Fight for your words

At almost every event I’ve spoken at or every time I’ve mentioned I’m a writer, someone comes up to me and says, ‘I’ve got a great idea for a book but I just don’t have the time to write.’ Well, you do have the time, you just have to make it.


I’ve written before about how books are written with time stolen from other people and it’s true. The truth is that you have to fight for your words. You have to fight for the time to write, it’s never just going to show up in a nice basket with a ‘free to a good home’ ribbon attached.


If you want to write that book that’s been floating around in your head then you need to pick up that (metaphorical please) sword and start cleaving away time for it. That might mean getting up earlier, going to bed later or maybe only going to the gym 5 days a week instead of 6. It might mean you don’t watch your usual TV/Netflix/Hulu before bed and instead you get your words down on page.


It might mean that you write during your lunch break at your day job or that you start taking the bus to work and write on your commute.


It means stepping back and taking a strategic look at your day and clearing time to write. The words won’t happen unless you make time for them to so don’t be afraid to fight for your right to write.


If it matters to you, find a way. 

Little Rebel, Write However You Want

Sometimes I think there might be more writing advice out on the interwebs than there are actually stories. Everywhere you look, you can find some new tip or trick that supposedly will make you a better writer. The ideas vary wildly from using no technology to using nothing but technology. There are people who get up at 4am to write and people who stay up until 4am to write. There are those who writ every day and those who write in bursts and then don't write again for days. 

For a long time I thought that there had to be some secret for writing. Something that would make writing suddenly super easy and always succusful. I dove into every writing guide I could get my hands on, read every blog post, tried every tip and trick I could get my greedy little hands on. And I hated it. I felt like I never was doing enough, was never writing 'correctly'. I always felt like I was failing some final exam and any moment, someone was going to snatch my laptop for me and tell me to stop faking it. 

I stopped writing for a while and that was just as miserable. I longed to write but I remained scared on how to actually going about getting it down on page. Until I realized the very simple, no duh moment that it didn't matter. How I got the words onto page didn't matter. What mattered is that I wrote. I didn't have to make the process this grand scary thing that required a certain candle to be lit at a certain time. All that mattered was writing. Even if I wrote horrible crap that no one would ever see the world wouldn't end. 

I'd built the process of writing up so much in my head that fear paralyzed me. I worried about somehow getting it 'wrong' and ruining everything. 

But the process only need to have one step: write. 

Now I'm not afraid to try different things, to play with my process and take the time to learn what works and doesn't work for me. I've realized there is no one way to write that matches for everyone. There are a variety of ways to write and no shame in doing what works for you. You don't have to write like Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Roxanne Gay or anyone else writes. You can build it your own way, you rebel you. 

All you have to remember is to get your words on the page.