Help, my mind is trying to sabotage me!

Writing doesn’t come naturally to me. Well, that’s mostly true. Occasionally, a flash of inspiration helps me to finish an entire article in one go. But these moments are rare. Most of the time, writing is an excruciating process.

I force myself to write regardless. I write, because I believe there’s a lot of value in it.

I like to think of writing as a kind of tool, one that guides my thinking. It definitely helps me to untangle all the thoughts in my mind.

Unfortunately, my mind appears to not want any help. When I sit down to write, it rarely cooperates and even tries to sabotage me!

You might wonder what I mean by this, so let me tell you. As soon as I start writing, my mind presents me with ideas that seem like a good idea at first, but soon turn out to be nothing more than devious attempts to distract me.

Here’s a collection of the thoughts that entered my mind, just as I was trying to write this article:

  • I should turn on some music to get into the right mood.

  • Maybe there’s something interesting on Hacker News?

  • I should get a coffee, it will help me focus!

  • That song just reminded me: has Dune 2021 been released already? I should check!

  • That was one coffee too much. Maybe a snack can calm things down.

  • I’m not feeling it right now, maybe I should read one more chapter of that book - just to spark my creativity.

  • That was great, before I get back to writing I should work on my posture. How does one sit properly again?

  • Since I’m already using the browser, I wonder if there’s anything new on Hacker News?

  • All these distractions are killing me, maybe I should switch to writing with pen and paper? Let me give that a try.

  • The light is not quite right. I should bring that lamp a little closer.

And on it goes, until eventually I see how much time has passed. That’s when I think:

“Oh boy, this wasn’t a particularly productive day. I guess tomorrow is another good day to make progress on my writing … maybe I should write an article on getting sabotaged by my own mind.”

Luckily, there might be a remedy for my problems!

After I told a dear friend of mine about my problem, he advised me to read the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. I haven’t yet started to read it, but it is sitting right there on my desk. Hopefully, my mind will not just turn it into another distraction from writing.