The writing life does not hunt you down, hit you over the head, drag you to a writing cave, and compel you into a life of feverish creativity. The writing life does not grow out of longing, passivity, or whining. It begins when you begin—simple as that. On the day you put words on a page or a computer screen, your writing life has become present-tense. So please, stop waiting around.
· Don’t wait until you have plenty of time, because you probably never will.
· Don’t wait until you are well prepared, because no one is well prepared to write. The writing itself prepares you to keep writing. Being proficient at grammar, punctuation, spelling, and so forth will prepare you to construct language, but only writing prepares you to write.
· Don’t wait until your relationships are healthier and less disruptive; where do you expect to get your characters anyway?
· Don’t wait until you feel certain that you have the gifts of a writer. Our certainty of such gifts is not an accurate indicator. Some people who are quite gifted do not recognize it. And some people who are very certain they are gifted are in fact delusional about their abilities.
· Don’t wait until you feel inspired. Inspiration can be a stimulating way to get started, but the practice of writing will generate its own inspiration—and will be much more dependable.
· Don’t wait until you are assured of some reward, whether money, recognition, or satisfaction. The writing life must be its own reward, simply because other rewards come and go and often aren’t there at all.
· Don’t wait until your life isn’t so chaotic. What do you expect to write about, anyway?
· Don’t wait until you have the perfect place in which to write; the writing life will make itself at home anywhere if you give it permission to be at home in you.
· Don’t wait until you have the bestseller-of-an-idea. Aiming to write a bestseller is not the same as living the writing life. No one has the formula for a bestseller, although lots of people will claim to have that very secret. When you put pressure on yourself to write a bestseller, that can pretty much paralyze what could have been a decent writing life.
· Don’t wait until others see the value in what you’re trying to do. Support is a great gift but often we have to start—and persevere—without it.
· Don’t wait until your deep personal issues are worked out—what do you expect to write about anyway?
· Don’t wait until the world asks to hear from you. The world won’t even know you are gifted and articulate until you embrace the writing life.
· Don’t wait until you are more courageous and confident. Those qualities will develop as you own your gift and follow where it leads.
So, close this page now and get started.
Vinita Hampton Wright © 2009