In no particular order:

  • Mochi and Kita (my two cats), sitting on my desk/ hands when I’m trying to write.
  • The conviction that I suck so badly I should never inflict my words on anyone.
  • Lack of tea.
  • The messiness of my desk (seriously, I just need to tidy it before I start).
  • The lack of a plan (I really need to make a bullet pointed to-do list before I start. Kind of like this one).
  • My daughters needing me to drive them to school and/ or dancing/ gymnastics/ swimming/ singing/ parties every day.
  • My youngest daughter talking to me about Disney princesses, Paw Patrol, and her need for a continuous intake of food when I want to write.
  • The ghost of feedback past: positive feedback takes up almost no room in my brain, but negative feedback is like a squad of unsupportive cheerleaders shouting to me about how bad I am at this.
  • Being unable to do anything at all in the evenings except watch trash TV and go to bed early in an exhausted haze (and wine – there’s always time for wine).
  • Being distracted by shiny new stories and neglecting to edit the novel.
  • Facebook.
  • Being paralysed by actually having a free moment to write. Where to start?
  • Research: just need to look that one thing up for my story and wow, that’s interesting, and look at that!
  • Food. Is it lunch time yet?
  • Actual stomach-churning fear of my manuscript being hated by all, so probably best to never look at it. Oh, it’s just terrible. Look away, people! Look away!
  • My brain convincing me that I am using simple words incorrectly. “Doing?” as in “to do”? No, that spells the noise “doing”, which rhymes with “boing.”
  • I can’t write if the house is messy, because obviously.

I could keep going, but that will do for now. So really it’s a miracle that the words putting down on page (or screen) thing ever happens for me at all. I should reward myself with a nice cup of tea, and make a start on my plan for the day. Ahem.

What keeps you from writing, or doing the things you should?