The only permission you need to write is the one provided by the writer. Or in other words, your own permission.
If you can turn up at your computer or sheet of paper and you wait to write because you are waiting for some sort of permission, then take a good look around and notice that the person whom you need permission to write from is you. If you decide to write then go for it and just write.
Form many years I harboured a secret ambition to be a writer. I spent years lurking on the blogosphere looking for tips and tricks on how to write. It took me almost 6 years to realise (i know!) that the only permission I need is the one from myself. If I want to write then I just write.
I no longer look to the traditional publishing house or other gate keepers to validate my work or give me permission to write. I no longer need to submit 2 page proposals on what my article or book will be about. Instead, I make myself a cup of tea, sit down with my notebook and start journalling some thoughts or drawing some mind-maps to help my creativity flow.
And that’s where the magic begins. I start to write. I let the words flow out.
There were times when I used to just write what was in my mind and heart without my ego chasing up each word and loudly criticising each word I wrote.
Instead I now write abundantly with no fear. Ok, the fear is still sometimes there and it will take time to confront and silence. But I am committed to confronting it daily. Whats my secret weapon?
I turn up to write every day.
So far I have been turning up to my desk daily and committing myself to sit either for an hour or to write a minimum of 500 words. And generally I write whatever I want to write. I’m not over thinking the best key words to use or what will rank highly in SEO rankings. That can come later. For now I just need to exercise my writing muscle which is in desperate need of a work-out. I feel it has become fat with a decade of crushed creativity and no expression. I need to let the words out first. I am the primary reader and writer now.
Of course there is a point in the writing process where you do need to accommodate your reader, but this part can only happen once you write down the bare bones of your writing first.
And I am finally once again enjoying the process of writing for writings sake! Writing for the sheer joy of writing. Of being able to express oneself through the words that pour out of your heart and mind.
Now that’s what I call writing!
How do I stop procrastinating from writing?
All procrastination is fear. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about unblocking the treasures within you in her book ‘Big Magic’. Fear shows up in many shades including guilt, perfectionism and insecurities. The only permission you need is the one from yourself.
I used to feel so much guilt when I used to write and was not spending time with family or friends. But creative expression is not selfish! Your creativity is a gift that you need to gift to others.
Why do I write?
I write because it sets my soul on fire, it ignites me, it gets me excited. It makes me come alive.
What is the book you need to be writing this week, or starting this week? What is your soul telling you to write? What are your fingers itching to write? Go ahead and write it.
Write the book that is burning on your heart. You may never publish it but all that matters is you write it out of your soul. The book you write and the book you eventually publish may be two different books. Cross that bridge when you get to it. But for now, go forth and create. It’s the only way to start conquering the fear.