After 22 years of coaching women who have always wanted to write but are afraid to start, I distilled what I’ve seen helps into 6 permissions that I hereby grant you with a flourish and a one-of-kind T-shirt that says, “I’m a writer and I’m writing.”
Permission to be a writer. On my podcast Create Out Loud, so many of the fabulous writers I interview talk about the moment when they realized nobody was going to anoint them as a writer but them. Own your desire, it’s what gets you started and keeps you going.
Permission to drop the shoulds and write about what you love, what you’re obsessed with, what you hate, what makes you laugh. I’ve had so many students attend a retreat with a should idea they were stuck on, and all they needed was permission to drop it and then the creative flood gates opened.
Permission to write poorly. Write crap and you will write; rewrite each sentence until it’s perfect (ha as if) and you’ll find yourself doing anything but writing.
Permission to make it small. Use Teeny Tiny containers – of time or words. Work for much shorter periods of time and on much smaller chunks than you think useful – even 5 minutes. This makes writing far less overwhelming and leaves plenty of creative desire in your tank so it’s easier to show up again tomorrow.
Permission to screw consistency. Writing every day is great for some but for many women with careers, it’s a goal that invites self-judgment which turns into procrastination which turns into Netflix and chardonnay. Instead, commit to a specific number of teeny tiny containers over 7 days that you can do no matter what. If you don’t, then make them smaller!
Permission to love. Love what you write as lavishly as you do everything else in your life. Love your words, your stories, your ideas. They deserve it.
True story: after 30+ years of writing, I think I’ve finally given myself permission to love writing and my writing. It feels like when I met Bob and fell in love at 45–I want that for you too.