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The other day, I came across this tweet from one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott:
How to write: Stop not writing. Get your butt in a chair, or schedule butt-in-chairage. Then be there, in place, as debt of Honor. Has to be today, has to be at least 45 minutes. Then write badly, one bad sentence after a worse one. We’ll help you make it better at another time.— ANNE LAMOTT (@ANNELAMOTT) January 4, 2019
If you’ve ever read any of Anne’s works, you’ll know that words seem to come to her as easily as I can burn a pancake.
But they certainly don’t come easily to me. Perhaps they don’t for you either.
But that doesn’t matter today. Today is about what Anne expresses in her tweet. Don’t think about it. Sit down. Open your laptop (or pull out your notebook and favorite lime green pen). Type (or write) words. One after another. They don’t need to be good. In fact, they probably won’t be.
No editing allowed today. You can edit tomorrow. (That’s not procrastinating, I promise.)
I suppose if you’re reading this while brushing your teeth or letting the dog out for his nightly business, so you can go crawl into bed for a great night’s sleep, you have my permission to wait until tomorrow to get your butt in the chair and write some words.
But if you’re reading this as a procrastination technique to get out of writing, stop it right now. Do as directed above.
If you have no ideas on what to write, no matter. Just write words that pop into your head. Write awful sentences. Write about what you did today. Make up a character that is part human, part humpback whale, and part chihuahua and explain how he was able to go into the local bank branch and open an account despite not being able to fit through the front doors.
If you need more motivation from Anne, I highly recommend her book, Bird by Bird. The title refers to her father’s advice to her brother when faced with the daunting task of writing a report on birds that was due the following day, after putting it off for a couple of months. (Now, that’s procrastination.)
So, go write. Let us know in the comments how you did. What did you write about?