Are you a Goldilocks writer? One of those people who has to have everything perfect?
That idea’s too hot. That idea’s too cold. I’m not ready to write, I’m not in the mood. I need to have the exact right idea to get started.
Goldilocks writers have the best of intentions. They want to write something good. They want to be a good writer. They want to write under the best conditions. They are willing to wait until everything is just right.
Goldilocks will wait forever for the right conditions. They spend their entire lives saying “I’ll write tomorrow. I don’t have time today. I’ll get started when I know exactly what to write about. “
The only way to become a writer is to put words on the page. Good words, bad words, ugly words. If you wait to only write something good and perfect, you’ll never write. If you wait until you have the perfect writing conditions, you’ll never write. If you wait until you have time, you’ll never write.
Is that you? Are you a Goldilocks?
The first secret to being a writer is that writers know there is no such thing as constant perfect writing conditions. Sometimes you have to scribble notes down in a car. Sometimes you only get five minutes. Sometimes what you’re writing is awful – but you don’t stop. That’s key. You write when the bed is lumpy and when the porridge is cold.
There is no quota or quality control when you’re a writer. No one will come and knock on your door and say: You wrote poorly today. Hand over your writer’s license.
The second secret to being a writer is consistency. It’s better to write every day no matter what. If you write every day good moments start to pile up. Five minutes a day is better than an hour once a month. The more you write, even when you don’t want to, the more writing becomes a part of you. The more you want to write. The more you celebrate your bad and ugly words. Ugly writing is still writing. It’s way better than no writing than all.
Don’t wait for perfect. Don’t be a Goldilocks. Don’t wait for porridge that is just right. And don’t take someone else’s porridge either. Get your own.