After a hiatus on the journalism course front I have finally taken up the challenge and almost finished assignment four. To my shame, I haven't even looked at the course since August 2010 (cough, splutter, reddening of cheeks,) so I thought it was high time I began again. It got me thinking as to what obstacles stop me from writing and what I can do about them.
Some obstacles are there that are not of my making and there's very little I can do about those. But there are obstacles that are of my own making that I certainly can do something about. If you're in a rut with your article writing as I have been, looking at why you are in that rut, and what you can do to dig yourself out is the first step to getting yourself back on track. Here are my obstacles and what I intend to do about them. I hope it will help you to:
* Lack of time - This is both of my own making and due to other commitments that I have little control over, or do I? If I want to be taken seriously as an article writer I have to take myself seriously and be ruthless with my time. Not a minute of valuable writing time should ever be wasted, so I have looked through my diary and highlighted activities that take too much of my precious time that I can offload. I have written a time table of when I can write and I'm going to hold myself to that.
* Doing other, less important things - I am terrible for this. I will often do anything else but write and that is not the way for a professional writer to go. I should have a sign over my door with Procrastination 'R' us on it! Once I put my mind to it, though, I can write for England. So I intend to harness that 'putting my mind to it' and keep the momentum going.
*Worrying about the competition - Yes, there are other, more able and more prolific writers out there than me. But there are also less able and less prolific writers out there than me. So I'm concentrating on improving my writing skills and daring to put more pitches out there. I know I can write well and am perfectly capable of getting published - I've done it many times and will do it many times more, and so can you.
*Letting self doubt cloud my judgment - There's no time or place for a writer to let a lack of self confidence stop them from writing and sending their work out there. When I first started out I suffered from this terribly, but as I gained more experience and had more published my confidence grew. You just have to push your inner critic away and get on with it.
From just one afternoon's work I've almost finished asssignment four and will have finished assignment five by the end of the week. Just shows you what can be done if you put your mind to it. The whole point of me doing the journalism course was to help me improve my writing and my chances of publication. I think it is doing exactly what it says on the tin and I'm looking forward to submitting the articles that the course generates.
I turn f***y (thirty-ten) next week and for my present I'm having my spare bedroom turned into an office. This will help me, I hope, harness the time I have to write and allow me to get away from the distractions that stop me from writing. My own little writing space.