On Overcommitting and Why I Haven’t Written My Book Yet

why i havent written my book yet

I thought that if I said it out loud, it would force me to actually go through with it. I started this year with one big goal: to write a book. A massive undertaking at the best of times, but with a schedule like mine? Madness. Yet I reasoned that I could definitely get it done. I thrive on being busy.

But as the year zipped by a frighting speed, there was one thing that became very obvious: I was seriously putting off writing the damn thing.

Sleep on the plane, or bash out a few chapters? Work on blog posts, or draft an outline? Produce more Home School videos, or work on content ideas?

As more and more time past it become very clear to me that I was procrastinating. Big time.

The idea of writing a book started to feel like an albatross hanging around my neck. I wish I’d never told anyone, it was now all everybody seemed to ask me about. Each time they did the burden and guilt that I hadn’t even really started got heavier and heavier. “How’s the book coming along?” they’d innocently enquire. I’d blush bright crimson and mumble something about “being just so very, very busy right now.”

Which is true, I have been swamped this year, but if I’m being 100% honest with myself, that’s not why I haven’t written it. If I really wanted to do it I would have found the time. The fact that I haven’t speaks volumes.

I felt like a massive failure because I hadn’t followed through with what I’d promised, but when I looked at it objectively, I realised that I’ve actually achieved so many other things since January because I haven’t been chained to my desk working on a manuscript. I’ve travelled more than ever, I’ve taken day trips and holidays with friends, I’ve committed to other projects that I’m genuinely excited about.

So will I ever write a book one day? Sure, maybe. It’s not completely off the table. But right now there are just so many other things I want to prioritise instead: my next headpiece collection, new Blogcademy offerings, moving house..!

Does any of this feel familiar to you? Have you been putting something off that you once really wanted to do? Are you overcommitting yourself in other areas? Are you purposely putting obstacles in your own path? If so, maybe it’s time to ask yourself why this might be.

There’s no shame in changing direction or dropping things you no longer feel passionate about. Pressurising yourself into doing something you hate because you’re afraid of what people might think is not a badge of honour. There’s no shame in moving in a different direction if something no longer feels good.

Remember, moving on or letting things go are not failures. Often when things seem to be falling apart, they’re actually just falling into place.

10 comments

  1. I totally agree with the last two paragraphs. Why get hung up doing on something if the passion isn’t there anymore or if something else has taken its place? Life’s too short, especially if you have loads of other awesome things going on!

  2. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, and of course our bigger dreams (your book) are never too far off whenever we want to tackle those projects.

  3. I can totally relate to this. There are projects that have fallen by the wayside with me too, but sometimes you just unexpectedly fall into another project that captures your heart more than your previous goals!

  4. jo

    i so often change direction in things i do, or want to do that i worry i come across as ‘flakey’ but i am fortunate to have an awesome fiancé who just encourages me in whatever i’m doing – which makes me feel better. The problem is that i’m interested in trying out so many things that i struggle to focus and of course i sometimes put of trying to do things because i’m scared of failing at it too…so that’s never good!

    if you ever write your book, it’ll be so much better for not being forced, writing it without passion will probably show…

  5. I started writing my book at 17 (I am 38 now) and I felt so overwhelmed. One day I realized you know what-if its all meant to be done right now then it will be. Since then I have been on a long journey to write my book but right now I am exercising my writing muscles by writing for my blog. Next step is to take a few classes and again, when it is supposed to be it will. That’s how I try to view everything in my life. Not to force its hand but try to allow it to just happen. Focus on what you can do and do your best. I do all of this and tend to my three small children, a home, and so much more. If I force myself to do any more I can bust and that isn’t good for me or my family. I make a to-do for the week and try my best at getting it all done. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t and that’s okay :) xox

  6. Yes me too, i work part time, have 3 children and run my blog.. Plus all the day to day stuff. Its very hard to keep on top of it. Plus im trying to learn corsetry. My life seems so full and busy. ARGH am i on burn out…

  7. I think we place a lot of “shoulda” on our own lives. We need to constantly question these “should” thoughts! “I should be doing this, but instead I’m doing this!” Or making ridiculously long list for a day that no human person could get through. I’m so guilty of that. much like Kat I thrive on being super busy. But quality must come first and sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. You also need time to see friends and family, relax and go for a walk. This in turn makes the quality of your work better.

  8. COMPLETELY sympathise with all of this. I’ve had several unfinished stories on my laptop for years and whenever I tell people about a deadline I’ve set myself I entirely regret it. It takes all the joy out of writing.

    Thing is, it sounds like you’re making brilliant progress in other parts of your work so you shouldn’t feel guilty at all! If your only progress was through your Netflix wishlist that’d be a whole other matter ;)

  9. Amen to this. If you want something, you will find a way. My dad has drummed this into me since I was very young. I’ve let a few things go over the last few months that I thought I wanted more than anything else in the world. It has felt good, I’ve found other new things that have taken their place and freed my time up for those.

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