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Are you a writer in waiting?

Are you someone who wants to be writing but can’t really call yourself a writer because you aren’t really writing anything? It’s easy to let life get in the way. But if writing is important to you, you must pursue it regularly despite what life flings your way. Whether you write three sentences, 100 words or 1,000, it all adds up. The days have a way of slipping by, and you don’t want to wake up someday and regret what you didn’t do.

Be conscious of your time and how you’re spending it. Have you designed your life to fit your desire to write? Are you spending your hours on your most important priorities? Most writers — published and unpublished — have many commitments to juggle, not to mention day jobs. But they still fit writing in.

Many published writers had to work day jobs before they were able to write full time. John Grisham set his alarm for 5 a.m. and was at his desk working by 5:30. Nicholson Baker, wrote his first novel, “The Mezzanine,” by dictating to a voice recorder during his commute to work. Pulitzer-prize winning writer Robert Olen Butler says in his book, “From Where You Dream,” that there is no excuse not to write. At one point in his life, the only opportunity he had to write was on the Long Island Railroad as he commuted to a job as an editor-in-chief of a business newspaper in Manhattan. My friend Alyssa began a novel when she started commuting an hour and a half by bus to a new job. On the way back home, she read the pages she had written earlier and planned her strategy for the next day’s writing session.

Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk writes anywhere inspiration strikes—on airplanes, in hotel rooms, on park benches. I once met a woman at a conference — A mother of four children, including an infant — who told me she often stood at her kitchen counter and wrote on a legal pad while baking a pan of cookies.

If you want to call yourself a writer, you must write. Don’t wait.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. florence #

    This is a great post to reread on those days when it seems like there are a million reasons not to write and only one reason to write: If you want to be a writer, you must write!

    June 17, 2011
  2. Fabulous reminder; the best thing I did for my writing self two years ago was take Cameron’s suggestion of Morning Pages to heart. In my MP notebook I write about my current writing project, or express contemplative writing, or compose poetry or vent or journal or whatever…but for at least three pages, I WRITE. And that usually brings my attention quite clearly to the desire to continue writing.

    August 21, 2011

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