How to be a writer

Get up, sit down and start writing.

One letter, one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time.

We know you don’t want to. We know you want to check your emails and your feeds. (Just a quick check. How bad can that be? Worse than you think. A lot worse. Switching between tasks robs you of cognitive focus. It can take you up to 20 minutes to get back into the flow of what you were doing. Switching between tasks every 10 minutes or so like most people means you never get into the flow. You never get to go deep on anything. You never get to the treasure.)

Do you know why you’re switching? Fear. You have absurdly high standards, you have a very strong need for approval, you have a compulsion to please. You’re a perfectionist, compulsive, conscientious, ambitious, driven, self-critical.

You’re fearful of producing poor quality work, of people’s disapproval, of causing displeasure. Why risk all that negativity when you can just go and make a cup of coffee? Why not avoid those bad feelings by avoiding writing altogether?

Because if you don’t write it’s not the disapproval of others you face. It’s the disapproval of your own self. Negating your existence is no way to get through life.

Pull up a chair and start writing. And keep writing.

That’s how to be a writer.

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