Give Yourself Permission to Struggle

Posted June 26, 2014 by Amanda Shofner in Writing / 0 Comments


In a perfect world, you sit down to write at the time you set aside for it and knock out your daily word count without any trouble.

But we don’t live a perfect world.

Give yourself permission to struggle with writing

It’s not a “failure” to struggle. (We don’t use the f-word here anyway.) Struggle is normal. Yes. This is so important it needs to be repeated:

It’s perfectly normal to struggle.

If you never struggle, you’re either the luckiest person ever or lying to yourself. My guess? You’re lying to yourself. Skipping over the difficulties because admitting you’re struggling is akin to admitting you can’t do it or that you’re not perfect or a whole host of other insecurities.

Don’t look at struggling or problems in terms of failure or success. Many successful people struggle. Failure and struggle have nothing to do with each other.

Struggling and frustration tell you something isn’t working

That’s all. It means your daily word count goal is too high or you’re not in the right writing environment or you’re distracted or a scene is throwing off your book or you didn’t plan well enough.

All of those are fixable.

When something isn’t working, you fix it. Throwing up your hands and calling it a failure is the easy way out. What is it, specifically, that you’re struggling with? Find the source of the problem, then make a list of ways you can fix it.

Talk to others about your struggles and ask for their opinion. Try a new tactic. If it doesn’t work, discard it and try another one. Keep trying tactics until you find the right one and break through your struggles.

Struggling isn’t a sign of failure—it’s a normal part of the writing process

You can work through your road blocks. It starts by giving yourself permission to struggle. Denying or resisting the fact you’re struggling only makes it worse. Admit it, dive into it, and fix it.

Acknowledging your struggles doesn’t give them power. It gives you the power to take back your writing. To dump a bucket of cold logic and sheer will on your struggles until they stop burning you up.

One of my biggest struggles is finding a writing schedule I can stick with. What’s your biggest struggle?

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