Just do it

Of course, Nike beat me to this slogan. But I don't think they'll mind if I tag along with their thought--sometimes the only way to do something is just to do it.

LERONE BENNETT, by John H. White, EPA
When I write, I have two modes. One is painstaking--I edit as I write. I often write in my head like this, to pass the time on the tram or at the dentist. This is slow, painful and no fun at all--I do it to distract my thoughts from the present moment. The writing produced may be exact and appropriate, but it doesn't exactly sing. Your soul doesn't take flight when you read it.

The other mode is more like journaling, or writing poetry. Teenagers often write like this, pouring their emotions and longings into their words. This writing moves you even when it's ragged and raw.

When I can't get going on a writing task, I switch to mode 2--just do it. You can always refine it later, or scrap it. Just doing it builds fluency and creativity into your writing skills repertoire.

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