You can write, or do nothing

I need to do the laundry. And the floor needs hoovering. I have plants in the greenhouse that need potting on. Oh, and I could just tile the bathroom, too…

These are the fancies that pound my brain like surf on a barren shore whenever I sit down to write.  

You can write, or do nothing.

Sent by the Resistance Demons, these traitor thoughts do their absolute best to stop me from doing what I do best: writing words that move people.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to get distracted. To do something that seems life-and-death critical. To NOT WRITE.

It’s easy for the Resistance Demons to convince you something else is more important. But the truth is: nothing else is more important.

If this is the time you’ve set aside to write your book, or craft your article, or create your new product, or build your course, or make your video – if this is the time you’ve set aside to write your message to the world – none of the activities sent by the Resistance Demons are more vital.

They’re tempting, though, aren’t they?

The most mundane and sordid tasks seem filled with delights when you’re faced with that blank page.

Resistance makes the crucial seem horrific and the miserable look wonderful. It tricks you, because it knows your task will shift the course of the universe – if you do it. And resistance does not like change.

If you have something to say, don’t let your Resistance Demons get in your way. Beat them down. It won’t be easy, but it is possible.

Try this:

Give yourself permission to write, or to do nothing at all.

I learned this from Neil Gaiman years ago; then heard him interviewed on a podcast recently when he mentioned it again.

Don’t put undue pressure on yourself by saying, “I must write or implode!”

If you do that, tiling the bathroom comes next.

Instead, take the pressure off. Sit at your desk, with your writing tools ready, and allow yourself to write or do nothing, if you wish. But you’re not allowed to do anything else. No scrolling. No calls. No videos. No reading. No conversations, even with the cats.

You can write, or do nothing.

After around five minutes, writing becomes infinitely more interesting…

And then, once you start, you remember it’s the most fun you can have by yourself.

Go forth and write. You can do it.

About the Author

Vicky Fraser

Please do share any articles from this site in part or in full — as long as you leave all links intact, give credit to the author, and include a link to this website and the following bio. Vicky is a gin-quaffing, pole-dancing, trapeze-swinging copywriter who writes about the perils and joys of writing, velociraptor training, and running a small business. She writes this stuff on her websites vickyfraser.com and cookiesforbreakfast.co.uk. She’s the author of one book (with two more in utero) and teaches small business owners how to write copy that sells, and how to be more fecking interesting. You can follow her on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

PS Next week, I finish the second edit of my new book and send it off to my wonderful Beta Readers for their feedback. While my draft is with those darlings, I’ll set up my pre-order systems.

So if you’re interested in how to write your own book (or anything else, really, because it’ll help you write anything substantial), you’ll be able to reserve a copy within the next three weeks. Sign up to my daily emails below to be the first on the list…

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