How One Writer Died From Procrastination

By Ruth Barringham

A few years ago, I received an email from one of my subscribers. He was a man who died from procrastination. Or I should more correctly say, his writing career died from his obsessive procrastination.

He got in touch with me because he said he wanted to write and publish an eBook but he was worried about copyright issues and was asking how he could protect his work from being plagiarised or stolen. At this point it seemed he hadn’t even written his eBook because, he said, he could see no point if his copyright could be infringed.

I thought that worrying about copyright issues before he’d even written one word of his eBook, was like too scared about shoplifters before you opened a store, or worrying about car-jackers before you buy a car. There really are no guarantees in life about anything, except death.

I tried to explain this to him but he seemed like he didn’t want to listen and was almost demanding that I give him assurance that if he wrote and published an eBook, no one would ever EVER infringe his copyright.

How did he want me to assure him of THAT?

I thought about it for a while and then I realised that copyright wasn’t his problem. It was procrastination. He was using copyright issues as an excuse not to write his eBook.

I told him that the best thing he could do was not just write one eBook, but write many and let the copyrighting chips fall where they may. That is, after all, what all writers do. But still he was having none of it and kept insisting that there must be some way to protect his work (which at this time didn’t even exist) so that no one else would ever financially benefit from the theft of it. He never even actually said what the eBook was going to be about. Not that I cared.

The emails continued back and forth for a couple of weeks. In the end he said that he wouldn’t even bother writing his eBook because what was the point if anyone could duplicate it and start selling copies of their own.

So he wrote nothing.

And I couldn’t help but think that if he’d spent the time writing his eBook instead of spending it writing angry emails about thefts that hadn’t happened, his eBook would have been finished. Instead, he had accomplished nothing, except getting really worked up about imaginary people stealing his imaginary eBook.

But what if he’d forgotten all about copyright infringement and plagiarism, and instead had written 20 eBooks and published them? With so much passion I thought it would have been easy for him to write that many eBooks.

If he’d stuck to writing and publishing, he could have been earning thousands $$$ from his eBook sales, and maybe working as a full-time author.

I couldn’t believe how he threw it all away just because of procrastination. He was scared to start writing so he came up with a reason that he couldn’t. And then he did nothing.

And all this led me to thinking about how many other writers there are who sit and think up excuses not to write a book.

How about you?

Are you a writer or a quitter?

For a mere 99 cents, you could be a writer.

Click the link below.

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