13 Ways to Sabotage Your Writing Practice

  1. Waiting for someone to tell you it’s ok to write.
  2. Put off writing until after the dishes are done, the bills are paid, the lawn is mowed, Game of Thrones is over, you’ve re-watched all nine seasons of Seinfeld.
  3. Use your writing space for grading papers, planning lessons, paying bills, doing taxes, repairing your motorcycle.
  4. Never jotting down your good ideas.
  5. Believing your good ideas are rubbish.
  6. Judging what you write.
  7. Judging what others write.
  8. Comparing your writing with that of others.
  9. Berating yourself for not writing more.
  10. Repeating the familiar instead of exploring the unknown.
  11. Never asking questions.
  12. Assuming you don’t know how to write well.
  13. Assuming you do know how to write well.

9 thoughts on “13 Ways to Sabotage Your Writing Practice

  1. Ingrid Bruck

    Thanks for this good common sense! I especially like the encouragement to chase (not the familiar) but the unknown. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Pingback: 13 Ways to Sabotage Your Writing Practice – I Suck at Writing

  3. takingmyownfreshmancompositionclass

    Love this list! Just today I was thinking about how judging other people’s writing writing has such a powerful tendency to give me writer’s block, yet how inescapable judging writing is for teachers who have to grade. So often I wish I could read students’ papers without having to assign them a grade so that we could all approach the idea of improving writing in a less defensive way. I constantly worry that ideas about academic rigor have a way of confining and limiting thoughtfulness and creativity. How can students do anything novel if they’re worried about checking off every item listed in the rubric? Etc. Rambling here. Avoiding grading. Thanks for the list.

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