Category: The Writing Life

A Secret

March 5th, 2020 — 5:45pm

I’m a sucker for writing supplies. Journals, pens, colored pencils, typewriters, methods (and as of three weeks ago, washi tape): bring it all on. Some things take, others fade, but all keep me afloat at least for a while.

Often during book talks, people ask about my writing process and wonder what advice I’d offer for starting and continuing. Multiple answers clamor for attention, but the first two are:

1) Find your time. I’m a morning writer. I’ve made myself get up early for so many years it’s become a habit as automatic and commonplace as brushing my teeth.

2) Just do it.

Yep, it’s that stark and brutal. And (ugh) straightforward. The key to most of what I’ve accomplished as a writer lies below.

I procrastinate. A million reasons to avoid the work crop up. Given any opportunity, I’ll grab them and delay sitting down and typing. But the pictured two-inch slip of index card motivates and instructs me. Whether I’m dragging, stalling, or lost, it reminds me—and requires me (I’m strict)—to work for fifteen minutes, see what happens, and go from there. “Don’t tell me you can’t find the time or bear the effort,” I warn myself. I glance at the square of paper and raise my brows. “Just don’t.”

The bigger picture at my desk is more colorful, varied, and fun–

–but the bottom line remains simple, often dismayingly so.

What’re your secrets for getting stuff done? I’m always on the lookout for inspiration.

Comment » | The Writing Life

Back to top