I would be writing but I need an organized office. But I have to wait until life settles down. But I need to know for sure I can sell it. But first I need an MFA degree. But I’ll wait until after Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year. I need to research a lot more before I can start. I need to finish this thing first.
I need… there has to be… I should.
We all have fake needs. These are needs fronted by the ego. Just a lame excuse, that as soon as we hear it in our brains, we start believing, and finding reasons to support it. These are fake needs. We believe in them. We make goals and task lists to try to meet these fake needs. We even hire people and spend money to satisfy our fake needs. We work so hard on the fake needs, we hardly notice that we aren’t meeting our real needs. We aren’t writing. Or we aren’t writing the work we know we have to take on.
Why would our egos do this to us? Wouldn’t your ego love it if you wrote the great American novel or sold an Oscar-winning screenplay? Yes. Of course it loves that idea, that vision. It loves basking in the glow of possible stardom. What it doesn’t like is putting that great feeling at risk, by trying. Or by working hard.
So next time you hear yourself saying, “but first… ” seriously consider if you “need” that. And sit down and write. Maybe for just an hour or two. (“But I need at least 4 hours!) and see if you can leave some fake needs behind.