Discover the REAL Reason You Don’t Write: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #17

small__3144332544When you don’t write, it’s usually not for the reasons you believe. To get yourself writing, you need to get really honest with yourself and uncover:

  1. Why you think you aren’t writing.
  2. Your payoffs for not writing.
  3. Your fears about writing.
  4. The negative thoughts that stop you from writing.

When you do this, you can then change your thought process and belief system about writing, freeing you up to do what you say you want to do: write.

Nonfiction Writing Prompt #17: Discover the REAL Reason You Don’t Write

To complete this writing prompt, answer the following questions on a piece of paper. Writing by hand tends to work better, but you can do it on your computer. Write down the first thought, or thoughts, that pop into your head; don’t dwell on your answers.

  1. The reasons I don’t write or can’t write are: (Write down all your reasons.)
  2. My payoff for not writing or not feeling able to write are: (Write down all the payoffs you can think of. Payoffs are things you gain or ways you benefit by not writing.)
  3. My fears of giving up this condition—not writing or being able to write—are: (Write down all your fears.)
  4. My most negative thought about myself is: (This might be related to writing or it might not.)
  5. The main reason I don’t want to give up this condition (not writing) is:

Did you discover anything interesting? For instance, are your payoffs actually things that don’t move you closer to your goal of becoming a successful author but rather foster your fears and insecurities? Or do your fears actually have little to do with the writing itself and more to do with your sense of self-worth? Is it possible that your most negative belief speaks to your own sense of self and not to your writing per se?

Now, you have to do something with that information. The classic antidote to negative thoughts and beliefs is to write affirmations, positive statements, and repeat them to yourself daily, especially when you find these negative thoughts, fears and beliefs coming up and stopping you from writing. Many people have used them affectively, including bestselling author Jack Canfield.

To write an affirmation, take your most negative thought, for example, and turn it into a positive one. If that though was, “I never have anything worthwhile to say,” your affirmation could be, “I have an abundance or worthwhile ideas that people are eager to read.” You can pace these affirmations on 3”x5” cards and carry them with you, place them on sticky notes placed in strategic places so you see them often and read them in the morning and at night as well as at other times. The idea is to convince your subconscious mind they are true.

Analyze each payoff, fear, and negative thought and turn it around. Find a positive payoff. Determine if the fear is based in reality or how to dispel it. Create an affirmation.

Or try the Heart Forgiveness or Core Health programs offered by Dr. Ed Carlson, which are enormously powerful for clearing out these types of issues.

I also can help you work through these issues. Set up a consultation and indicate that you are interested in achieving Inspired Results.

I’d love to hear what you discovered! Leave me a comment.

NonfictionWritersUniv300For more information on how to create nonfiction book ideas that are marketable and that support your writing goals, join the NFWU. When you do, you’ll receive this month’s Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) homework assignment, which contains more exercises and information on this topic. Plus, you’ll have access to the growing archive of past homework assignments and NFWU teleseminars as well as some introductory gifts worth more than the membership! Join here at the low introductory rate!

Photo credit: redwood 1 via photopin cc


  1. Michael Kelberer says:

    Hi Nina,
    Like your sequence, especially the part where you focus on your payoff. Almost everyone is willing to give up a bad habit or attitude, but how many are willing to give up the benefit that goes with it??

    • Exactly right, Michael. It can be really hard to give up bad habits BECAUSE of the payoffs. Until you realize how that bad habit benefits you, and find a new payoff, you’ll just keep doing it. Thanks for your comment.


  1. […] block. You “have” one of the conditions, or some other, on the list above. You simply need to figure out why you don’t write, and address that […]

Speak Your Mind