If you want to write, you have to write
The most obvious piece of advice that successful writers give to wannabe writers is that if you want to be a writer, you have to write. It seems that is something that go without saying. And yet, I know from personal experience, that it doesn’t happen. People get intimidated about putting things down. It has to be grand. It has to be mind-boggling. It has to be perfect.
Here is the secret that all great writers know: None of that is true. And in fact, it in all likelihood will be a mess. But that’s okay, because it’s a starting point. It’s like putting a lump of clay on the table. You need to work with the clay, define it, mold it and shape it into a thing of beauty. You can’t do that until you have ideas on the page.
In some ways, it’s like cleaning at my house. You have to strip away the top layers of debris to reveal the middle layers, which can then be stripped away to reveal the surfaces. When you write, you are stripping away awkward sentences or clumsy attempts at getting across your message to reveal clearer and more profound ideas.Â But you can’t get at them until you get started.