From the first time I read Judy Blume's hilarious Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing back in third grade, I knew that if Judy actually got paid to make up stories for a living, that's exactly what I wanted to do.
But as much as I dreamed about writing novels, I didn't make any serious progress until 2006. Sure, I had plenty of "valid" excuses (I'm a journalist, so I already write all day long, I'd rather hang out with my friends than glue myself to my computer all weekend, et. al.) not to make any real progress. But when January 1 inevitably rolled around once again, I still was majorly disappointed that I wasn't really any closer to my goal. So I set yet another goal and hoped for change in the new year.
What I eventually realized, however, was that I was rather commitment-phobic about the whole process. The reason that I wasn't making any progress is because I'd failed to get in the proper mindset. See, actually committing to one novel idea (and seeing it through) can be a scary proposition. In fact, you find yourself (or at least, I did) asking the following progress-hindering questions:
*What if I really get going with this idea and end up not liking it 37,563 words down the road?
*What if the market really changes in the midst of writing and my once-phenomenal idea seems dated?
*What if NO ONE on Planet Earth thinks my book is the proverbial best thing since sliced bread?
What if? What if? What if? I guess what I eventually figured out that not putting pen to paper and giving it a real shot would be much, much worse. There will always be a million reasons to convince yourself not to write what's been on your heart, but making a bold attempt to do so will at least give you an opportunity to say "I gave it my best shot."
And for me, my best shot led to the publication of two novels I still adore to pieces. :)
Need further inspiration on how to overcome your writing commitment-phobia? Check out this fantastic article from Huffington Post writer Arielle Ford, and trust me, you'll be inspired.