Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

You Don’t Need Permission To Write

…but I’ll give you some anyway.

The writing world is alive with the ‘rules’ of writing.

Everyone and their uncle has something to say about what you should write, when you should write it, how you should write it, and why you should write it.

Naturally, a lot of that advice is contradictory.

After all, while we can all expand our practice and our skills, we each have to make our own way to the page.

We each have our own interests, our own reasons for writing, and our own hopes for what will become of our words.

But a lot of us get tangled in all of the writing ‘shoulds’ and we think we need to meet a certain standard before we can start.

We all want to do it RIGHT and that leads many of us looking for permission to write.

Asking Permission to Write

Asking permission to write can look like:

  1. Asking if it is okay to start in the middle (or the end, or wherever)
  2. Constantly crowd-sourcing for approval for your ideas
  3. Trying to get ‘one more piece’ of knowledge before you get started
  4. Checking in with expert after expert
  5. Researching and researching but never writing
  6. Thinking that what you have to say is not important enough to write about
  7. Thinking that what you have to say has already been said*

Logically, of course, we *know* that no one can magically grant us permission to write but still we keep looking for the thing that will tell us that it is okay to proceed.

The image has a red background with concentric circles on it. At the top is yellow text that reads ‘Your Official Permission to Write’ and below there is a 4 point list in white that reads 1. What you have to say is valuable 2. You can make your own rules 3. It’s okay to do the fun part first. 4. Write badly at first, we all do. In the bottom left corner, it reads and in the bottom right is a quote from A. J. Liebling that reads ‘The only way to write is well and how you do it is your own business.’

So, that’s why, a few years ago, I made up this permission slip for my coaching clients. It says that it is your permission to write but I can’t actually grant that, you have to grant yourself that permission.

So, I guess, this is really a reminder that you already have permission.

And, I’ll add another reminder – what you are writing now is not the final version. You have to start somewhere and it’s okay to get it wrong, over and over, until you get it right.

That’s how writing works.

*Of course everything has already been said but it hasn’t been said by YOU and that matters.