Give Yourself Permission to Write

March 19, 2015

When I taught my “Writing for Fun and Profit” series at a college in Minnesota, I asked my students to define what it means to be a writer. The answer inevitably came back that writers had to be published before they could call themselves writers.

I understood why students thought they couldn’t claim to be writers unless they were published, but that thinking is incorrect. Here’s the definition of what it means to be a writer: A writer writes and sometimes gets published. But you cannot get published if you don’t write.

Writers have to write. They love to write. And that’s exactly why they don’t. Sometimes the guilt about indulging self becomes so strong that writers put off doing the very thing only they can do–write from their perspective.

Give yourself permission to write. If you don’t, you’re denying the rest of us your ideas, your interpretations, your view of life.

Granted, not everyone will love everything you write. Even you won’t love everything you write. But it’s important you get in a habit of writing something every day. Figure out what motivates you to write. Then form the habit of writing something–a character sketch, an anecdote, a description, a feeling, a memory, a plot idea–every day.

Life gets complicated. There are so many demands on your time. Jobs, commitments, daily routines, entertainment, responsibilities, and the list goes on. You will always find something to fill your time. You probably keep your promises to everyone else. But what about your promise to yourself to allow yourself time to write? How well do you keep that one?

Again, I’m not encouraging you to write simply for yourself. I’m encouraging you to write so you can share your creativity with others. Happy writing!