Saying no to things, which is often quite hard for us to do. Whether it’s that extra cake, the boss’ demands that we do more work, or simply the suggestion that we should spend our time doing things we really don’t like, there are often good reasons for saying no to things that we might occasionally find ourselves saying yes to instead. Some writerly things you might want to say no to:
1. The notion of writing in a garrett. You are not a blues musician. You do not have to feel pain to write well.
2. The automatic rewrite with every criticism. Take the time to think through all feedback on your work as a whole before you make any decisions, and don’t lose your voice in an effort to please everyone.
3. Working for free. It might be tempting to just give away your work, but if you have put time and effort into it, isn’t it worth something?
4. That seventeenth round of revisions. Your manuscript will never be quite perfect. There is a point where you have to send it out.
5. Overdoing your online presence. Yes, I’m in the middle of this A-Z, but when your blogging cuts into your writing, rethink it.
6. Chasing the latest trend. Your heart won’t be in it, so it won’t be a very good version anyway, and you’ll have missed the trend by the time it finally comes out.
7. The notion of having to write. If most of us didn’t feel like building small origami frogs or crocheting tea cosies on a particular day, we wouldn’t, so why do we have to write a thousand words a day?
8. Giving up your writing time. Conversely, it’s easy to let things sneak into the time where we want to write. It isn’t unreasonable to say no to those distractions and recognise that your writing time is important to you.