There is just no way to get around it. You won’t produce without producing. Yes, you can dictate your words and have the computer type it up. But they have to go from somewhere inside your brain to somewhere on the page. This is the work.

I wanted to write ever since I was a kid. I like to think it is a DNA thing. Found out when I was in my late teens that my dad had wanted to be a writer and to teach English literature. His parents did not see that as a path they could support and put both he and his brother through optometry school.

Something about the written word holds a power over me. I’ve seldom considered them, the words I write, in relation to others. I do have a jury in my head, I sometimes write with them in mind, to pass their scrutiny but not please them.  More like to write so there is nothing for them to latch onto and criticize.

So where to start?


Make an agreement with yourself to write on a regular basis. This time you set aside should include an agreement from any other stakeholders in your life. Like any project: buy-in of all the players is key to success. Success is defined in this particular case as writing. If your partner, kid(s), employer, police are not cool with when and where you want to write then you have to adapt you schedule so that it works. Writing is enough of a challenge when things are just right. If you run into barriers to your schedule, look at how you can adapt to make it work.


But your schedule and your work space availability (is this space – dining room table, favorite living room chair, backyard, toadstool, barstool, comfy café couch) available when you want to schedule your writing? Is the atmosphere a conductor or inhibitor of your goal to write? This may take some experimentation. You may want to be at the breakfast table at your home, or the seat by the window at Starbucks, but events may conspire to make that unworkable. Too many curious kitties vying for your attention at home, happy hour half off Frappuccino sale at Starbucks during the time you scheduled? Do the math. Is it every time or just this once? Adapt.

When it comes to writing, writing itself is initial goal. Too many struggle with getting it right the first time. If this sounds like you then make your new goal just to get it down. Getting it right is for later work: structure, voice, pacing… But you need something to work with. Tell your internal critic(s) to quiet down so you may work. Comfort them with the fact there will be plenty of time for criticism later.


Writing is one form of exercise. Editing is another. Your focus at this stage of the game: Write!

Write in baby steps

Write imperfect

Write in spasms

Write in gushes and floods

Write inspired

Write like it doesn’t matter

Write like your life depends on it

Write through tears

Write your fears



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