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Not in my writing projects. Although I have changed the opening of my memoir, My Mother’s Money—or Almost an Heiress—6 times. (I’m still shuffling the pages back and forth between two sections, weighing which one has the stronger hook.)

I’m talking about the many times in the past two and a half years that I’ve changed direction.

My false starts are the results of exploring how I want to spend my time, earn money, and fulfill my creative urges and talents. If a  project doesn’t work out, I have to file away the remnants of my failure, grieve and regroup, then start all over on something else. These wasted efforts cost time, money, and patience—besides the fact that they’re pretty exhausting.

When I left my full-time job as a marketing communications director in 2008, I took on freelance work related to that profession. But I quickly realized it didn’t interest me anymore.

I love and collect art, so I decided to teach others how they could own affordable original art. I visited museums and galleries, and contacted artists to feature their work on the blog I began on the subject. I put out money, but couldn’t figure out how to bring in money at this work. (I considered becoming an art consultant, but realized I wouldn’t relish working with indecisive clients nervous about spending money on art, and on my services.)

There might have been another effort after that, but fortunately for my self-esteem, I can’t remember what it was.

Then, I had an idea. I would teach writing. I would write a book on writing. I did both, and then began coaching other writers and editing their work. This all feels right, thank goodness, because I couldn’t stomach the need to start all over again.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like What Keeps Me From Writing? My Furniture, and What Keeps Me From Writing? Gourmet Food.

Leave a comment about what interferes with your writing—or about your false starts—to win a free download of Polish and Publish: The Indispensable Toolkit for Creative Writers.

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9 Responses to “What Keeps Me From Writing? False Starts”

  1. Shirley says:

    Lynette, I love your memoir title. How intriguing. And I love the honesty of your career story. I can identify with you in many ways, since I am hoping to turn my literary and leadership experiences into a new kind of career also. You have created a sophisticated website and what seems to be a great e-book. Do you have an entrepreneurship coach? I am working with http://www.ChristineKane.com and am very impressed with her knowledge. You might go to her site. If you are interested, she is giving a free webinar next week.

    All best as you continue the path that follows your heart and offers your love and knowledge back to the world. Therein wisdom is found.

  2. Terry says:

    This is a great commentary on how much of a crooked path it is for some of us to find our “right work”. Great description. I’m going to share it with my career transition followers.

    I know you didn’t ask for votes; but I want to submit mine in regards to the title of your memoir. Please don’t change the title!!!! I see you mention that it is either “My Mother’s Money” or “Almost an Heiress”???? (did I understand that right?) My vote is to keep it at “My Mother’s Money” ……The title alone is intriguing. I LOVE it. I hope you continue with your memoir. The pieces of the draft you let me read were FABULOUS. I cannot wait to read more. Seriously.

  3. Okay, Terry. I’ll keep your favorite title. I include the other on the off chance that that an agent is trolling and gets psyched about the book. :-)

    I’m glad the post might be of interest to your career transition clients. Just let them know that there might be a few false starts, but you learn from those.

  4. I’ll check out her site, Shirley. Robin Hoffman (Author Alchemy) is my strategist. She’s wonderful. I’m afraid I missed Christine’s webinar, though. Maybe I’ll be able to hear her next one . . .

    Thanks so much for your good wishes. (There are days I really need them!). And I send them back to you.

  5. P.S. Shirley, I’m so tempted to post some fragments from my memoir here . . . Still thinking about it.

  6. Bossladywriter says:

    The post is nice. I hope you find eternal happiness with what you’re presently doing. Finding a long time career that is satiable can be very difficult. Keep doing what you’re doing. I appreciate the information you dispense. I’m glad we met and I look forward to reading your book.:-)

  7. Hi, Bosslady. It’s terrific seeing you here. Thanks for your encouragement, here and on Twitter. My interactive book, Polish and Publish is on its way to you. May you find it useful. – L

  8. I didn’t have a false start, but I did rewrite the start of my YA fantasy, Lethal Inheritance about 10 times. Not including the edits. I think I’ve found the right place for me in writing but my agent just has to find a publisher now.

  9. Hi, Tahlia:

    Tx for your comment. I can certainly relate to rewriting the opening repeatedly! Good luck finding the right publisher and congrats on completing your book! I’m sending you Polish and Publish. If you don’t need it, pass it on to a writing friend. – Lynette

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