There is something in your head.
Something that keeps you awake at night. Something that pops into your mind at the weirdest times. Something that you ponder over and wonder about. Something that you can’t let go.
Maybe its been there for a long time. Maybe it only came to you when you got older. You know what it is yet you constantly push it down and deny it, because to admit what it is would be dangerous.
You have an idea. A glimmer or maybe something more. You have something growing inside your brain without your permission. No one knows how it got there and you don’t understand why it keeps evolving, taking up more and more space. It wants to be listened to. It wants you to look at it. It wants you to write it!
But if you are like a lot of adults I’ve known, you’ll keep ignoring it, pushing it away, denying it, trying to forget it. You’ll tell yourself it’s silly, you’ll tell yourself it’s stupid. You won’t tell anyone else about it because chances are they’ll say the same thing, right?
People are unkind to writers and negative about writing, even though telling stories is what makes us human and is what has drawn us together through shared experiences throughout time. It’s how we’ve passed on information, it’s how we’ve stayed alive, it’s what makes us different to the animals. It’s not silly, it’s important. It’s not stupid, its magical. But you won’t find that out until you give in and write the thing.
So, what are you waiting for exactly?
To get more time? Who is going to gift you more time? No one. Certainly not this life or this world. If anything, they’ll just keep sucking more from you, if you let them. Give up on the idea that you will ever have the time to write. No one has the time to write. They make the time to write. They demand the time to write. They steal it back and make it theirs so that they can finally write the thing.
What else are you waiting for? The space to write? Is someone going to magically deliver a special writing room or secret loft or wooden cabin for you? No chance. Grab your space, steal it just like you need to steal your time. You just need a desk, you just need a chair. You just need that thing that is in your head!
Are you waiting for confidence? Forget that and write it anyway! Whose permission do you need? Everyone is a beginner when they start. Everyone is a novice, and amateur, learning as they go. Why are you any different that you can’t push that aside and write it anyway? You’re not. And you can.
Are you waiting for your skills to develop? They can’t do that unless you start exercising them! Let go of the need for perfection and write it anyway. Write the thing and let the thing guide you and teach you. Let it out.
Are you waiting for self-doubt and imposter syndrome to go away? Don’t be silly, they never will! Writers are anxious introverted people. We observe the world and absorb its pain and beauty. You’re going to explode if you keep all that inside of you!
Do you think its silly? Self-indulgent? Selfish? A waste of time? It’s none of those things. It’s there in your head waiting to be set free. It’s there for a reason. What is it doing there? How did it get there? You’ve got an idea, an itch, an inkling. Don’t you dare push it aside and focus on your boring job and household chores. Life is short. We are a long time dead. We will never get this moment, right here, right now, ever again. What are you waiting for?
Are you afraid of failure? Put off by the publishing industry? Made to feel not good enough? Maybe you don’t know how to start. Just start! Just do it! Just write the thing, write the thing down in all its ugly, clumsy, upside down glory and then breathe out in victory because you’ve started the journey and no one can stop you now.
There is something achingly tragic about a writer who never wrote, a human who never told their story, never voiced their fears and dreams, never let the thing run riot from brain to hand to pen to paper. Forget everything else. Forget publishing, forget editing, forget readers, forget sales, forget reviews. None of that matters when there is a thing in your head clawing to get out. Write the thing and leave the rest for now. It is your duty to set it free.
What on earth are you waiting for?