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If You Want to Write, Then Just Do It

If You Want to Write, Then Just Do It

Article by Michelle Linn-Gust

There is a reality to being a writer that most people don’t understand: You will never have time to do as much of it as you’d like. Life has a funny way of sliding between you and writing. Get used to it and learn to work around it.

People talk about how if they could get enough time together they could write that novel they’ve been thinking about. Or if they could spend a week at the beach, they could do a lot of writing there. Those aren’t the times to write. Writing should be slipped between the cracks and crevices of living life because it’s in living life that you will find what to write about.

• First set a goal for each day. For some people it’s a word count or for others it’s a certain number of pages. Try it a few different ways and you’ll see which works better for you. Quality isn’t always as important as quantity especially in the beginning as you’re disciplining yourself to write each day. That’s your focus.

• Reward yourself for keeping up with your goals. Maybe after you’ve reached a certain number of pages or words, get something for yourself that you’ve been wanting and or reward yourself in another way. Heck, take a day off! Sometimes a day off can rejuvenate you and bring you need ideas.

• You don’t always need a quiet writing space. A quiet writing space might not be possible in your home. You don’t have to write in the same place each day. I actually write on airplanes. Long flights are great because I won’t be interrupted by anyone but the flight attendant (or the kid kicking my seat back). Learn to tune out the chaos around you because you’ll never make it go away. It’s part of your life, it’s part of you. And if you want writing to be part of your life, then you need to integrate it just like you brush your teeth each day.

• Take notes. Use sticky notes or scraps of paper. No matter where you are, make sure that a notepad and writing utensil is nearby. You never know when those thoughts are going to come. You might consider keeping a scuba writing board in your shower. Some of the best thoughts can come during the shower when you’re washing your hair and have uninterrupted time to think. You might not know where the thought you write down belongs but that’s okay, stick it in a file of random notes and one day you also can use it as a writing starter when you don’t feel you have anything to write about.

• Writer’s block is only for those who believe in it. Maybe you aren’t supposed to do a lot of writing on one day. Maybe you’re supposed to spend time with your family or go for a walk where you have time to think. If it’s not working, then go do something else unrelated and you’ll find that when you’re ready, what you need will come to you and you can get started.

Many people talk about how they have a book inside them but few follow through with writing it. Everyone has the ability to make that dream come true. The key is making it happen. No excuses. Just do it.

About the Author

Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., is an international author and speaker about finding hope during times of loss and change. She is the author of several books including Ginger’s Gift: Hope and Healing Through Dog Companionship. Her first book, based on the suicide of her younger sister Denise, Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling, inspired siblings around the world in their survival after a loved one’s suicide. To learn more please visit: http://www.michellelinngust.com