1. Work half-ass on something and tell yourself you put your all into it.
  2. Submit your work (even your finest), to a publication that receives hundreds or thousands of responses in one reading period and then come down hard on yourself if it doesn’t get picked up.
  3. Tell yourself that a streak of bad luck means that your writing is just not good enough. 
  4. Feel sorry for yourself when you get a rejection. 
  5. Take rejection personally.
  6. Say that you’re going to submit your work but stay busy doing anything and everything else so that it doesn’t get done.
  7. Compare our writer selves to others.
  8. Don’t do the work, then wonder why we’re not achieving our goals.
  9. Don’t go to conferences, readings, workshops, etc., where we can learn more about craft, then wonder why we seem to know so little about craft.
  10. Decline working with writing groups, only to feel like writing is the loneliest game in town.
  11. Don’t read others’ books or poetry or short stories, etc., then wonder why you feel like you’re starving for words and ideas.
  12. Judge yourself and your work so harshly, you’re afraid to set it on its way out into the world.
  13. Convince yourself that your self-worth as a writer depends on writing being published or winning; learn to live in fear of rejection and doubt yourself from the beginning of the process forward. 
  14. Poser syndrome – doubt that you’re even a real writer or that you have anything to say that anyone will want to read.
  15. Quit going to your 7 a.m. Zoom Group because you’d rather sleep for 45 more minutes, then lie in bed and wonder where the day went (preaching to myself here, friends). 
  16. Talk about how much you need/have to do writing-wise, and marvel that it never happens (as Crystal Wilkinson says, “DO THE WORK!”).
  17. Put projects on the back burner every time you start making progress because you’re afraid of rejection once the project is finished. 
  18. Spend your days watching a channel of rerun television instead of writing because you’re “not feeling it” today – Monk might need you to help solve that mystery, you know!
  19. Vulnerability is not your favorite shade – learn to wear it, anyway; it’s hard to get anywhere without it.
  20. Those cats can’t cuddle by themselves, they need me to lie there and watch rerun TV with them all day.
  21. Take rejection personally. (Did I say that before? It bears repeating.)