Dwelling - Ways Writers Work Too Hard Series Part 4

Dwelling – Ways Writers Work Too Hard Series Part 4

Dwelling - Ways Writers Work Too Hard Series Part 4
Photo by Miguel Saavedra

Dwelling – Ways Writers Work Too Hard Series Part 4

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been sharing some ways in which we, as writers, create more work for ourselves. I’ve talked about fixing errors too soon in the editing process, thinking without taking action, and procrastinating.

Today, I’m going to share with you another way we sabotage our writing life: dwelling on things we can’t change.

How many times have your thoughts taken you away from your writing work? Maybe you had a bad day at work or maybe you had an unpleasant conversation with someone on the phone.

It’s easy to let our thoughts and feelings about the negative situations consume us. I have a tendency to dwell on things a lot. Sometimes I envision future conversations or occurrences and other times I relive conversations. Do you do that, too?

What do we hope to gain by reliving or envisioning conversations and situations? Perhaps we’ll have greater insight into how to respond the next time.

But you know what?

That won’t help us become better writers, and it won’t help us get closer to our writing goals.

When we dwell on things we can’t change, like the actions and behaviors of others, we’re creating more stress in our lives. We’re also wasting our valuable writing time.

All experiences, good or bad, are good for writers because they enable us to feel the emotions that we’re writing about. When we experience anger or depression, we have the ability to write passionately about these emotions. We know what it’s like.

But letting these things keep you from writing or letting them cause emotional or physical stress, can mean not achieving your writing goals. You already have little time to focus on your writing work. Dwelling just makes it worse.

So, how do you stop dwelling on the things you can’t change?

You can stop dwelling by making a commitment to yourself that you will keep moving forward, that you won’t let it bother you. Move on. Tell yourself: “No, we have more important things to focus on” every time you start to dwell.

There are so many more important things in life. Don’t let some minor issues keep you from achieving your dreams. Keep moving forward. Force yourself to think about what will help you move forward. Do you need to write a blog post? Focus on topic ideas.

If you struggle in this area, ask God for His guidance. Ask Him to give you the ability to forgive the person who is causing you grief and the ability to focus on the things that will help you, not hurt you. He is there for you, waiting for you to open your heart and ask Him for the help you need.

Life is too short to dwell on things. Direct your attention to the tasks you need to complete and then go do them. You’ll be glad you did.

Up next: Part 5 – Organization

Jody Calkins
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