This sounds like the most obvious statement in the world, but it’s one of the most important things I’ve learned about writing. If I had a writing bible, this would be in it right at the front!
If you unpick it, it’s harder than it seems. A mental block is a very easy companion when you’re faced with a blank page, for instance. Or with the self-doubt and fears that your character/ idea/ book/ etc will be terrible and/or ridiculed. The human brain annoyingly contains the perfect tools for maximum self-destruction.
But if the niggle keeps returning; the thought “I want to write”, or that great idea you just can’t stop thinking about pops up again... then listen to it and write!
Put words on paper!
Put anything down – you can always redraft and refine if you haven’t said quite what you mean on the first attempt – who’s judging you? No one.
Thanks to Christopher Paolini (author of the Inheritance Cycle), I found my inspiration on 29th September 2011. That was the night my life changed. He stood and spoke at a book signing about precisely this. That night I decided to actually write this story that had lived in my head for years.
This is the lesson that stayed with me from this experience.
You can’t be a writer unless you WRITE!
It’s easy to be discouraged. Yes, your characters/ideas/story never will be anything... unless you actually write them.
You might just have something amazing to share with the world.
You might not want to publish or share it. Or, you might want to be the next #1 on the bestseller lists. The simple act of writing in itself is so cathartic, therapeutic and fulfilling, before you consider any of that.
I don’t claim to be as inspiring as Christopher Paolini, but I hope this motivates you as it did me. Now I'm editing my first novel ready for self publishing this summer, with two sequels sketched out. If I can do it, you can too.
Ciao for now!