Overcoming self sabotaging traps as a writer

Deanne Adams, Story Coach and Mentor. Write the best book you can.
Written by Deanne Adams


How to break free from the habits that hold you back as a writer

Self sabotage.

It’s the worst enemy of any creative person, especially a fiction writer. You have a deadline, a project, a goal, but you can’t bring yourself to work on it. You find excuses, distractions, alternatives. You spend hours thinking about how to write it, but not actually writing it. In your head, the task is bigger and scarier than it really is. You delay it until the last minute, and then you rush it and do a poor job. Feeling guilty and frustrated, you scold yourself… ‘Why do I always do this to myself?’ When really, it only takes a little effort and discipline to complete it. And then you can enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done!


Procrastination and imposter syndrome

Procrastination and imposter syndrome are common challenges – or enemies – that many of us face, no matter what we are trying to achieve. They make us doubt our abilities, delay our actions, and lose our motivation. For writers, these issues can be especially harmful, as they prevent us from expressing our creativity, developing our skills, and completing our stories. We can’t have that now, can we?

Being a writer, or aspiring to be one, can make you worry about many things. Like the awful possibility of creating a bad story. I can relate to that feeling. Sometimes I look at my past work, from different stages of my journey, and I cringe at how bad some of it is. But that’s not the end of the world. Those stories are steps – they show that I did something towards my dream, no matter how I feel about the outcome later.


FREE progress tracker for Writers

FREE Progress Tracker for Writers

We’d like to offer you the progress tracker – free of charge – that we’ll be using in Book Forge. It’s a little insight into how we work and how we can help you write more and feel great.

Follow the link to subscribe, use it, and let us know how you get on!

Have faith in your writing

This leads me to talking about perfectionism – waiting until you think you can produce the perfect piece of writing before you sit down and actually write the piece. This is another form of self sabotage. Perfectionism is a powerful enemy for a writer – it makes you think you have to write something flawless before you even start. That’s not helpful at all. Just write what comes to your mind and don’t worry too much about the quality. Be in the moment – you can always improve it later. And even if you think your writing is bad, there must be some parts that you like or that are good. You don’t have to discard the whole thing just because of some errors or weak spots. Have faith.

Facebook group for Writers

As writers, we often face one common obstacle that hinders our productivity. It’s the tendency to interfere with our own writing process. To be a writer, we need to write. The best way to overcome this obstacle is to persist, really.

Think about how you might be sabotaging your own writing goals. Are you letting perfectionism stop you from finishing your drafts? Or are you procrastinating on the next steps? I’m curious to know your opinions on self sabotage as a writer.

Please share your thoughts about procrastinating and perfectionism on my facebook group, I’ve got a story to tell. It’s a wonderful place for writers where you’ll find a lot of support and feedback from other members of the group, too.

Until next time, happy writing!

Learning, support and encouragement for amateur writers.


I care passionately about words and stories. As a Story Coach and Mentor, I help writers to tell irresistible stories. I offer courses, memberships and programmes to suit beginners, developing writers and those ready to become the writer they’ve been trying to be for years.

Learn how to ‘Show more than you tell’ in your writing with my free workbook – your guide to an engaging storytelling style. You can also follow me on Facebook for more tips to support your writing journey.

You may also like…

NEW! Online masterclass for fiction writers

If you sign with a traditional publisher you need to be ready to take an active part in your book’s marketing.This workshop is for any fiction writer wanting to learn more about the traditional publication process and how to prepare to collaborate with your marketing team to give your books the best possible push.

read more

Writing without a plan?

If you’ve made a plan for your writing projects, do you need to stick to it? I share some insights on how to achieve a breakthrough in your storytelling.

read more


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *