Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8 Deadly Demons of a Writer

I've been slacking when it comes to my blog lately. I took a break to work on my WIP, which is so close yet so far from being finished. I seem to have hit a wall. Not with the story; I know where that's going. Not with the characters; I love them too. My wall is inside of me. At first I blamed outside forces for my inability to sit down and write. With a large family, both in my home and our extended families, there is always something going on. Always someone who needs a ride, a helping hand, or even a shoulder to cry on. I have no problem being there for them. Of course, not every call is an emergency and if I told them I was busy once in a while they would completely understand. So, I can't blame them, right?

I have been wrestling with finishing this story for a while. I have rewritten it a few times; really trimmed out a lot of fat from it. When I do make myself sit down and write I fall in love again with Brad, Jessica, and even have softened up on Diana. But as soon as I get up to do something else it's so hard to get back to it.

I have been trying to figure it out. Asking myself all the questions I imagine every writer does. Is this story so hard to finish because it's crap? Should I toss the whole thing in the fireplace and start something new?

I always come back with the same answer for myself. If I accept that this is crap and toss it in the fire I will always allow myself to do that when I face a writing challenge. So, now I have to figure out why I am having such a hard time. What's holding me back? What are my inner demons that get in the way of writing. I came up with 7 (well 8 actually, but 7 that I have to overcome). Here there are in no particular order. I will list them today and then spend the next week or so battling them , one by one.

8 Deadly Demons of a Writer

1. Plagiarism - the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.* This is the one demon I don't worry about, but felt that I couldn't list deadly demons of a writer without at least tossing this ugly beast into the mix.

2. Fear - a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.*

3. Guilt - a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.*

4. Self Doubt -lack of confidence in the reliability of one's own motives, personality, thought, etc.*

5. Procrastination - to defer action; delay: to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost. *

6. Overwhelming - to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything *

7. Quitting - to stop, cease, or discontinue; to stop trying, struggling, or the like; accept or acknowledge defeat.*

8. Self Sabotage - any underhand interference with production, work, etc. *

Over the next week or so I will talk about how these 7 demons affect my writing. Like I said, #1 Demon: Plagiarism is pretty easy to battle; you just avoid it. If you feel it is creeping up on you, keep it bay with something as simple as an asterisk (*) followed by a footnote like this...

*All definitions used above came from Dictionary.com, a service of Ask.com.

It may not be accepted APA or MLA styles of citing material but it tells the reader: this is where I found the info. You can find it there too. In other words, it does the trick.

This is a personal battle for me, but I hope that you come along. If you are dealing with similar demons in your writing, or any aspect of life, leave a comment. If you feel I have missed some important demons please tell me and I will talk about them too.


Kristin : )


  1. Hmm. Sounds like I'd better watch out for the postings and the demons. Thanks. This should be very helpful.

  2. Thanks Sheila. Please do stop by for some or all of the postings. I hope they help other writers with their own demons so we can all get back to creating.
    ~Kristin :)