Famous writers talk about writing through resistance and writer's block.

Mary Duncan

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Let’s face it. As creatives, sometimes we get blocked.

We don’t write.

Even when we should, even when there’s no excuse not to — we don’t write because we are held back by fear, self-doubt, lack of motivation, or a hundred other things.

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
Erica Jong

You want to write anyway, though.

So, the first thing to do is start.

It doesn’t matter how you get started.

“And if you’re gonna be a writer, you just truly have to be a writer. You have to throw yourself into it and deal with the negative consequences of that. And there are negative consequences. I mean, there are. But, it’s also true that you wouldn’t be interviewing me right now if I had worked at the post office.
— Cheryl Strayed

Pick up a pen and start scribbling in a notebook. Open a new page in Word and start fleshing out the story idea that’s been brewing for months. Open up Medium and click “New Story” to see what sort of magic happens.

Just start.

In the beginning, it doesn’t matter if what you are producing is crap. What matters is that you turn the faucet on and start creating.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
— Louis L’Amour

Some people aren’t going to like your writing

Some people aren’t going to pay attention at all, which is its own kind of hell.

Others are going to dislike your work and tell you about it, but you have to ignore them and keep writing anyway.

If you’re a fiction or poetry writer who’s trying to publish, you may be facing constant rejection from agents and editors on your journey. You have to be able to stick it out and keep submitting your work.

If you write here on Medium, there will be days when you have low engagement and even negative engagement. Do you know what you have to do?

You have to keep writing anyway.

You have to completely and unapologetically embrace the writer you are and tell the stories you were put here to tell — no matter how scary or difficult.

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Repent just means to change direction — and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.”
— Anne Lamott

Don’t let fear get in the way of fulfilling your dreams of writing

It will be the biggest regret of your life.

I’m filled with regret for missing just a month of writing. I can’t imagine letting this fear continue to keep me in its grip and away from what I want to do most.

So, I’ll write anyway

We will write anyway.

“And we all get mired in the bullshit, the personality quirks, the personality disorders (ours and everyone else’s), the jealousy, the disappointment, the blocks, the financial struggle, our egos, I do it too, I do it too, but if you can’t remember it is all about the work and nothing else then I can’t help you and you can’t help yourself and you will lose. I promise you. You will lose.”
— Jami Attenberg

It doesn’t matter what you’re producing, as long as you’re writing something

A journal entry.

A poem.

An article or a chapter of your novel.

“The first two, three, four weeks are wasted. I just show up in front of the computer. Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too. If she doesn’t show up invited, eventually she just shows up.”
— Isabel Allende

Just do the work. Prioritize it.

If you want this as much as you say you do, shove all the other crap out of your mind and make it the most important thing in your life.

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
— Octavia Butler

Keep writing, even when it feels wrong, even when it’s crap, even when it takes everything out of your soul.

I write every day on 750words.com and have not broken my streak in over 518 days.

I show up every day to do my journaling, and it’s come to be an incredibly important part of my life.

It’s cleared my head, helped with my depression and anxiety, has bred great articles, and keeps me accountable.

You have to show up and write even if you don’t feel like it

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
William Faulkner

Let go of the idea of perfection and stop being precious with your writing.

Your first drafts aren’t going to be perfect. That’s okay — they aren’t supposed to be. Write anyway, nurture it and fix it, and then give it to the world.

Don’t let your idea of having to get it right the first time scare you from starting and writing at all, as I have done many times in the past.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
Richard Bach

Don’t give up, writers

You’re going to have bad times, slumps, blocks, and creative battles that seem insurmountable, but if you keep writing anyway, you’ll get through it.

Because you’re a writer, and you don’t have any other choice in the matter.

You write anyway.

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State

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