Writing: Step One

Sit your butt, in a chair, and write. That’s it. That’s all there is. Take your hind-quarters and, with purpose, plant it in a seating utensil of your choosing. Preferably, with something to write with. That’s step one (Well, not really. There’s actually a whole lot that has to happen before that step but I’ll get to that later).

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, for most, that is the the hardest part of all. Because there are a whole host of things that keep us from taking that seemingly simple step. Here are some of the more common excuses which I’m going to express in the first person because I have battled all of them and lose more often than I win:

  1. I have something else to do.
  2. I don’t have anything to write about.
  3. I am not good enough.
  4. I am not talented enough.
  5. No one will read it anyway.

You know what those are? Lies and excuses and moot points. You know what those aren’t? Your butt, in a chair, writing.

OK, fine. You don’t like to write sitting. You’d rather stand like Hemingway or lay down like Capote. That’s fine. I don’t care. The point is just write. WRITE!

Look, don’t worry about what to write about. Just start writing the first thing that comes to your mind. Write about the wall color. Write about the dirt on the floor. Write about the crazy fantasy you are currently having about tracking me down and killing me in my sleep for even suggesting such insanity. I don’t care. The world does not care.

You know who should care? You. You have a hundred million stories just sitting there, inside of you, waiting to get out. How do I know? Because we all do. It’s called “living a life” and each moment is another chapter, another story. Look, it’s like this: If you don’t have a story to tell then you are not living a life worth telling stories about.

I write most stuff on my iPhone these days. The reasons? I always have it with me and it is the closest tool I have when the mood strikes and my butt is commanded to find a chair. I don’t think about the “right” tools or the “right” environment or the “right” time. The right tool is the one I have with me. The right environment is my butt in a chair. The right time is now.

Don’t worry about step two. Step two does not matter right now. The only thing that matters is you, writing, now. So, stop making excuses and start.