Don’t listen to the haters. Anyone who says anything negative about your writing is clearly jealous of your potential success. Chances are you know more about writing than they do, and besides, you know what you’re trying to say and how you want to say it. Anyone who gives you suggestions is probably trying to undermine you and cut your work down. Along the same lines, don’t bother with a professional editor. If you can’t make it perfect on your own, then you don’t deserve to be writing anyway. Go with your gut and make your own decisions, and ignore the input of critique partners, beta readers, and editors.
4. Don’t Put Things Away
If your office space and home are cluttered, you can effectively busy yourself with tidying and organizing endlessly so you never have to worry about squeezing in time for writing. The key to this is to not have places for everything and to not put things away immediately after you use/buy them. Stack paperwork on counters, dishes in the sink, and so on. You can very quickly compile endless stacks of things that you need to go through before you can sit down and write.
3. Don’t carve out time for your writing
Writing should be fluid, as the mood and inspiration strike. If you have a set time to sit down and work or if you have a word count goal, you’ll stifle your creativity. Don’t punish yourself for not writing by not allowing yourself to do something else you want to do until you’ve completed a goal. Goals and strict rules about writing time will put too much emphasis on results rather than giving you the freedom to enjoy the process. Writing should be more like a hobby and less like a job, so only do it if you really feel like it and if you have nothing better to do.
2. Don’t Prioritize
Don’t make lists or organize your time into what needs to be done first. You’ll be far more effective if you do a little here and a little there and flit around from one project to the next. That way, you’ll have made progress on half a dozen things instead of just one. It’s less important to complete any one thing than to keep working at everything at once. Also, the more you have going on, the more you can brag about how much you have going on so people empathize with you and are more understanding of why you make so little progress on your writing.
1. Have Lots of Kids
The most effective way I’ve found to sideline a writing career is by making something else the number one thing in your life. Ideally, this should be something that can’t be put aside easily, like a day job that pays the bills or lots of children. Children are great, because between the diapers and the potty training and the schooling and the hormones, you have eighteen years of things that need your immediate attention. Moreover, the more you have, the more time and effort they take. Plus, they require constant maintenance. Feeding them and cleaning up after them will take up so many hours that your available time to devote to writing will be severely limited.