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.