“Keep writing” is one of the best pieces of advice I received early on in my career. It is tempting to keep reading, waiting for that moment when you would feel ready to begin writing.
In my experience, that moment does not come. You read and read. Make notes. Read more. That is why I always begin writing even when I do not feel ready. “Keep writing” was also one of ‘The Onuf Principles’‘ that I shared last week.
Below is a quote from the author Dani Shapiro’s book Still Writing. I think it describes well how many of us write. Shapiro has a blog herself, but I borrowed this from another author’s blog, who quoted Shapiro when sharing his experiences with writing.
“Sitting down to write isn’t easy. A few years ago, a local high school asked me if a student who is interested in becoming a writer might come and observe me. Observe me! I had to decline. I couldn’t imagine what the poor student would think, watching me sit, then stand, sit again, decide that I needed more coffee, go downstairs and make the coffee, come back up, sit again, get up, comb my hair, sit again, stare at the screen, check e-mail, stand up, pet the dog, sit again…”
One of my favorite quotes is from Pablo Picasso: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”. In my case, it has to find me writing. Even then, it is not guaranteed that it will find me…