I need to get writing into the top 5, at least some of the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I agree, same here. Sometimes it gets difficult to manage everything, let alone writing.
      Thanks a lot for visiting here, Jannat. Appreciate it.
      Have a great day!

      PS: You have a beautiful name. In Hindi (and I guess even in urdu) it means heaven. Does it mean the same for your language also? (I’m sorry but I’m not sure what your main language is.)


  8. Great tips hun 🙂
    Sadly for me it’s procrastination, lol, but also life. Every time I want to write, life seems to throw me a curved ball, that I need to deal with, lol.
    I really need to lean how to edit while having so many things flying in the air around me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Heena, you have offered some very great advice here! Thank you!! I would like to add uncertainty to your list, it ties into #3, but is somewhat separate. I am often filled with uncertainty when I write anything personal. I question whether or not I would like to expose myself for the public to see. I am hoping, with time, that these feelings will dissipate and be replaced by pure bravery, less hesitancy. Your post has given me a lot to think about and resonates well with me. Thanks again for the insights!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Kelly. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and also for adding another thing to this list.
      Uncertainty is also a big issue that stops one from writing. And sharing this here means that you are BRAVE enough to admit it. Admission is the first thing one needs to overcome any fear.
      I was extremely uncertain when I started writing, about a year or so ago, but I kept on going, slowly and steadily and finally grew out of it. I’m sure that with time even you’ll be completely over it. Have confidence and be proud of who you are the things that made you the person you are now, and I’m sure that the hesitancy will go out the window in no time 🙂
      Again, thanks for dropping by. Looking forward to following you and reading your posts 🙂
      Have a great day!


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