Writing Tip #1


This seems self-evident but I believe it’s the number one reason writers don’t write. The primary culprit? Ego, as in: me, myself and I. Self-sabotage. There are always a dozen circumstances at any given time that make it awkward to just sit down and write. Schedules, appointments, phone calls, bills, a tricky little business of producing an income so that food may grace the top of the table or TV tray. You know the rote and rhyme.

It’s simple but let’s go over it anyways. Give yourself permission. That’s it. Allow yourself to take time out of all the craziness that is life in this millennium and just write.

But, but, but… You shake your head, flip your hair and say, it’s not that easy. Yes, it is.

Life is about choices, an endless series of choices. You wake up and get out of bed. You brush your teeth and maybe your hair. You take a shower or not. Blah, blah, blah. Give yourself a personal high five for breathing and reward yourself with time to write. You make time to do everything else right? So just accept that you are not being selfish, you are feeding the interior monster so that the wily beast does not leap from your gullet and gorge itself on the neighborhood. You’re sacrificing time for the health and welfare of others. Go with it. Whatever it takes to get your subconscious and conscious aligned on this subject. Make Freud proud.

Writing time is your time – let no one swipe it away.

Start small if you need to, with five minute increments. You have the power to make the world stop on it’s axial rotation for five minutes every day and write. If you struggle with going cold turkey – lock yourself in the bathroom and sit in the tub (or stand in the shower) with your notebook.

Squeeze five minutes out of your packed schedule by taking a shorter shower, writing through lunch (best if done without a companion), pull off to the side of the road and pretend you’re making a very important call, stay up past your bedtime, get up earlier in the morning, etc. Find the minutes where they hide.

Carry paper and pen. Scribble, jot, note, scribe throughout the day. Leave a notebook open on the counter when you’re doing household chores so you can run over and write when something gels. Sticky notes are your friend and they come in many colors and stick to things. That’s cool. You can also write on them in meetings and colleagues think you’re being productive.

If you’re the kind of writer who needs to center themselves in lotus position as water tinkles down a rock face and the scent of plumeria flutters through the room…accept this now: You Are Not. Don’t wrap yourself in this nonsense like those fools who grow wispy mustachios and wear motheaten berets and smoke filtered Galousi cigarettes through straws. That’s goofy. Pretense limits your ability to write and since that’s what writers do…that’s the goal. Keep your eyes on the prize, baby.

Just write.

Say it with me now…I will commit to make time to write. Even if it’s only five minutes, I will write because I’m worth it. This is not only what I like to do, it is who I am.

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