Focus on Now; The Future Can Wait

Dear newbie writer type,

Word has it that maybe you’re a little concerned about running out of ideas one day. Well never fear, my friend. I have some advice for you that’s going to make it feel all better.

Shut up!

Not what you were looking for? Maybe you were hoping for something a little more . . . uplifting? You wanted someone to massage your ego as opposed to pistol whipping it?

My apologies, my fragile little friend, but that’s not how we roll ’round here. We believe in embracing honest truths and attending tough-love seminars. If you’re still reading this then you probably need to hear some of what I’m saying, and there’s a part of you that knows it, so get ready. You might need some emotional stitches when we’re done.

First off, you need to get your head out of the future and focus on the here and now. Are you currently working on a project? Are you honestly progressing toward finishing it?

Regardless of your answers to those questions, that’s where your focus needs to be. On what’s in front of you and nothing else. Whenever people start worrying about the existence of future projects, I wonder if they’re struggling with a current work in progress.

Fear of failure makes us into avoiders. Rather than face our challenges, a lot of us want to run, and that just compounds the problem. Sit your ass down. Work on your current project, even if the words you’re writing sound awful.

Maybe they are, and maybe they’re not. It doesn’t matter. Just get them down on the page. In the words of Chuck Wendig (, finish your shit!

Second point: Who gives a damn if your story sucks? Chances are you make little to no income off your writing now. Even if you write what you think is probably the worst story ever told, it’s not going to change your financial situation.

When you look at it that way, you really having nothing to lose. So stink it up my friend, and remember, it could be worse. You could have written Showgirls.

Third and final point: Writing, like a lot of things in life, is a continual learning process. Even if the thing you write is a total bomb, try to take comfort in the idea that at least you’re learning something, even if the lesson is about what doesn’t work. Any effort put forth for your craft is never wasted.

So in closing, my dear delicate writing flower, remember to keep your chin up. Don’t waste your time worrying about what the future may or may not bring. Embrace your fears. Find those things you’re avoiding and run at them with open arms. (Unless it’s a bear. That’ll just get you mauled.)

Build your story word by word and page by page. Finish your shit, and let the future take care of itself.

More or less sincerely,


Larry Jenkins is an aspiring Word Pimp. Has laptop, will travel. Let's make this happen, people.

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