Get Out of Your Own Way

As writers, frequently the biggest obstacle we have to overcome is ourselves. Parker talks about this idea in several chapters in the book – “The goal is to be IN business, not to have your business perfectly set up” (chapter 5) and “as writers, I think we often expect too much of ourselves…we need something smashing, something unforgettable, the kind of thing that will set a new standard” (chapter 7).

For example, I commonly see  articles on “Finding the time to write.” The irony here is that the time spent reading that article could instead be spent writing. By no means am I immune to these tempting distractions. I’ve spent the last who-knows-how-long designing my business cards, waiting to finalize my company name so I could add it to the design along with the proper website address. I’ve used not having business cards as an excuse to put off attending business networking events, since cards play just a large role at these kinds of events. In turn, I’ve put off moving forward, using a tool that should instead be a major resource for new clients.

Well, today, despite STILL not having settled on a business name (the latest idea is Echo Writing Services – “words that provide a real return”) I decided enough was enough. I’ve finally ordered business cards. Since I don’t know what my company name will be, they are just personal cards, with my name, “freelance writer / editor” and all my contact information on them. For a web address I included this blog, since I have my portfolio here.

You’ll notice that I didn’t just settle on a name–I think it’s important to get things right. It’s just equally important not to let that perfectionism hold you back. While it takes time, learning how to tell when to move forward and when to finish the task at hand, is an important skill to have. And whose to say you won’t learn a great tip reading “Finding Time to Write” that won’t greatly improve your productivity? You may. Just make sure that if you’re reading the article, you’re not doing it instead of writing–or you’re defeating your own purpose.

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