Monday, October 12, 2020

Write Until They Take Your Pencil Away

I stood in a circle with other writers. We all noted that when we sat down to write, our minds froze. I admitted I held my breath as I wrote, which after four minutes or so, alarmed my wife. 

We pinned down the reason. We’ve looked forward to writing all day, and now that the long awaited moment arrived, we couldn’t squeeze out a word—much like going to the bathroom on command with everyone waiting. 

What should we do if we’re panicky writers? 
Write more. All the time. Never stop. Different types. Unending. Make writing second nature.

Just to keep me from getting nervous when I write, here’s what my writing life looks like—

—throw something on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram 
—blog for yourself and for other sites 
—write in a personal journal 
—crunch academic papers 
—texts, emails, and letters to friends 
—write fiction for sale 
—write fiction no one will see 
—notes to wife 
—notes in books about what I think I’m reading 
—rhetorical arguments 
—notes for writing nonfiction books 
—ghostwriting for others 
—debate with friends (I try not to debate outside of fun banter unless the moment calls for it) 
—workshops and keynotes 
—recollections of childhood 
—hopes for the future 
—a witty few lines 
—this blog 
—lesson plans for teaching rhetoric, literature, or history 

I can write most of these at a day job. Or at home with screaming kids. I just do some form of writing. Something. Anything. 

Demystify the written word and write. 

I can write without holding my breath now. Yay!

Full disclosure, my constant writing had  gotten so bad that when I sit down in the car, I feel as if I should write something. It's similar to sitting in a recliner and reaching for a seat belt. 

Perhaps, for as much writing as you’re going to do, you should wear a seat belt. Time to accelerate.

Demystify writing. Here's how: @peterleavell #writingtip #writerslife #Seriouslywrite
How to make writing second nature. @peterleavell #writingtip #writerslife #seriouslywrite

Peter Leavell, a 2007/2020 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at